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. 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!

  2. 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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