Archive for August, 2011

RoboSketch - the robotic Etch-a-Sketch

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

I used to love Etch-a-Sketch when I was a kid.  I thought it was the coolest thing ever that those little knobs made something mechanical draw stuff.  Now I’m older and I’m into computers and electronics, but I still dig the real world.  These days I’m building 6 foot CNC machines to cut stuff out of wood, plastic, and metal.

I looked at my latest CNC router a little while ago and it struck me that’s it’s basically a giant Etch-a-Sketch for grown ups.  The thought progressed into an idea, and, well…  Here we are.

I know this has been done before, but it was an excuse to use my new CNC machine, take a shot at cutting gears to make sure they’d mesh well, and make something pretty cool in the process.  The gears and faceplate were cut from a single piece of 12″ x 10″ acrylic.  The programming is from scratch.

You can see more pics and download the source code from the Parallax forums, here:

Check out the videos below, and note that the lines are quite thin, so hi-res will show them better:

Hack-a-Day logo:

Test pattern: