Up, not North

Drawdio hack: the Syntheslicer!

March 21st, 2010

As a fundraiser for Site 3 I’m planning on holding some learn-to-solder/kitbuilding workshops, using some of the projects from Adafruit*. (If you’re in Toronto and interested in the workshops, please get in touch!) Today I test built one of the kits, the Drawdio. The Drawdio is a toy that attaches to a pencil and uses the conductive properties of graphite to make noise from what you draw. It’s easy to assemble, fun, and perfect for beginners.

Unfortunately, I was missing a crucial piece: a thumbtack to attach the circuit to the pencil. Of course, the circuit doesn’t have to travel through a pencil, so I attached it to something else instead:

The Syntheslicer

I call it “The Syntheslicer.” Here’s a video of it in action:

It’s very simple to build, once you’ve made the circuit: find a knife with a non-metallic grip (wood, plastic, or rubber should all work). Attach the Drawdio to the handle — I used a zip-tie. Using copper tape connect one end of the circuit board to the blade, and the other end to the handle so that your hand will be touching copper when you hold the knife. That’s it! To use it, hold the Syntheslicer in one hand and a fork with a metallic handle in the other, and start playing with your food!

Please don’t use your Syntheslicer as a weapon. Also, I wouldn’t recommend waving it around in public, especially in Boston: they’d probably think it was some sort of stab-bomb.

* Incidentally, I was introduced to Arduino using Adafruit’s Starter Pack.

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