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! 🙂

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.

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