Swing-o-graph – draw with a pendulum / swing

Craft & Design Fun & Games
Swing-o-graph – draw with a pendulum / swing

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@The NYC Toy fair 2008 I saw the German made “Swing-o-graph” – the pictures pretty much explain it all, but just in case – you put the marker/pen in the holder, a “swing” moves the paper around and creates spirograph-like designs. This is one of the products that might fall in to a (re)make – a few of the toys/kits at the Toy Fair might be fun to do on your own.

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  • BLS – Link.
  • More photos of Swing-o-graph – draw with a pendulum / swing @ Flickr – Link.
  • Giant set of NYC Toy fair 2008 photos @ Flickr – Link.
  • MAKE’s coverage of the NYC Toy Faire 2008 in one place! – Link.

22 thoughts on “Swing-o-graph – draw with a pendulum / swing

  1. lesr says:

    cooooool. i’ve to build one too!

  2. rwo says:

    This looks like something I’ve been reading about lately. A “Harmonograph”. There are several links and a couple of books out there that show you how to make them.

  3. Simon says:

    Yeah, “Harmonograph”. Some years ago I wrote a python script to generate simple harmonograph-like patterns – Basically I believe them to be lissajous-drawings with additional damping. Of course it gets more complex when you want to incorporate rotations of the tablet.

    The script simply outputs postscript: http://www.home.unix-ag.org/simon/files/harmonograph.py

    Have fun,

  4. wa8wte@juno.com says:

    This is not a new idea–The science center at the
    Seattle Space Needle had a big one in the 1970’s that drew on 3′ square sheets of poster board..the Cheboygan, MI High School art dept. had a big one on
    display in the School library around 1980–you could add weights to the platform to change the characteristics….

  5. socker says:

    This is old school,my sisters had one in the seventies,back then it was called spiro-graph.

  6. AP says:

    These are indeed old-school, but a spiro-graph is something else entirely.

    Have none of you seen “Sunday Bloody Sunday”?

    1. Graphics blogger says:

      that’s right AP. I think the difference is that with the Swing-o-graph it is the paper that moves and the pen is still. With the spiro-graph the paper stays still and the pen moves.

  7. Lenore says:

    There was something similar at OMSI in Portland. Don’t know if it is still there, but I always loved it.

  8. mik says:

    I remember these back in the 70s, After seeing one We went home and made one

  9. Augustus says:

    The device from the ’70s was called a Pen-Dul-Art. They were very cool, and there are currently two on ebay.

  10. John Frisby says:

    I am in the process of re-furbishing my 1970’s Swing-o-Graph to amuse my grandchildren. I have the original packaging (& pens which STILL work!)On the box lid it says “Awarded the gold medal at the 1970 International Inventors Exhibition in Brussels” I cannot understand why a modern version is not available in shops today.

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