High Voltage Etch a Sketch

What do you get when you mix a simple X/Y plotter, a Flyback transformer, and an unhealthy disregard for safety? Possibly the worlds most dangerous jumbo Etch a Sketch! [Kalboon] started off by making an imprecise X/Y movement device, similar to a CNC machine setup, but with less emphasis on precision. This rig is powered by some commonly salvagable materials, including an old scanner, a remote control car, and some hobby servos. We like this approach because most of these materials could be scrounged from a parts bin, surplus sale, or craigslist for little to no actual cost. The flyback transformer comes from an old TV or monitor, though if you have common sense safety concerns, we would recommend just mounting a dry erase marker and a dry erase board to substitute out the high voltage bits. For people wanting a low cost introduction project to making a CNC or Makerbot style build, this isn’t a bad place to start.

Comments

  1. Bill Porter says:
  2. mic says:

    I am gonna make one for my kids. (I hate those little %#&*s) Just kidding.

  3. paul says:

    @bill porter
    we’re not worthy, we’re not worthy!

  4. svofski says:

    This must be a case of tl;dr but I can’t understand at which point in this construction 50kV become necessary, for what?

  5. thaddius says:

    What’s with all this safety nonsense? Flybacks aren’t inherently dangerous, just keep the current low and you’re fine.
    Also, since when is Hackaday your mom? Calm down with the safety garbage, he made what he wanted, and I’m tired of people taking some moral high ground about danger and safety. If you don’t have the right to enforce your morality at me, you certainly have no right to force safety.
    Focus on the builds, leave the pretentious safety commentary to others.

  6. Piku says:

    The HV part is for drawing on thermal paper… and there’s no photos of it, but there is a short 30 second video.

    So that thing you all clicked the link to look at… isn’t actually there for you to see.

  7. svofski says:

    @Piku thanks for the clarification.

  8. ryan says:

    last 15 minutes wasted trying to hunt for what the HV was for, thanks @piku for clarifying

  9. Chris says:

    This project best summed up by AC/DC:

    “HIGH VOLTAGE! Done dirt cheap.”

  10. nicely done!

    i wonder if something along these lines would work for “drawing” on a piece of copperclad pcb spin coated with a micrometre thick layer of paint?

    interesting idea to use thermal paper for this, as there are a lot of demised obsolete fax machines that use specific paper which only fits them and nothing else.

    (does posting on HaD stop someone else later patenting the idea?)

  11. signal7 says:

    Useless writeup. No explanation of what he’s trying to accomplish or the theory behind what the project is supposed to do. If I don’t understand the problem, I don’t need the solution!

  12. fastfourier says:

    Don’t you mean a healthy disregard for safety?

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