Made this printer out of a scanner, CD-ROM drive, mechanical hard drive, Arduino Duemilanove, Meccano, three motor driver boards, and a pencil.
I use a point cloud software called CloudCompare to convert image data into a raster, and then export it as an ascii text file containing “x,y,z,color” values. Z is obviously always zero and is ignored. A value that isn’t white for color tells the printer to smash the pencil (black and white only). X and y values are used to articulate the mechanisms. The reason I process the images this way is because it’s just easier for me than figuring out how to read image files in Arduino code.
To print, the ascii text file is streamed over the usb serial connection to the Arduino via HyperTerminal (using XON/XOFF for flow control). Print resolution / size is 255 pixels wide by however long the scanner bed is.
I believe it could also be useful in the kitchen for chopping vegetables.