Looking for a dirt-cheap way to add art to a wall? Rasterbator is a free tool that turns any image into mammoth, “rasterized” posters.
There are two ways to use Rasterbator: You can upload an image to the site, or you can download the Rasterbator app for Windows (which requires Microsoft’s .NET Framework 1.1 and a PDF reader). Believe it or not, the Web version is actually the better of the two, as it lets you choose your output size by dragging frame handles instead of entering the numbers manually.
Whatever method you choose, the result is more or less the same: A blown-up image that gets printed on multiple sheets of paper, which you then assemble in proper order and mount on your wall.
Needless to say, the larger the poster, the more ink and paper you’ll consume. If you’re working with a color image, you could easily blow through half your inkjet’s ink! Of course, there’s much to be said for black-and-white posters; you can achieve some great results with a laser printer (see the Rasterbator gallery for examples).
You may have to do some trimming if your printer can’t output to the very edge of each sheet, though sometimes you can get a neat look by leaving that thin white border around each page. (Again, see the gallery.)
Need help mounting your image? The Rasterbator discussion forum has tips from other users.
This is a really, really fun tool, and your only costs are paper, ink/toner, and whatever consumables (tape, glue, foam board, etc.) you use for mounting. Talk about design on a dime!