String art is a type of art characterized by an arrangement of thread strung between points to form abstract geometric patterns or representational designs. Thread or wire is wound around a grid of nails hammered onto a wooden board to make unique masterpieces. To expedite the assembly process, London-based studio Laarco has developed a machine capable of ‘printing’ large-scale, gallery-worthy artwork. Autograph uses thousands of nails and a single 500m-long string to construct detailed 40cm x 40cm (16” x 16”) images of celebrities, ranging from David Bowie to Matt Damon to the Beatles. (You can see them all here.)
In terms of hardware, Autograph is equipped with a Raspberry Pi at its core, which sends commands to an Arduino Mega fitted with a 3D printer shield to control the mechanism. The results are absolutely amazing, as you can see in the time-lapse video below.