Swirly Draw V2

IMG_7528-1000Swirly Draw V2 is like the original Swirly-Draw except it has magnetic paper holder (like Art-O-Matic and Isocel-Ease). The idea of Swirly Draw was to be small and simple  but I found that a lot of people don’t have the dexterity to manage it.

The new version also has a triple pen holder. It’s really fun since only one pen usually writes at a time and sometimes it alternates back and forth between pens. Also after making one swirly you can just switch pen position and start again. After three swirleys you just turn the paper around and go again, so you get six swirleys on one sheet.

Here are some videos of prior machines to give you the idea. I’ve not made a video of the new machine yet (hang in there)!

Bill of Materials

Home Depot

  • 1x sheet of 1/8th” hardboard (24×24″), $1.60 (makes two machines)

Ottawa Fastener

  • 5x 1/4-20 bolts from Ottawa Fastener (length to follow)
  • 12x 1/4-20 nuts
  • 3x 1/4″ washers (outside diameter to follow)
  • 4x 8-32 1/2″ bolts
  • 8x 8-32 nuts


  • 4x Rubber bands
  • 8x rare earth magnets magnets
  • Paper
  • Colored pens!

The arms are double nutted together with the 8-32 nuts and bolts. 1/4-20 Cranks are bolted to main gears. Gear shafts are nutted to the platform, gears in position then double nut over them. Add more nuts as spacers for cranks and add cranks.


Downloads swirly-thing015_21p2x11p4

Gear Generator Program by Matthias Wendel of Ottawa.

ArtEngine Laser

Swirly Draw at the Ottawa Makerfaire with the Ottawa Public Library.

to “Swirly Draw V2

  • I love the simplicity of this rig, Darcy. Shades of my ancient Spirograph… but better! Great job.

    • Hi DW,

      Thanks for the note. I saw your Spirograph with the spool of paper. Loved it!


  • Hey, I recently built a laser cutter, I’d love to make this, can you please upload the design files.