Three Pendulum Harmonograph

Just the other day we were thinking “You know what we need more of around here? Harmonographs!” And our requests were answered when [Paul] sent in his three pendulum harmonograph. For those unaware, it’s a mechanical device that draws Lissajous curves or “really cool circles” to quote some of our staff.

[Paul] includes all the plans necessary to make your own harmonograph and begin drawing today. If you can’t wait, there’s a video of the three pendulum harmonograph etching a masterpiece after the jump.


18 thoughts on “Three Pendulum Harmonograph

  1. its an amazing device and if it was nto so damn big i would without doubt … think about doing it … but im sure once im done it will be arduino controlled with servos and an earth rotational emulator XD (joke)


  2. @biozz No – a troll would have pointed out that it doesn’t use an Arduino.

    The project itself is interesting (even if I can’t really grasp the point of the whole thing). It’s the video I can’t stand – sure, 8-bit fonts have a certain charm but they aren’t very readable.

    @Drake That might produce some interesting results. You could either use a cylindrical mass or (probably more realistic) a motor mounted inline on the drawing axis.

  3. man I remember seeing one of these things at a science museum when I was a kid… they had a huge one where the pendulum hung from the ceiling and the platform was nearly the size of a car. they also had several smaller ones in different configurations that would draw in sand.

  4. @twistedsymphony: same here :) I remember one at the Smithsonian (of course lol) and oddly enough one at the Cumberland Museum in Tenn. I also remember seeing smaller ones at a local fair. You could set the pendulum and buy the print. Really neat to watch and let’s not forget about spin art with paint lol. Or the penny funnel. That was the best when the penny went sideways…

  5. Men… this is awesome, and is very refreshing seen something thath is “old school”, maybe this curves were the satart point to complex equations, the begining of the early development of technology.
    And is very Artistic. So… I like so much

  6. Cool project! I like things doing stuff without them eing told to.

    I hate the font and soundtrack though. @Mythgarr: the font is actually 20bit(4×5). still no vector, but I can’t miaine making fonts in 8-bits per charact or I’d have to find out some sort of compression.

  7. I would like to mention that Lissajous parametric functions are sinusoidal, and that the non-simple harmonic motion of a pendulum is not exactly sinusoidal. It’s Mathieu sinusoidal.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.