Hackaday Prize 2022: Turning Big Trash into Treasure for Art Students

How can the big box store mix the perfect shade of English Wedgwood right before your eyes? The answer lies in highly concentrated pigments that come in several different sizes up to five gallons. Now just imagine the amount of watercolor, acrylic or other types of paint that could be obtained by simply scraping the sides of an empty 5 gallon tub, which you know is being thrown away with all that usable pigment inside.

Not only is [technoplastique] to make watercolors and other paints from these pigments, but their real goal is to create an easily repeatable process for turning not only pigments into paint, but also other things, like dried turmeric, charcoal or any other workable material.

The process will likely take the form of an open-source three-roller milling machine, commonly used in paint manufacturing. Basically, you have three rollers that process the pigment and the binder, and the mixture is cycled through as many times as needed. Although they are fairly simple machines in their design, their construction for them to work well requires the respect of precise technical specifications.

We can’t wait to see what [technoplastique] comes with to use for stainless steel rollers. The rest of the plan involves a Raspberry Pi Pico, DC motor per roller, motor shield and power supply, but the rollers are pretty crucial. If you have any ideas other than steel rolling pins (kitchen style) or pipe fittings (too short anyway), let us know in the comments!

Kayleen C. Rice