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Image capture from "Lego Hello World" posted by YouTube user horseattack.
A Lego fanatic in the United Kingdom has created a printer, made of Lego pieces and a felt tip pen, that prints from Mac OS X.
YouTube user horseattack posted a video of the "Lego felt tip 110" printer earlier this week. The video shows the printer connected to an iMac. A user starts to print a one-color PNG image and selects the Lego printer, connected by USB.
Gears turn and motors do their thing, causing a felt tip pen to make precise marks on a piece of paper. The paper advances, and the tops of letters begin to take shape.
Atop the lego print carriage are Lego people in fanciful poses, hard at work, with control panel blocks in front of them. One of the mustachioed Lego men is shaken violently by a moving arm, adding to the visual delight.
Gradually, a low-resolution copy of the original image appears on paper, in blue ink. "Hello World," it says, followed by a silhouette of a horse.
In a note that accompanies the video, horseattack, whose first name is Adam, according to his profile, says he spent three weeks on the project, working evenings. Adam designed, built, and coded the project, including analog motor electronics, sensors and the printer driver.
The Lego felt tip 110 printer doesn't use Mindstorms, the programmable robotics toys made by Lego. Instead, he rolled his own solution with electronics components.
Horseattack says he will "try to get around to" open-sourcing the Mac OS X printer driver and publishing schematics for the printer soon, so you'll be able to make your own printer out of Lego bricks.
Watch the video of horseattack's Lego felt tip 110 printer below: