Most of us have fond memories of the Etch-a-Sketch from childhood. [Potent Printables] wanted to update the designs so he 3D printed an XY carriage for a stylus that works with a cell phone drawing program. You can see the video below and the 3D model details on Thingiverse.
The design is fun all by itself, but it also gave us a few ideas. For one thing, if you motorized it you could make some pretty clever drawing toys. But there could be a more practical use, too.
You’d have to automate the Z-axis as well, but if you did, this wouldn’t be a bad test jig for mobile application developers. The stylus could simulate finger poking and dragging while screen captures verified proper operation. Of course, there are other ways to do this, but it would be pretty neat to see a mechanized finger tracing out tests on a new user interface.
Besides that, it’s just a fun project that should be easy enough to scale up to use an old tablet that’s gathering up dust and make it useful again. In addition, the first part of the video shows how the real McCoy works, which is always fun.