Automated Mural Painting on the Exterior of Large Buildings

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Automated Painting of Murals on the Exterior of Large Buildings

THE PROBLEM
a. Updating the exterior of large buildings requires labor intensive maintenance.
b. Painting extremely tall murals is dangerous and beyond the skills of many artists and painters.

THE SOLUTION
Automate the painting process by scaling-up inkjet printer technology
a) Design and build a large 4-head paint sprayer for the colors: red, yellow, blue, and black.
b) Erect scaffolding and motorized horizontal and vertical gantries near the face of the building.
c) Attach 4-head paint sprayer to horizontal gantry.
d) Securely attach required volume of paint (e.g. 55-gallon drums of red, yellow, blue, and black) to the vertical gantry.
e) Download desired image to the paint-head controller.
f) Begin the automated painting process.

THE PROCESS
1) Take a picture of the desired image Save image in a typical format (jpg, tiff, bmp…, etc.)
2) Determine the dimensions of area to be painted Measure building façade noting the:
a. Height
b. Width
c. Window locations
d. Protrusions
e. Obstructions – e.g. Fire escape
3) Input building measurements into Mural Painting Application. Application analyzes the image to determine:
a. The volume of paint.
b. Time required to complete mural.
c. Critical regions of the image overlaid on the building.
4) Compensate for overspray & mist Protect Surrounding Areas:
a. Install large hood over paint-head.
b. Attach vacuum source to create negative pressure in paint hood.
5) Press Start on the automated Mural Painting Application.

INNOVATION
Combines, changes, and adapts existing technologies
a. Designing and build a 4-head airless paint sprayer.
b. The Mural Painting system uses technologies derived from ink-jet printers.
c. The building’s façade is a 3-axis cartesian coordinate system.
d. Calculating (scaling up) the volumes of each color is contained in a typical image file.
e. Horizontal and vertical gantries represent the XY-plane; The Z-axis is the distance from the façade to the paint-head.
f. Sensors and software compensate for variations in gantry data to the actual paint-head location.

MANUFACTURABILITY
All manufacturing technologies exist
a. Scaffolding requirements (stability) are scalable
b. The paint-head is attached to the motorized vertical and horizontal gantries. The paint-head location (x-y coordinates) is determined via encoders on the gantries.
c. Dispensing paint quantities via the 4-head airless sprayer uses calculations similar to ink-jet printers
d. Calculating the volumes of each color is contained in pixel data of the image file(s). The volume is scaled to the square footage of the building’s façade.

MARKETABILITY
The Mural Painter is a tool. The product is what the device creates: A Mural on the side of a building.
a. Training will be needed for:
a. The Mural Painting Application
b. Scaffolding setup
c. Sensor calibration(s)
d. Verification of façade specifications
e. Use of the system (cleaning, prepping, maintenance…, etc.)
b. The individual systems and components do not require unusual talent or knowledge. Success requires understanding how the systems interact.

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  • ABOUT THE ENTRANT

  • Name:
    Keith Stegath
  • Type of entry:
    individual
  • Profession:
    Engineer/Designer
  • Number of times previously entering contest:
    1
  • Keith's favorite design and analysis tools:
    Solidworks, Altium, MatLab, Excel
  • Keith is inspired by:
    The challenge
  • Patent status:
    none