The device works with an app and your smartphone. You select a picture you want on your wall and set up your phone on a tripod, which you can move back and forth to adjust the size of the image. Then you fit a can of spray paint into the printer and start painting your wall.
The printer isn’t sophisticated enough to let you have several cans of paint attached and then automatically select between them. Instead, you have to swap them out when you want a different color. However, it does know when you’ve missed a spot or are waving the printer in front of an area that shouldn’t get any paint. Your phone’s camera tracks an LED light on the printer, and the device also has a gyroscope and accelerometer to help the app keep track of its precise location.
“Engines nowadays use extremely fast valves to spray fuel to combustion chamber,” inventor Mihkel Joala said in a press release. “I realized I can use them to shoot paint with pinpoint accuracy.” That electromagnetic valve opens and closes 200 times per second, letting you print 200 pixels every second as you wave your hand back and forth over the wall. The designs do indeed look a bit pixelated in the video; the deer design isn’t as solid as it appears on the phone, for example.
You don’t have to come up with your own designs for the SprayPrinter. The Estonian company hopes to create a community of artists who will upload their art. You can choose your favorite and send money to them via the app.
The SprayPrinter is currently seeking funding on Indiegogo, and the creators hope to send out units in July. (The usual backer beware caveats apply.) You can get one for $149 plus shipping, which is presumably less than commissioning Banksy.