little workstation

by littleBits

Published on April 23, 2014

Bring your artistic productivity to a new level with this littleBits + Alex Toys project! Roll out a clean sheet of paper with the push of a button and keep your workspace well lit at all times. 

How To Make It


Assemble your circuit: power + branch. From the arm of the branch, add wire + wire + wire + bright led + bright led + wire + bright led + bright led. From another arm of the branch, add button + timeout + branch + wire + wire + dc motor. From one arm of the second branch, add wire + dc motor. That is quite the circuit!


Make a base out of a large piece of thick cardboard. This will become your work surface. Set the ALEX paper dispenser  at the edge of your cardboard. Then make a large wooden base that both the paper dispenser and cardboard will sit on.


At the end of your base (opposite of the paper dispenser), build two boxes out of cardboard to house the two dc motors. Prop the dc motors up in the box on wooden blocks. Secure in place with tape or glue.


Cut a wooden dowel to the length of the distance between the two cardboard boxes.


Attach the ends of the dowel to the dc motors in the boxes. We used a custom motor adapter to make this connection (this is in the works, so stay tuned!). Please see the dc motor tips and tricks for other ways to connect the dc motor to various materials.


Make a light for your workstation. Cut a hole into the side of a plastic cup and stick it onto a styrofoam cone. Cover the front of the cup with cardboard and stick the bright leds to the cardboard. Then, decorate it however you like.


Roll out the paper and tape the end to your dowel.


Set the timeout bit to on-off. Use you screwdriver to adjust the timing for how long you want the paper to automatically roll for. When you push the button, the paper will roll for the time which you set, clearing your previous work.


Set the light sensor to dark mode. Now, the darker it gets, the brighter your lights will shine.


Time to get to work! Roll out a clean sheet of paper at your leisure and never strain you eyes from working in the dark!

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