The Original Spirograph: Math + Art

Happy Summer everyone! Now that school is out, I thought we could have a bit of fun with Math and Art! In this post, we will go over how to make a the original spirograph (by hand) step by step using a compass and straight edge. Follow along with the video below or check out the tutorial in pictures in this post. Hope everyone is off to a great summer. Happy calculating! 🙂

What is a Spirograph?

The childhood toy we all know and love was invented by Denys Fisher, a British Engineer in the 1960’s.But the method of creating Spirograph patterns was invented way earlier by engineers and mathematicians in the 1800’s.

The Original Spirograph (by hand):

The Original Spirograph

Step 1: Gather materials, for this drawing, we will need a compass and straight edge.

The Original Spirograph

Step 2: Using our compass, we are going to open it to 7 cm and draw a circle.

The Original Spirograph

Step 3: Next, we are going to open the compass to 1cm, making marks all around the circle, keeping that same distance on the compass.

The Original Spirograph

Step 4: Draw a line connecting two points together (any two points some distance apart will do).

The Original Spirograph

Step 5: Now, we are going to move the straight edge forward by one point each and connect the two points with another line.

The Original Spirograph

Step 6: Continue this pattern of moving the ruler forward by one point and connecting them together all the way around.

Step 7: We have completed our Spirograph drawing! Try different sized circles, points around the circle, colors, and points of connections to create different types of patterns and have fun! 🙂

Spirograph Deluxe Art Set:

Want to try the one and only toy spirograph on your own!? Check out this Deluxe Spirograph set that brings mathematics and art together! Let your artistic creativity run free by experimenting with different-sized spirograph tools and colorful pens! Great for kids or math nerd adults, and easily available at Amazon for $23.99. Let me know what you think if you end up getting a spirograph set or if you already have one!

Still got questions or want to learn more about Math+ Art? No problem! Don’t hesitate to comment with any questions below. Thanks for stopping by and happy calculating! 🙂

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For more Math + Art, check out this post on Perspective Drawing here. And for another math + art project, check out this post on Mobius Bands!

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