String art

Autograph is a machine that produces an image using nails and a single thread. Almost all pieces are 40cmx40cm (16"x16") and are made with between 2000 and 3000 nails and about 500m of thread on a 50cmx50cm canvas.

Nails are placed one by one in about 12 hours and threading takes around 14.

Autograph Gallery


You can find some of the works in Saatchi Art.
For customized orders using your own photos or designs, see the Custom Prints FAQ.

How it's made


Nails are carefully placed on the canvas one by one. The placement strategy is a fundamental part of the algorithm.


Placing thread without collisions is achieved with a combination of hardware and software. Every segment is placed at a specific height.


The machine is similar to a 3d-printer or a CNC machine and uses a Raspberry Pi to run the software. It has evolved a lot since the first version (in 2012) that required weeks and a lot of manual labour to complete a job.


The algorithm uses multiple-criteria decision analysis to make the resulting work as similar to the original image as possible. Nails are placed using corner and edge detection algorithms and voronoi diagrams to fill empty areas in a natural and pleasing way.

Contact us for customized prints or collaboration ideas (photographers, artists, algorithmic art developers).