It can be said that ABB Robotics’ PixelPaint technology works like an inkjet printer for a car, a way to describe the new technology, but it does not do it justice. To show how wild the technology is, the company used its paint robot to create the world’s first fully machine-drawn art car.
The company teamed up with artists to create two designs that would reproduce its robotic car painter on the surface of a car. The first was created by a joint venture of Dubai-based digital design Elusar and the second by eight-year-old Indian abstract painter Advait Kolarkar.
Kolarkar adopted his style to create an abstract art piece, which he says reminds him of playing happily in the dream world of Zebra Pegasus, so he called it Zebra Dreamland. The Ilusar piece, meanwhile, was inspired by the ventilation on the surface of a car. Featuring crisp lines in contrast to Coralkar’s expressive paint splash, Ilusar’s portion has more color.
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Despite the complex nature of both parts, ABB’s systems were able to recreate each one in less than 30 minutes, without human intervention. This is thanks to the 1,000 nozzles on the printer head that can apply paint so close to the surface of the car that there is no overspray. This prevents airborne fog, which helps automakers save up to 60 percent in time and cost.
The same quality that allows PixelPaint technology to draw with such precision allows it to draw in a more sustainable way. Thanks to the lack of overspray, there is no need for masking materials and additional ventilation, which saves both material and energy costs as well as time.
BMW, which launched a similar technology at its paint shop late last year, said at the time that its perfect painting technology would save 6,000-megawatt-hours of energy per year and reduce the paint shop’s carbon footprint by about 2,000. Tons
“ABB’s PixelPaint technology is more than an evolution – it’s a revolution,” said Sami Atiya, president of ABB’s robotics and discrete automation division. “This is a shining example of how robotic automation and our robot studio software can not only pave the way for more sustainable production but also replicate the fine art that celebrates the originality and beauty of the human soul.”
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