Pi-Powered Money Shredder Reacts to Markets

Luis Marx and his money shredding machine
(Image credit: Luis Marx)

How do you like your metaphors? If the answer is ‘on the nose and with no subtlety whatsoever,’ then have we got a project for you. Featured by Hackaday, this Raspberry Pi-powered picture frame tracks market data to literally shred your money when your shares are down.

Inspired by British street-art hooligan Banksy, who famously built a shredder into a picture frame to destroy his artwork seconds after the hammer fell on its £860,000 auction (it jammed two-thirds of the way through, making owning something that expensive an even more terrifying experience, since a jolt could start it up again, completing its destructive work), German maker/artist Luis Marx (certainly a good surname to have when talking about capital) decided to put his money where his money already was.

Taking control of the means of production, Marx built the picture frame himself and modified an off-the-shelf paper shredder so that its on/off switch could be manipulated by a HobbyKing servo and an Arduino. He built a revolutionary motorized money-insertion device and 3D printed some parts to make the notes fall down the frame properly. 

Control comes in the form of a Raspberry Pi Zero (presumably the W model, as we see no ethernet adapter), which pulls financial data (and information about Marx’s Dogecoin investments) from Alphavantage’s API. When his portfolio makes a profit, crisp new Euro bills fall from the top of the frame. When he makes a loss, the shredder in the bottom edge destroys some cash. So not only does Marx have to suffer the indignity of his shares falling, he has to clean the floor too.

According to the European Central Bank, “Intentionally mutilated or damaged euro banknotes are not replaced,” so perhaps Marx would be better off tracking the semiconductor market instead.

Ian Evenden
Freelance News Writer

Ian Evenden is a UK-based news writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He’ll write about anything, but stories about Raspberry Pi and DIY robots seem to find their way to him.

  • Sippincider
    So just in case you're not losing enough on a bad market day, this will automatically shred some more just to make sure??

    Anyway what this world does need is a similar picture frame full of money... with a updating readout showing the money's fading value due to inflation.