While we were true masters of the Etch-a-Sketch
in our youth -- our masterpiece work: "Stairs, a cross section" was a big hit with mom -- we were never privileged enough to own one of Tyco's Doodle Domes, which is basically an Etch-a-Sketch in a sphere. But at least we can live vicariously through Sam Wintermute, who hacked up his own Doodle Dome for computer-based arbitrary imaging. Along with that whole 3D thing, the Dome allows its stylus to be removed from the imaging surface, unlike those continuous-line Etch-a-Sketch drawings of yore, allowing for some especially complicated images when the computer is doing the work. The Digitized Doodle Dome works with a PICAxe microcontroller, two 5.25-inch floppy drive stepper motors, a servo and a few other miscellaneous parts to make the magic happen, and the whole assembly is removable to let Sam shake the dome and reset the image. As you can see from the pic above and a few more after the break, the results are quite impressive -- too bad each pic takes a day to render.