March 11, 2014 AT 10:00 am

How to make Scribbling Machines from The Tinkering Studio #makereducation

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The Tinkering Studio of San Francisco’s exploratorium museum has a great collection how-to projects for young makers, including how to make scribbling machines!

A Scribbling Machine is a motorized contraption that moves in unusual ways and leaves a mark to trace its path. It’s made from simple materials and demonstrates the erratic motion created by an offset motor.

We like using harvested motors and switches from discarded toys and electronics and everyday objects like strawberry baskets and milk cartons in our creations. Try changing the length and weight of the eccentric motors, testing various drawing tools, experimenting with materials used for the base, and increasing and decreasing the speed of the motors. You will be amazed at the different motions and patterns you can create.

What are the qualities that we value in this activity?
New use for everyday objects
This is a playful and inventive way of using harvested motors and switches from discarded toys and electronics.

Exploring variables
Each Scribbling Machine is unique, because everyone is investigating different methods for changing the variables: the length and weight of the eccentric motors, methods of drawing, materials used for the base, the speed of the motors, etc.

High tech/Low tech
This exploration is a good example of a low-tech activity that works well on its own, but can be made more complex and interactive utilizing the microcontrollers and sensors.

Read more.


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