While 3D printed accessories for your phone or tablet are nothing new this project that replicates the classic Etch A Sketch toy is in a different league.
Ali Aslam – the man behind Potent Printables – is to thank for this, having turned it from a clever idea into a finished print.
To replicate the toy a phone sits on a bed that is then moved horizontally by a rack and pinion. A DIY stylus with a capacitive head is connected to a similar mechanism that moves vertically, and the two replicate the drawing style of the Etch A Sketch.
Any drawing app can then be used for your artistic endeavours, but Simple Draw was what was used here.
Aslam tells us that designing the model in SolidWorks took between two and three days, going through multiple iterations to get everything perfect.
Printing in the classic red filament with white for the dials took 16 hours to make a print that measures in at 136 x 178 x 51 millimetres.
At this size most phones should fit but the entire print, or just the bed, can be scaled to fit your device.
After removing the supports and some sanding to smooth things down the print should be ready to go, but some may want to do some extra finishing work to ensure that the gears are as accurate as possible, or to ease any worries about scratching the device.
You can see a short demo of the print embedded below, and a longer video is available on YouTube.
While you will need to experiment with a stylus (tin foil or even conductive filament could work for this) there is always the option of using a phone that already supports one, such as the Samsung Note 9. Aslam says he hasn’t had the opportunity to test one of these devices, but it should work just fine.
This is far from the first time we’ve featured a 3D print made to attach to your phone. The last time we featured such a project was for an adapter to marry the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons to your phone. This idea was later co-opted for the Razer Phone.