How to Make a Raspberry Pi Powered Etch-a-Sketch System

By on September 30, 2018
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The Etch-A-Sketch was released by The Ohio Art Company in 1960.

The popularity of the device is sort of interesting because it has lots of annoying problems:

  • knobs only move the cursor up/down/left/right. Diagonals and curves require a steady precision that most children 3+ simply don’t have.
  • you can’t draw two objects that are not connected.
  • No ability to undo small mistakes. If you want to undo something you’ll have to redo your whole masterpiece.

This Raspberry Pi powered Etch-a-Sketch is a sort of high definition game: it is capable of drawing almost anything you can think of and upload. It allows the retro drawing device to draw images sent to the pine mini PC.

The required hardware is:

  • Raspberry Pi
  • Etch a Sketch
  • 1x Piece of Wood
  • 2x Stepper Motor
  • 2x Shaft Coupler
  • 8x Jumper Cables

As the maker writes on its website, his plan is to write a program that uses some motors to draw nice pictures on an etch-a-sketch.

For the reasons above, recreating pictures by hand is tedious and extremely difficult. My hope was to get to a point where my program could draw things better than I could. I’ve always wanted to learn more about how to use hardware with python so I was pretty excited to start this one.


About Luca Ruggeri

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