Computerized Etch A Sketch @ Maker Faire

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Computerized Etch A Sketch @ Maker Faire

Computerized Etchasketch

Never been able to realize your artistic vision on the old grey screen? Neil’s project may be of help –

Anyone who has tried to use an Etch A Sketch knows that a good deal of co-ordination is needed in order to draw anything but horizontal and vertical lines. It quickly becomes obvious that a computer would be far better at controlling the horizontal and vertical knobs than a human.

Accordingly, I pulled the knobs off of an Etch A Sketch and attached it to two stepper motors which in turn are attached to the parallel port of a computer. This gives one the ability to control the plotter’s movements with a standard mouse or analog joystick (more intuitive interfaces than the knobs). Having a computer in the loop also allows one to record what movements are done, so one can edit them and play them back.

Come see the automated art at Bay Area Maker Faire – Computerized Etch A Sketch

 Images Makerfaire Logos Makerfaire
Makerfaire Poems

Maker Faire is a two-day, family-friendly event that celebrates the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset May 3rd and 4th at the San Mateo Fairgrounds, CA ( It’s for creative, resourceful people of all ages and backgrounds who like to tinker and love to make things. Buy tickets now and save, discount ticket sales end on April 25th, 2008.

If you’re in the Bay Area, or plan to attend Maker Faire add “makerfaire” to your Twitter, we’ll be giving away tickets and will have updates before and during Maker Faire!

6 thoughts on “Computerized Etch A Sketch @ Maker Faire

  1. Matt Sanfilippo says:

    Here is my version of the Etch-a-sketch CNC from a couple of years ago:

  2. Peter says:

    Anyone know what kind of typewriter is featured in the “Poems about Anything” photo?

  3. says:

    This is not new. I did it as a senior project in college, back in 1978 … gosh, 30 years ago.

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