Week 6: Motors

For my sixth week in Introduction to Fabrication, I created a playful spin art machine. I desired to create a kiddish enclosure that contained all of the materials to draw fun art.

My circuit
Testing the circuit

I purchased a 40x40x10 5V 2 Pin fan and a 4.5V battery holder from Tinkersphere. I created and soldered the circuit.

The original template

The plans for my project changed significantly. I originally intended to laser cut my template on birch wood for the top and bottom and connect them with standoffs.

My new material

While doing laundry, however, I found tossed cardboard that kids appeared to paint on. I found this aesthetic to be perfect for my enclosure. I decided to cut this by hand and ditch my previous template.


I measured the size of my base to be 12 by 15 cm and the sides to be 4 by 15 cm. The top of my enclosure is 16 cm because I planned to fold the piece of cardboard. I originally cut the cardboard with a box cutter, but I had difficulty creating straight lines. Instead I used scissors.

Box cutter
Testing drill bits
Hot glue

I used the box cutter carefully to create the hole to insert my fan. I tested different drill bit sizes for my toggle switch. I connected all of my pieces with hot glue.

Extra piece of cardboard attached for the enclosure

A really great part of cardboard is the bendable quality. When I bent my cardboard, however, I noticed a large space. I glued a thin slice underneath and attached that piece to the bottom of my enclosure with sticky tack. At one point my circuit broke after I finished my project, but I easily opened and fixed the wires.

Adding watercolor to my spin art machine

In the next step, I cut more pieces of cardboard to create a holder for my paper and pens. In the final touches, I colored the ridges of the cardboard. I didn’t have paint on me so instead I mixed watercolor with wood glue.

Aerial view
Back view
Side view
Side view
Front view
Creating spin art

Overall I really like my project. My users complimented the color scheme. If I could change anything, I would have colored all of my pieces of cardboard before gluing them together. Additionally I could have laser cut my pieces, but I worried about how flammable the paint is.