Arthur Sacek’s Lego Pinpoint Animator is a brilliant piece of Technic and Mindstorms engineering. It can painstakingly reproduce detailed 3D images using those pin block desktop toys, but someone needs to tell him that recreating faces is a lot easier when you just press your face in there.
A pair of tethered arms that move up and down a rectangular frame align a central pusher that individually extends each pin. It seems a little over-engineered, but like with most autonomous Lego creations, how this machine works isn’t as important as the fact that it does.
It takes Arthur’s animator about half an hour to produce a single 3D image, at which point it automatically snaps a photo of the results, resets the whole thing, and then starts. Eventually it produces amazing animations like this rotating 3D face, but the process is unfortunately as tedious as 3D printing. [YouTube via The Awesomer]