Our New Tagtool

This is a photo of our new Tagtool-in-a-box. It is a family effort – Dima made the Tagtool and I designed and made the box!
This shows the box packed up and ready to put the lid on, with the gamepad, plugs and all the cables needed to connect it to the projector inside. The Tagtool section has slots on either side so that it can be positioned for right or left handed use and the drawing surface can also be lifted out and angled for drawing.

Now that I usually use my new Wacom drawing tablet and wide-screen laptop with my Tagtool Mini, Dima’s original idea was to use my old Intuos and laptop to make a D.I.Y.Cintiq which he would then build into a Tagtool all in one so that we could use the two together in some collaborative drawing sessions. Although I was really interested in the idea of having a D.I.Y. Cintiq to play with I was less happy about having it embedded in a Tagtool all in one (Dima is right handed but I draw with my left hand so would have to draw with my arms crossed if I wanted to use it!).

The initial stages of the ‘build’ could more accurately be described as ‘destruction’. First Dima took to pieces (literally) the laptop, then it was the turn of my old Wacom to have all its innards removed. As I have no technical know-how this looked all very alarming and I couldn’t imagine how the bits and pieces could possibly be put together again, let alone work! I took lots of photos of the various stages and have put them in an album so that anyone who is interested can view the whole process step by step.
Dima made a test of Tagtool drawing through the laptop screen by laying it over our new Intuos and as the picture below shows, this worked fine.
However, when he put the screen over the ‘sandwich’ of the innards of the old Wacom and laptop, some parts of the drawing area didn’t work so well. Rather than take everything to pieces again Dima decided to abandon the D.I.Y.Cintiq idea for this build. As by this time he had cut up the outside of the Wacom to make the box for the Tagtool, he put a piece of thin perspex over the drawing area of the Wacom instead. (This has been a great success, as the perspex gives a much enhanced sensitivity to the pressure of the pen – which I find really useful for drawing.)
I was absolutely delighted when the old Wacom, laptop, Tagtool and gamepad worked first time when Dima finally put them together. All that unscrewing and undoing of wires, pulling things apart, sawing bits off, repositioning and joining up had been a success!

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