Beautiful, spirographian images created with metal and wood drawing machines

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Heh. Yeah I remember my Spirograph, too.


I am not sure if Spirograph is like Xerox or Q-Tip in common parlance. The generic or off brand toy is usually called ypotrochoid toy, or Hpotrochoid art set. see Amazon without affiliate link. I’ve seen other similar toys named that way also, but they could all be the same manufacturer.

Hypotrochoids and epitrochoids are the kinds of graphs the Spirograph/Hpotrochoid toy makes.

I partly note this because I grew up spending a lot of time in Eames Mathematica Hall as a kid and my parents took my interest to mean that I should have some maths for the layperson books, and I like the terms. Secondarly, why advertise for Hasbro’s toy, though it has an older history.


I was hoping for a video.

I found a video.


Instagram? kind of a shame that he’s choosing such a low resolution platform to showcase his skills.

Beautiful! BTW, similar Rose Engines are used to engrave the lines on US paper currency, making them harder to counterfeit.


Stylii? Hmph.

Styluses or, if you must, styli.

Good day.

More precise tooling can be used to create more elegant shapes. To call it a spirograph betrays a certain level of disrespect.

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I’d call it “irreverence”, and PS, it’s in the title of the article.

The spirograph toy generates a wave pattern that doesnt decay. As pretty as those lines are, they never seemed all that organic to me. Harmonograph patterns seem richer and more distinct, it would be nearly impossible to replicate one.


Suprised someone else here knows of such rare eccentricities…

There is a coloring book made by these very rare machines, by a skilled automata restorer, Brittney Nicole Cox. I have met her, very kind, she teaches classes on learning guilloche on these rare machines, but she makes the books at her workshop, Memoria Technica. I’ve learned a bit of it myself from the US expert, David Lindow.

They are basically special rocking lathes that use cutters to cut spirographic patterns in 2d or 3d in metals and other things, as well as complex ornamentation work you see in old wunderkammers.

Check it out here:

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I also had a swing-o-graph…

The art was always getting a pen that could draw a decent line with very little pressure. The ones they supplied were great, but you were stuck when they ran out.


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