Drawing with Gears

I wonder how many kids got a Spirograph for Christmas?

I know that, as a child, I had one and used it all the time.  It just needed a clean sheet of paper, four pins and the drawing wheels to keep me amused for hours.  At one point, I thought of myself as an artist but that quickly passed.

A scientific analysis (for an elementary school student at the time) revealed that the magic was all in the colour of the pen and the size of the plastic wheel that I chose.  Later, when we studied gears and gear ratios in science, it all became clear as to exactly how it worked.

Now that fun exists online in the form of Inspirograph.

It seems to be a pretty faithful electronic version.

Along the left side, you can choose your wheels – one fixed and the other rotates around (or in) it.  You then choose the hole to insert your pen.  On the right, you have the sorts of tools that you would expect.  Foreground/background colours, and editing tools.  There’s also the promise of a mobile app.  That would be sweet for those days waiting for the dentist….

There’s a great deal of mathematics that goes into the artwork.  Gears, Ratios, Patterns, …

Plus, there’s always a great deal of fun designing your own layouts or even a personal logo?

Check out the gallery for results from people who took great pride in their designs.

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