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: http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?133457-RoboSketch-Propeller-controlled-Etch-a-Sketch
Check out the videos below, and note that the lines are quite thin, so hi-res will show them better:
Hack-a-Day logo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MNqW1GT4nc
Test pattern: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3iPjJfIIOs