Electrographic Enlarging Sketchifier does your drawing for you


Back in the 80’s, there used to be a kid’s toy that would allow you to replicate an image by tracing a pre-drawn picture in one panel, while a mechanical arm laid down ink in another. We’d be hard-pressed to remember what the thing was called, but this Electrographic Enlarging Sketchifier would be a wonderful modern day stand-in.

flickr user [Imajilon] constructed this cool motorized pantograph out of tongue depressors, rivets, foam core board, and a handful of electronic components. Despite its bargain basement bill of materials, this thing is pretty darn cool. An optical sensor “views” an image and drives a simple FET circuit, replicating the picture automatically using an electrically driven pen mechanism.

Looking through her flickr stream, we thought the results were quite impressive. She does plan on making a second version of the Sketchifier with a smaller light sensitive area, which should allow her to resolve even smaller features of the source drawing.

[via BuildLounge]

10 thoughts on “Electrographic Enlarging Sketchifier does your drawing for you

  1. Right, I know that the “technical” term is pantograph, but we all swear that they had some catchy 80’s name attached to them, which no one can recall.

  2. Hey, cool, you guys picked this up!

    I just searched and found the toy mentioned up thread (“vintage pantograph toy”)- and lo, it was called the ‘Sketch-a-Graph’ and made by Ohio Art way back when. Same basic idea but without the all-important sketchification factor. ;)

    Thanks for the post!

  3. Thanks, Paul!

    Based on the post over at the BuildLounge, I want to to clarify a key point about the way this works- you manually scan the pickup head over the original. I left the scanning as a manual function so I could use similar techniques to regular sketching.

    Not to say hooking up some servos or steppers to the linkage and driving them with a computer or microcontroller wouldn’t be cool- I’d love to see something like that myself! Maybe one of these days . . . :)

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