BBD - Drawing Machine

This is one of my projects at TMOT — I’m
going to be making projects and working with them to design a curriculum for
their Better By Design program — a course to build design thinking skills in
children and inspire them to be innovators.

All posts about BBD -

I was trying to come up with ideas — for the Arduino Curriculum. While thinking
about how to make using Arduino -processing for electronics and hardware-
exciting, I thought about creating a drawing machine, something that uses a
servo motor to create various sorts of lines. It would be possible to create
amazing patterns with loops.

When I searched for drawing machines, I usually saw something with CNC. Not
really what I wanted. But there was one cycloid drawing machine that seemed
quite awesome to me, so much that I ditched the arduino drawing machine to make

Here’s what I had available with me to make it.

And I got to work!

I started by attaching nuts and bolts to join the pegboards, and to level my

I had to use the linkages I had to create a motion, something that would make a

And I did, I attached a pencil with the linkages. I had one gear connected to a
motor, and the other for support, so that it didn’t actually draw in a circle.

However, I wasn’t really impressed by the pattern. It looked like a very long
and messy spring, just a coil.

That’s when I attached a motor the the paper. I stuck cardboard on a gear, and
stuck paper on the cardboard. Next step — attached a motor to the gear and boom
— I had a spinning canvas!

This made much more interesting patterns! Here it is in action!

Time for the spin-off section! I meddled with variables, added different
linkages and came up with these!

Making these was very interesting, and I think I’ll revisit the theme in the future!