Inkjet printers produce images using thousands of tiny ink dots. Now, instead of a printhead and ink cartridges, imagine a printer that uses a paintball gun and color pellets. That's exactly what the Facadeprinter is.
Invented by a German trio (designers Martin Fussenegger and Michael Sebastian Haas and engineer Julian Adenauer), this software-controlled robot shoots color onto walls or other surfaces, allowing spectators to watch as a piece of large installation art is created.
Fussenegger, Haas, and Adenauer also see applications for the Facadeprinter in disaster relief efforts, as symbols indicating medical facilities, fresh water, danger zones, and so forth could be communicated quickly and effectively in public spaces.
A modified paintball marker mounted on a two-axis turntable forms the printhead, which comes with a touch screen for operation control and a USB port for file input.
The other two components of the Facadeprinter--which its creators call a "large-scale communication tool"--are a ball tower for holding the pellets and a cylinder of compressed air. The printer can create a "printout" that's about 26 feet tall from a distance of about 40 feet away from the wall. The inventors have so far used their contraption to print on concrete, plaster, brick, steel, and glass.
As you've probably guessed, this is not something you can buy easily. Watch the video below and visit the designers' site for more details.