Product: Toy: Drawing
Dashed Line Capable Etch-a-Sketch   (+1)  [vote for, against]

Not much to ask is it.

Lift up the x and y knobs to move the cursor without drawing a line. Push 'em back down to carry on drawing as normal.

Finally get to draw the sun in the sky, without it being joined to the cloud or the tree.


Having researched this a little further, I can now propose the mechanism by which this would work [thanks to half, thanks to the link]

In pushing down the x and y knobs, the orthagonal tracks that house the stylus would be sunk further into the casing. This would allow the stylus to be removed from the surface of the plastic and thus be moved without drawing.

If a lazer (like those presentation pointers) was added to the stylus head, this would shine through the silver thus indicating where the pointer is when you can't see it.

-- jonthegeologist, Jun 18 2003

Pc controlled Etch a sketch
[PiledHigherandDeeper, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Magna's were no good for straight lines, hence the joy of the etch-a-sketch.
-- jonthegeologist, Jun 18 2003

*bows to the doodle expert*
-- jonthegeologist, Jun 18 2003

Well, I like it.
-- krelnik, Jun 18 2003

this must be possible surely - a way to draw a perfect circle too, please. +1
-- po, Jun 18 2003

If i remember correctly, you can do this by carefully turning the etch- a-sketch upside down and moving the pointer.. then again it was years ago, am I making this up? [not that having the pull-up buttons doesn't still serve a purpose] +
-- xercyn, Jun 18 2003

It'd be darn hard to know where to set the stylus back to the surface because, once lifted, it'd disappear and you'd have no way to see where the stylus is.
-- bristolz, Jun 18 2003

Good point. Assuming that it would shine through the silver, add an itty bitty laser to the stylus to show its location while retracted.

+ if for no other reason than because I'm in an Etch-a-Sketch frame of mind lately.

po, I ran across a site recently where a guy hooked up an Etch-a-Sketch to his computer using stepper motors in place of the knobs. That'd come pretty close to being able to produce a circle.
-- half, Jun 18 2003

Maybe just use the laser and a laser-sensitive surface to do all of the marking. Then you could modulated the laser in unusual ways to generate natural media line styles and spirograph like motifs. You could even have a deluxe model that transmits the instructions for a drawing so that a friend could retrieve them and see your drawing on her unit, a Fetch-a-Sketch.
-- bristolz, Jun 18 2003

etch o sketch is great! while changing the design, flexible pivots and a third knob could be added for making curves. granted your talented sketchers can master this feat, but your elementary users would devinitely enjoy the perks of curves :)
-- bubblegrrl79, Jun 18 2003

How about an IR interface so that what you draw on your unit shows up in real time on your friend's unit for covert communications? Great for the noisy bar scene.
-- half, Jun 18 2003

Or to send provocative messages to the girl down the bar a ways - Letch-a-sketch.
-- bristolz, Jun 18 2003

And for the disgusted recipient of such messages, it becomes a Retch-a-Sketch?
-- half, Jun 18 2003

I'm giving you a croissant but only because I live with you and you keep moaning that I haven't voted for you yet

Actually I like the idea too.
-- hazel, Jun 18 2003

tetch-a-sketch if they get annoyed by the pic you send...
-- jonthegeologist, Jun 18 2003

An elastic, resizable screen...
-- half, Jun 18 2003

Expand-a-sketch? That's lame, [half].
-- bristolz, Jun 18 2003

// move the cursor without drawing a line //

You would have no way of knowing where the 'cursor' is. Which is not a problem if you don't care.
-- waugsqueke, Jun 18 2003

how profound!

I am going to embroider that onto a little sampler and frame it and put it on my bedroom wall so that it is the last thing I see at night and the first thought that I wake to in the morning <g>
-- po, Jun 18 2003

Adding to the Etch-a-Sketch ruins the challenge of overcoming the limitations of a very simple device. If you want something that allows you to draw easily and practically, get a pen and paper. If you don't want to use up paper, get a tablet PC. The challenge is part of the fun. An Etch-a-Sketch picture will never be as good as a picture in most other mediums, but it can be appreciated because others know how hard it is to draw anything good on an Etch-a-Sketch.
-- scad mientist, Jun 18 2003

what scad said [-]
-- oxen crossing, Jun 18 2003

I'll concur with Mr. Mientist.

One of the things that makes EaS art uniquely challenging is that you can't lift the line up. Hence, you must be clever in your planning, incorporating all linking lines into the rendered scene. If the EaS were given the ability to not make lines, it would lose most of its charm.

One might liken it to the CDs vs vinyl debate. Sure CDs are more convinient and sound better (in theory). But they lack the je ne sais quoi that records provide to purists.
-- rapid transit, Jun 19 2003

Um, Paper, Pencil, MUCH easier.
-- althyr, Jun 19 2003

Or a device you can hook up to you comp and draw on with a pencil, but I find pencil easiest.
-- althyr, Jun 19 2003

There was this kid who was extreamly good at etch a sketch that drew detailed human faces. He would spend weeks (or mybe months) creating his drawings. After one picture was done, he would go out and buy another etch a sketch so he wouldnt have to ruin his previous creation. Just goes to show how much more fun it can be than old pen n paper.

Gets my positive vote...
-- DarkRanger, Jun 21 2003

The first time I read your post, [DarkRanger], I misread one important vowel, and the result was quite unintional: I imagined this boy, consulting a live model, spending months painstakingly rendering detailed images of human feces. The funniest was the mental image of the boy passing through an endless gallery of Etch-a-Sketch feces to add another steamer to his collection.

As for the laser: The necessary power source would complicate. Best to nix it, thus keeping some of the skill and guesswork inherent to the Etch-a- Sketch experience.
-- MusicalKungFu, Jun 20 2004

random, halfbakery