Spin Art Bot


The Spin Art Bot uses simple circuitry and motors to create an out-of-this-world art machine! You’ll need scissors, tape, a battery-operated motor, and a few other simple materials. Building a Spin Art machine is a fun and easy project that is suitable for all ages and skill levels.

 


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Supplies Needed

  • Scissors
  • Duct Tape
  • Markers
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • One (1) plastic cup
  • One (1) small length of a hollow pool noodle (about 1 inch long)
  • One (1) hobby motor
  • One (1) AA battery
  • One (1) small section of bicycle tubing (about 1/2 inch wide)
  • One (1) piece of chipboard or cardboard (about 12 inches square)

How to Make Portable Spin Art

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Step 1: Create a Housing for the Motor

Cut off a small section of pool noodle, approximately 1 1/4″-1 1/2″ tall, and tape it to the bottom of your cup by wrapping the tape around the contact area of the noodle and cup.

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Step 2: Place the Motor in the Base

Place your motor into the opening of the pool noodle. Make sure that the motor is gear side up, with the wires coming out of the top of the hole. Don’t push it too far into the hole; if your pool noodle piece is too deep then you might want to put some paper or tape in the bottom of the hole before the motor.

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Step 3: Wrap the Battery

Take the small section of bicycle tube (cut to appx. 1/2″ wide, like a thick rubber band) and wrap it around the ends of the AA battery, the long way. This tubing will be used to hold the motor wires against the battery’s contact points.

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Step 4: Attach the Battery to the Cup

Tape the wrapped battery to the side of the cup. Make sure that the ends of the battery are accessible and in reach of the motor wires. If you’re using duct tape, you may have to cut a piece of tape length-wise to get it thin enough.

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Step 5: Make a Chipboard Disc

Use a circular object (like a roll of tape) to trace a circle onto the cardboard or chipboard with a marker. Then use the scissors to cut the circle out of the cardboard.

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Step 6: Make a Hole in the Chipboard Disc

Use the scissors to poke a small hole into the center of the circle, only big enough to fit over the spinning part of the motor. It is easier to smart with a really small hole and make it bigger if you need to. If your hole seems too big, then you can add a piece of tape and try again! Your goal is to make a hole that the top of the motor fits into somewhat snugly. (The picture shows what will be the bottom of the circle when assembled, and includes a bonus draft circle drawing.)

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Step 7: Cover the Hole with Tape

Cover the hole on the top side of the circle with a piece of tape. This will keep the motor from poking through the hole.

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Step 8: Add Hot Glue to the Hole

Heat up the glue gun and use it to add a drop of glue to the inside of the hole. Then, turn off the glue gun and make sure to leave it somewhere safe to cool off! This will secure the chipboard to the motor.

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Step 9: Attach the Chipboard Disc to the Motor Gear

Secure the cardboard circle to the top of motor gear. Hold it in place for a moment so that the glue can set.

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Step 10: Attach the Wire Leads to the Battery

Connect the two wire leads to the battery by slipping them under the bike tube wrapper, with the red wire touching the positive contact and the black wire touching the negative contact. Your Spin Art bot should start spinning! You may also want to tape one of the wire leads to your battery using masking tape and then leave the other wire untaped so that you can remove it when you want to turn the motor off.

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Step 11: Add Paper

Attach a circle of paper to the top of your chipboard disc with tape.

*You could also use two (2) mini binder clips to clip your paper in place.

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Step 12: Spin and Draw!

Start your motor and drag markers across the paper to create interesting circles and patterns.

You can keep going by replacing the paper each time you’d like to make new art!