A circuit redesign of the original Drawdio, with a 3D printed mount

The original concept for this project was the existing Drawdio, developed in the MIT Media lab. I was interested by the idea that you could embed the local environment into an electrical circuit to alter the output of a circuit. In this instance, the Drawdio is a circuit which utilises the use of a 555 timer chip to produce an astable output frequency. The frequency depends upon the resistance of the input from the environment. As the line that you draw gets longer, the input resistance increases and the pitch becomes lower. This can be used to produced rudimentary music.

My derivative of the circuit used a lower power variant of the 555 timer (551), so that a single coin battery could be used instead of single/double AA batteries. Further adjustments to the circuit had to be made to allow for a lower supply voltage.

I designed a 3D mount for the circuit board, speaker and pencil, to allow for it to clip together. This was subsequently fabricated using a FORM 1 3D printer. Two of the images show the progression of the designs of the mounts for the components.

Instructions for the assembly and use of the kit were produced and I ran a few sessions at the Cambridge Makespace to engage young children in electronics.