Lucien Langton / Interaction Design & UX

The Firewriter

The FireWriter is a graphic butane/propane torch printer built with Processing & Arduino.

The hardware consists of a hacked inkjet printer controlled with an Arduino Uno, a Dremel torch loaded with a butane/propane mix that burns up to a temperature of 1200C, and an added calibration module built with an optical sensor.

The FireWriter is a machine using contemporary rapid prototyping electronics combined with humanity’s first technology: fire. The purpose is to propose a dialogue between image reproduction and its destruction. Inevitably, alterations of the support are linked with alteration of aestethics. The result offers aspects of engraving with a mechanical / pixelized pattern.

A black & white image first has to be fed into the Processing script, which dynamically writes a Wiring code that can then be compiled and sent onto the Arduino board. The printer then burns dot by dot (pixel per pixel) on the horizontal axis. The machine is equipped with step by step wheels that enable the user to lower the printer one line at a time on the vertical axis on any support. It works on various types of supports such as wood, paper, walls, plastic, fabric and others. The duration, strength and precision of the flame can be controlled in real-time manually with a pitch.

Built with Processing + Wiring + Arduino
Lucien Langton / ECAL
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