Matt Leaverton

Software and Electronics.

Currently Senior Software Engineer at Glowforge

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Sonic Screwdriver

For Halloween 2012 I received a day-of invitation to a costume party and had nothing to wear. My roommates had recently introduced me to Doctor Who, and I was obsessed (here's to you David Tennant. My standard glasses matched his surprisingly well, and a nice trench coat score from the thrift store clinched it. As every self-respecting Whovian knows, no costume is complete without the handiest deus-ex-machina - the Sonic Screwdriver.

Minimal time to spare left me with around the house scrounging for parts. A highlighter wrapped in foil for the body, a tube from a ballpoint pin, a blue decorative jewel from a craft store, hand moldable plastic from an investigative order from Inventables, and a 9V battery for power made for the case - assembled with a generous helping of hot glue.

Thanks to my high school employer Accent Engineering, I had a decently stocked parts cabinet. In short order I had a few 555 timers, a piezo buzzer, and enough passives to build an Atari Punk Console Synth that sounded nicely like a sonic screwdriver.

APC sync schematic

I dremeled out space for a button in the side of the highlighter case, then crammed the electronics inside. I enveloped the 9V battery in moldable plastic and stuck it onto the tail end of the assembly to make a perfectly serviceable Sonic Screwdriver.