Easy Squiggle Bot




About: My name is Randy and I am a Community Manager in these here parts. In a previous life I had founded and run the Instructables Design Studio (RIP) @ Autodesk's Pier 9 Technology Center. I'm also the author ...

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!

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Step 1: Go Get Stuff

You will need:

- Computer Fan
- 9V Battery Snap Connectors
- Alkaline 9 Volt Battery
- Craft markers
- Rubber bands

Please note that some of the links on this page contain Amazon affiliate links. This does not change the price of any of the items for sale. However, I earn a small commission if you click on any of those links and buy anything. I reinvest this money into materials and tools for future projects. If you would like an alternate suggestion for a supplier of any of the parts, please let me know.

Step 2: Snap

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

Step 3: Wire

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

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

Step 5: Rubber Bands

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

Step 6: Markers

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

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

Step 8: Caps Off

Remove the marker caps and set them aside.

Step 9: Plug

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

Step 10: Go!

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

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2 People Made This Project!


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35 Discussions


Reply 1 year ago

Nice! :)


3 years ago on Introduction

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.


3 years ago on Introduction

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


5 years ago on Introduction

Here's a couple low-budget wind-up versions I made a dozen years back: http://jeffwoodbury.com/gall/gal.php?pgid=critters

1 reply

4 years ago on Introduction

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


7 years ago on Introduction

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


7 years ago on Introduction

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


8 years ago on Introduction

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


1 reply