To say that ABB Robotics’ PixelPaint technology works like an inkjet printer for a car is one way to describe the new technology, but that doesn’t quite do it justice. To show just how wild the technology is, the company used its paint robots to create the world’s first fully machine-painted art cars.
The company partnered with artists to create two models that its robotic vehicle painter would recreate on the surface of a vehicle. The former was created by Dubai-based digital design collective Illusorr, and the latter by eight-year-old Indian abstract painter Advait Kolarkar.
Kolarkar adopted his style to create a piece of abstract art, which he says reminded him of zebra pegasus playing happily in a dream world, so he called it Zebra Dreamland. Illusorr’s piece, on the other hand, is inspired by the movement of air over the surface of a vehicle. With crisp lines, unlike Koralkar’s expressive paint spots, the Illusorr piece has more color.
Also Read: BMW’s New Overspray-Free Paint Offers ‘Unlimited’ Customizations
Despite the complex nature of the two parts, ABB’s system was able to recreate them, without human intervention, in less than 30 minutes each. That’s thanks to the printhead’s 1,000 nozzles that can apply paint so close to the surface of the vehicle that there’s no overspray. This prevents airborne misting, helping automakers save up to 60% on time and costs.
The same quality that allows PixelPaint technology to paint with such precision allows it to paint more sustainably. With no overspray, there is no need for masking materials and additional ventilation, saving both material and energy costs as well as time.
BMW, which introduced similar technology to its paint shop late last year, said at the time that its precision paint technology would save it up to 6,000 megawatt hours of energy per year and reduce the carbon footprint of the paint shop by almost 2,000 tonnes.
“ABB’s PixelPaint technology is more than an evolution, it’s a revolution,” said Sami Atiya, president of ABB’s Robotics and Discrete Automation business. “It’s a shining example of how robotic automation and our RobotStudio software can not only pave the way for more sustainable manufacturing, but also perfectly reproduce delicate works of art that celebrate the originality and beauty of the human spirit.