Skip to main content

Harmonograph Drawing Machine

This Harmonograph machine draws pictures depicting the motion of a large swinging pendulum as its motion is influenced by a smaller pendulum...

A free swinging pendulum set to trace a circle will continue to trace the same shape gradually smaller as its motion slows

Unless something interferes with it. A smaller pendulum swinging bellow the larger one can be set to provide consistent and adjustable interference patterns that show in the drawings.

The weights and lengths of the pendulums in this machine have been set to create triangle shaped pictures. (2:1 ratio)

As you swing the large pendulum, notice the 1 - 2 - 3 rhythm. You can watch the small lower pendulum as it moves in harmony.

Six adjustments can be made to change the drawings.

  1. Swinging the large pendulum determines the basic shape and and size of a drawing
  2. Changing the pen allows a change of color or line quality
  3. By moving the slider, a pen is made heavier or lighter changing the line thickness. A heavier pen may cause the pen tip to mush down, thus the line is thicker.
  4. Using glossy paper allows less friction; the pen moves faster with with less drag. Lines are closer together.
  5. Making the lower chain shorter will make the drawings “rotate” gradually to the left.
  6. Making the lower chain longer will cause drawings to”rotate” to the right.

One longer yellow pendulum hangs from the ceiling. A brick on the end of a chain is a smaller pendulum Its motion is interferes with the smooth movement of the large pendulum. Each picture is unique - there are many adjustments that can be made. The rotation of the pictures as they appear is a function of tuning. Shorten the chain - the pictures rotate left For more detailed information,there’s a ”Woodenbook” with many lovely pictures.

Let the machine draw what feels to you like a round shape - a circle. Then, in the same color draw another over the top of the first one. You’ll get these amazing MOIRE patterns.

Back to Top