Pinball machine as Etch A Sketch

Posted to Data Art  |  Tags:  |  Nathan Yau

When you plan pinball, the ball bounces around creating paths for itself and the better you play, the more control you have over those paths. Recent design graduate Sam van Doorn modified a machine so that you can see those paths in his project STYN. A poster is placed underneath the flippers, and the ball gets a douse of paint on the way out, so you get a unique sketch each time you play. [via infosthetics]

2 Comments

  • I don’t really understand this. He talks about a “grid” used to make different patterns, but it’s not clear exactly how he changes layout without rebuilding the table itself. Also, I don’t really understand “better play,” as there don’t seem to be any objectives. Was this supposed to be “better aim”?

    • @AJ, I’m not sure about this, but my guess is he has a sort of peg board underneath with holes in it. Then you can stick pegs anywhere in the board. Then I’m guessing you string the bands around two pegs to form the bumpers.

      By “better play” I think he just means not letting the balls drop too soon.

      I wish he’d posted more pictures as it seems like a cool project.

Favorites

Marrying Age

People get married at various ages, but there are definite trends that vary across demographic groups. What do these trends look like?

The Best Data Visualization Projects of 2011

I almost didn’t make a best-of list this year, but as I clicked through the year’s post, it was hard …

This is an American Workday, By Occupation

I simulated a day for employed Americans to see when and where they work.

Real Chart Rules to Follow

There are rules—usually for specific chart types meant to be read in a specific way—that you shouldn’t break. When they are, everyone loses. This is that small handful.