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Bricasso 'printer' makes mosaic art out of Lego tiles

Billy Steele
June 29, 2015
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If you fancy playing with Lego blocks and you're not familiar with Jason Allemann, take a few minutes to browse his work. He's one set of hands behind JK Brickworks, a site that posts rather unique builds with the plastic bits, including gravity-powered walking animals. For his latest project, Allemann built Bricasso: a device that scans an image and then "prints" a mosaic of it using 1x1 tiles. What's more, it's constructed entirely out of Lego parts. Bricasso uses a Mindstorms EV3 color sensor to scan the source photo -- which has to be pixelated from the jump -- and saves the data needed to complete the finished piece.

From there, a 1x1 circular block grabs the 1x1 square plates from a gravity-fed dispenser on the side of the building area. That tile holder has a 450-plate capacity and Bricasso is capable of producing designs that contain up to nine different colors. The first row of the image acts as a key, telling the device which tile stacks to use. Allemann says he may venture into more three-dimensional construction in the future, but for now, what he's created here is pretty great.

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