Check Out This Unique Etch A Sketch Camera

Martin Fitzpatrick has built one of the most interesting cameras we've ever seen: one that displays the captured image by drawing it on an Etch a Sketch.

The camera, dubbed the Etch-A-Snap, was built using a Raspberry Pi Zero attached to a digital camera and stepper motors and seated in a 3D-printed frame with gears that turn the Etch A Sketch knobs. Each image is converted to a 240 x 144 pixel file (that's about .034 megapixels for those keeping track at home) with a 1-bit color profile (meaning every pixel is either black or white). 

After that, the image is converted to plotter commands, which tell the machine how to turn the gears to control the Etch A Sketch knobs and thus, to generate the final image. From capture to display, the entire process takes around 20-30 minutes. The Etch-A-Snap also runs entirely on battery power, so you can take it wherever you please, though you'll probably want to capture a normal digital image of the final product for a permanent version. You can see a time-lapse of it in the video above. 

If you'd like to try building one yourself, you can find all the plans on Fitzpatrick's website.

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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That is entirely bonkers. In equal measure, brilliant. I love it.

Does it have dual card slots?...