Introduction: Easy Squiggle Bot

Picture of Easy Squiggle Bot

Don't let the number of steps in this Instructable fool you. This Squiggle Bot is as easy as advertised. If you have all of the parts on hand and any experience soldering wires together, you can probably build this bot in five minutes flat. So, what are you waiting for? Amaze your friends and scare your cat with your very own drawing robot!

Step 1: Go Get Stuff

Picture of Go Get Stuff

You will need:

-Thermaltake 120mm Fan (Black/Red) (Model: A2368 | Catalog #: 28-1108)
- Fully Insulated 9V Battery Snap Connectors (Model: 270-325 | Catalog #: 270-325)
- EnercellĀ® Alkaline 9 Volt Battery (Model: 23-853 | Catalog #: 23-853)
- craft markers
- rubber bands

Step 2: Snap

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With a pair of pliers, snap off three adjacent fan blades from the computer fan.

Step 3: Wire

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Solder the red wire from the battery connector to the red wire from the fan.

Solder the black wire from the battery connector to the black wire from the fan.

Step 4: Insulate

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Cover each of the exposed solder joints separately with electrical tape so that they can't cross.

Step 5: Rubber Bands

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Pull rubber bands through each of the four corner holes of the fan.

Step 6: Markers

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Use the rubber bands to attach markers to the fan. Make sure that all of the marker tips are pointing the same way. Adjust the height of the markers so that the fan is suspended level above your work surface.

Step 7: Battery Time

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Rubber band the battery onto your fan in such a way that it won't interfere with the fan spinning.

Step 8: Caps Off

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Remove the marker caps and set them aside.

Step 9: Plug

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Plug in your 9V battery. The bot should start to wobble.

Step 10: Go!

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Put your bot down on a piece of paper and watch it draw.


Zingala made it! (author)2017-11-14

Had a fun time making one of these.

randofo (author)Zingala2017-11-15

Nice! :)

shaunelse made it! (author)2017-05-07

We made a similar "Draw Bot" in Sept this year...

BennyB4 (author)2015-09-07

My brother made something like that. He made the vibration thing himself. It was a lot more powerful so it jumped and (I think) made the painting a lot more interesting.

jumbuck68 (author)2015-08-20

I've just bought a packet of phone vibration motors to make some toothbrush bots. With my 6 and 8 yo sons. I'm thinking they'll be able to drive this as well, but I'm going to add a string anchor so it doesn't wander too far and draw on my dining room table

revjaydub (author)2014-04-17

Here's a couple low-budget wind-up versions I made a dozen years back:

User1 (author)revjaydub2015-08-16


Loved the artwork too!

smandal13 (author)2015-08-16

excellent job

DanM37 (author)2015-08-16

That's pretty cool! And so simple to make! Awesome Randy!

Dusseced (author)2013-12-17


Matt428 (author)2013-12-11


crishrx (author)2013-10-15


o5ntuki (author)2013-09-11


thecrazymagnetman (author)2012-06-14

simple, extremely easy, AND COOL

houdini0118 (author)2012-04-02

i made one of these without the fan because i didnt have one on hand so i just used a high speed motor out of a printer i took apart a while back with a weight on the axle and it worked great

Michael_Bell (author)2012-03-21

could you use some other type of stilts to avoid drawing everywhere? I dont have much paper.

sdcauley (author)2011-09-28

Love the Squiggle Bot!

INFUSEDgoods (author)2011-07-15

very cool, if I had that fan I'd build one now.

Where can I get that brand of fan?


randofo (author)INFUSEDgoods2011-07-15

Radioshack sells these fancy red and black ones, but any computer fan will do.

Redgerr (author)2011-07-15

really cool idea, thanks!

the only thought i have would be that it might overheat the motor if you leave it for too long... i dont know though... i wonder if you just added some weight on the side of one of the fan blades it might do the same thing

ill have to test it


randofo (author)Redgerr2011-07-15


ostomesto (author)2011-07-04

Guy 1: AAAUUUUGGG my computer fan is broken and is unstable what do i DO?
Guy 2: Turn it into a sguigglebot duh!

Redgerr (author)ostomesto2011-07-15

well played... well played

Redgerr (author)2011-07-15

if none/1 was cut then it would kinda just vibrate a little and not move much... with the two the weight is uneven and it flails around a little more... i assume

Qtechknow (author)2011-07-12

How is yours stable? My bot has 1 marker crooked at almost all times. Any answers?

Qtechknow (author)Qtechknow2011-07-12

Oh wait, I got it to work. Thanks anyways!

sunshiine (author)2011-07-04


jothikarthik (author)sunshiine2011-07-11

hello sir i nee make a new first robot in my own style sir please sent notes for my mail id sir

mnaazmy (author)2011-07-11

then only the air gaps are formed and it vibrates to aquiggle...... xD

static (author)2011-07-09

So why bother with soldering anyway? Twist the wires together, tape to prevent a short.

randofo (author)static2011-07-09

It's a more reliable connection, but you can do that too if you prefer not to solder.

Lindie (author)2011-07-05


ibod (author)2011-07-05

Keep these ideas coming ^^ This is perfect for 'Project Night' where my 5 year old son and I spend some time together building goofy things and I surreptitiously program him to be a tinkerer.

Much thanks, I'm looking forward to building it.

iceng (author)2011-07-04

Very COOL imaginative MacGyver like application of simple materials.
But what a horrific way to treat a nice fan :-)
Does tilting the table do anything ?


blinkyblinky (author)iceng2011-07-05

I agree with you

splazem (author)2011-07-05

I have a computer fan available to me... I have to make this!

About This Instructable




Bio: My name is Randy and I am a Community Manager in these here parts. In a previously life I had founded and run the Instructables ... More »
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