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Sketch Watch and Endless Sketchbook

Sometime last weekend the thought occurred to me that it would be really cool to have an endless loop sketchbook. Old answering machine tapes where looped and it’s pretty easy to make a looped video or audio cassette, so I was thinking, it would be great to have an endless loop sketchbook. It would be even cooler to have an endless Möbius strip sketchbook. You could keep on sketching until both sides of the paper where filled, then you could just keep going. When you where done with your sketchbook, you might want to attach a motor to it and have it slowly display your work on the wall, Awesome! I’m going to keep thinking about this idea some and hopefully will have some product out eventually. I’ve also been thinking about prize winning Instructables to enter to win that laser cutter, if I can pull it off this one would be great to post.

Then I was thinking that it would be really cool to have a sketch watch. It would be a scrolling sketchbook you wear on your wrist like a watch. The following photograph shows the potential for awesomeness with this device.


This could be you.

So while drinking coffee at the bar I hang out at and watching old music videos late on Sunday night, I put the first prototype together. Using bar coasters, straws, rubber bands and paper, I was able to have a working version of the sketch watch.
I decided to hold off on making the early versions of the sketch watch allow the paper to loop. The mechanics would be more difficult to work out. I’m sure as this product develops, I will be offering many more versions and features. Remember, this is still the prototype stage.
Since Sunday night, I’ve done a bit more work and drafts of the sketch watch.

Prototypes of sketch watchesFour of the prototypes

The bar coaster version is simple and rough, I would love to be able to upcycle some materials to make these watches. For some reason bar coasters aren’t the right material, they tend to absorb liquid and lose shape quickly. The cardboard and matte board versions both look pretty good and are somewhat functional. I’m not the greatest woodworker in the worlds and our shop expert Dave Selden has been out of town so, my balsa wood version is still needing a lot of love. I would like to have our final product made out of some nice wood and ideally use no glue or nails to keep it together. I’m a fan of rubber bands and they tend to work very well. I’m sure Dave will have some great ideas about production and overall design of these sketchy products.
It would be great through the prototype phase of this and get into production on these watches. I would love to send one to the Coudal Partners Swapmeat as they extended the deadline for this articipitation project until the end of May.

Designing such an awesome product like this isn’t easy. My initial drawings, I really over engineered this watch, I had many gears and different ways of having a hard backing push against the paper. Then as the design notes evolved, the less engineered versions just made more sense, they would be easier to build and work better too. Simple is good.

Here are some images of me wearing one of the prototypes. Keep in mind that the size on this is quite a bit larger than what I’m looking for, the depth will probably stay the same as I need to fit a large scroll of paper in there. The sides are not built and I’m using 2 braces to hold the spinning knobs in place.


Me watching the sketch watch As you can see, I’m amazed at this watch. The backing for the sketch paper is tensioned by 2 rubber bands. Each side of the backing has more than enough room to allow the paper to slide through. This backing provides a solid surface to sketch on.

Another wrist viewYou can see here how the tension holding it together is not actually on the brackets but 4 loose pieces of dowel. You can see how much of the watch can be slimmed down here too.

Atom suggested putting a led light inside to back light what you’re drawing. I think this would be awesome. It would add a little to production time but since we are still in the prototyping stages, it’s not a problem. Wood is certainly my first pick for materials although a clear plastic version would look pretty awesome. Metal would also be pretty cool. As I think about it, tin or aluminum cans would be interesting, cardboard, old phone books might work, perhaps water bottles or glass, there are a lot of options. It would be great to find something that is in large abundance yet people just throw it away… computer parts???

Below are some consolidated notes on this idea. I basically combined several pages of notes and ideas to this page. I wanted this to be fun and if I ever sell some creative input, this is a great example of what one might get.

Sketch Watch Endless Loop Sketchbook
Click to see Larger version of
Sketch Watch and Endless Loop Sketchbook notes

There is a lot to do with this project but, I do hope to make at least a hand full of these watches to sell on MoHDI and give as gifts. If I can share how to build these products, then the people building these will really help in improving this product. Also it might win me a laser cutter.

If you have ideas or suggestions feel free to comment on this post. I’ll be writing again about these soon.

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