This Device Uses Simple Gears to Draw Complex Designs


Sometimes the old way is the best way to get things done. Taking inspiration from late 19th and early 20th centuries drawing machines, a device called the Cycloid Drawing Machine uses adjustable gears and a fulcrum to create intricate and beautiful geometric patterns. Making minor adjustments to the machine drastically changes the outcome of the artwork, giving the user free rein to create as many complex designs as he or she wants.

The drawing machine surfaced last year as a Kickstarter project by creator Joe Freedman. After receiving $16,653 in funding from backers, the product entered production and began shipping in September; additional units were later made available online. In the video above, Wayne Schmidt gives a detailed review and demonstration of his Cycloid Drawing Machine, showing how the company packaged and shipped the parts, how he was able to set it up, and how the adjustments change elements of the artwork. "It's kind of like parachuting into the middle of an Amazonian jungle," Schmidt says about the seemingly endless possibilities that come from randomly changing the machine's gears. "You may see some beautiful things, but you don't know where you are or how to get back."

Schmidt recommends starting with the manual to learn how the machine works before diving in head-first, but judging by the sample designs, it must be very hard to make something that isn't perfect, no matter how you arrange the gears. Check out some of the images from the Kickstarter and product page below, and watch Schmidt's in-depth review above.

Images via Kickstarter / Leafpdx

[h/t Laughing Squid]