Make An Etch-a-sketch Clock Using Arduino

We all loved our etch-a-sketches when we were kids, spending hours drawing and re-drawing everything under the sun. Now, you can re-live your childhood with the superb etch-a-sketch clock guide created by Instructables user dodgey99. The design is relatively simple, using a Perspex base to hold the etch-a-sketch with an Arduino powering the time changes. The beauty of the design is that it can easily be molded and shaped into a personalized design which suits your personality.

The first step is creating the base and frame which will hold the etch-a-sketch in place and contain the motors which will turn the knobs as time passes. This is the part where you can get creative, although I would recommend measuring the etch-a-sketch beforehand to gain the correct dimensions. You then attach two motors and a small pulley system which will be used to turn the knobs on the etch-a-sketch, ensuring the tension is tight. Mount the etch-a-sketch and admire the construction phase of the project.

Then it’s on to the electronics, which aren’t as complicated as one may think. A real stroke of genius in the electronics is the use of a real time clock. This ensures that you won’t have to reset the time on the Arduino board every time you powered it on. When programming the Arduino, you need to set the clock which simply involves copying and pasting some code. From here, it is a matter of tweaking the settings to ensure the etch-a-sketch is drawing what is required as needed.

The possibilities for customization in this project are endless. Beyond having the ability to personalize the housing and base for the actual etch-a-sketch, you can play around with the programming too. Customizing the numbers which are displayed on the etch-a-sketch can be a lot of fun! Once assembled, customized, and tested switch it on and admire the memory of your childhood in full flow!