#661: Patinapaint

Spray painting vehicles has been an automated, ie computer-controlled, process for over thirty years. Great efforts are made to ensure consistent, uniform-looking painted surfaces.

Today’s invention is a way to invert that emphasis and provide eg motor vehicles with the same kind of subtle patina, from new, as say stonewashed jeans.

A computer-controlled spray gun would adjust, in a continuous way, the relative amounts of matt and gloss paint being applied to a bodyshell. Planar regions would be matt-er, sharply curved regions shinier. This would give an interesting impression of wear by contact with high-speed streamlines, for example.

It would also be possible, given the usual CAD model of the surfaces involved, to apply a different level of shine corresponding to the general local curvature properties. This might even enable cars to be formed using simple (ie cheaper) geometry, but whose appearance could be made more convoluted and ‘characterful’ just by painting (a little like blusher on cheekbones).

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