Introduction to a New Drawing Machine

Noctivagous is working on a new type of tool for drawing. Because it works differently than other tools, an introduction is necessary.

The first way to explain our drawing tool is by relating it to the spirograph and explain what makes that tool interesting. A spirograph is a drawing machine where a sprocketed wheel is embedded inside another wheel to produce a mathematics-oriented, curved drawing. This device originated with a man named Bruno Abakanowicz in the late 1800's to calculate the area of a curve. It was later turned into a commercial product for amusement. As you may know if you have used one, a person places the tip of a pen or pencil into one of the holes of the spirograph's inner wheel and then rotates it.

The result is a complex set of curves that would be impossible to draw by hand. The spirograph is an intriguing tool for this reason. With such a simple mechanical setup, a drawing can be made that goes beyond what normal tools and modes of drawing accomplish. For a designer, this is an interesting possibility: to explore new modes of graphics with a machine.

However, the major shortcoming of the spirograph is that it provides no control or predictability. The user of the device has no easy way to know what will emerge from its use and there is also no means to take what the drawing machine does and make it into something of artistic value. Hence, although it demonstrates potential, it has so far remained a novelty. The same is also true of other drawing machine devices, such as the harmonograph. (A harmonograph operates by way of two or more pendulums that affect the position of a pen.)

Harmonograph output (left). A harmonograph machine with pendulums hanging (right).

Drawing machines have always exhibited powerful feats in a simple way, it's just that their operation has never led to practical use. The point of this is to say that if a drawing machine scheme is devised that allows for consistent control over its outcome and provides effective controls for a user, this situation becomes completely different. The dazzling aspects of these machines can finally be utilized as something powerful. This is what Noctivagous has done.

A Vector Drawing Machine

Whereas a harmonograph produces curved lines with a pendulum, our drawing machine provides a situation for a user to compose actively, using the straight line as its foundation, also known as the vector. This tool could be built as physical machinery, but is instead implemented with the interface of standard computer hardware through software. Additionally, our machine implements a natural feeling of control over the process. The result is that the computer becomes a powerful device for drawing that is sure to affect how architects and designers compose their art. many current famous works of contemporary architecture, for example, are a trivial thing to reproduce by using this tool. a useful set of aesthetic machinery. the setup is both simple and powerful. Complex routines and manuals are not required to use it.