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Vintage-Inspired Wooden Drawing Machine Produces Complex Designs with the Turn of a Crank

Long before there were plastic drawing toys like the Spirograph, there were wooden drawing machines. Dating back as far as the 1880s, these mechanical devices produced intricate geometric images using a pendulum or working along a curve, known as a cycloid. While both approaches created complex drawings, the old cycloid machines were limited in how they could be tweaked and hampered their design possibilities. LEAFpdx has corrected this with their contemporary take on the classic device that they've aptly-called the Cycloid Drawing Machine.

Unlike its predecessors, LEAFpdx has made their device infinitely adjustable with a fulcrum that rotates and moves. “Gone are the simple rotary drawings of old,” the company writes. “By allowing the fulcrum point to move and having a huge number of interchangeable gears our drawing machine is more like an engine turning lathe.” There are no motors or electricity required to run their creation–just crank it by hand.

Each Cycloid Drawing Machine package comes with all its required parts, including a base, three geared turntables, 18 wooden gears, colored pens and paper. Everything is easily tightened by hand and requires no special tools. According to LEAFpdx, “Setup can be as easy as adding one gear and taping a piece of paper onto the turntable.” See the possibilities with this product in the video below.

LEAFpdx: Website | Shop
via [Ufunk]

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.

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