Day 353 / The Pinto-graph

February 22nd, 2011
What a nice end to my day today.  I was back at the office after a lovely three day weekend and when I got home I got to spend some time with Jenny and June.  I knew that I was going to finish my Pinto-graph project because all I needed was more binding posts for the arms.  I also picked up a second hobby train power supply today.
I went to my parents house around 10 at night and began my finishing process on the Pinto-graph.  I decided to cut a couple of new thicker pieces of wood for the ends of the arms because I needed my pen to fit snugly at the connection point.  It all came together fairly quickly.  Most of the critical thinking that I did tonight was figuring out how to attach the pen.  I decided on using the little rubber bands that we use for June’s hair.  Although, it’s a pain to switch out the pens it’s a pretty good hold.
It was cool to finally see it all in motion.  It worked pretty well for the most part.  I think I need to get more washers in order to tighten up the connection points on the arm.  I want to figure out a more convenient method for mounting the pen as well.
The drawings that come out of it all have a similar look to them.  I changed the motor speeds and got some interesting variations but if I let the drawing fill in it would end up as a version of the same tubular shape.  I think once I make a couple of different disc attachments and mix and match them together I will get more variety.  I will make a couple disc attachments that are larger and smaller and I will make a couple which pivot on the side rather than the center.
Another cool idea that occurred to me while I watched it work was, what if I made a stop animation with this device.  Because the train power supply’s have numbers around the knob I could easily recreate any shape I want.  I could make five drawings or so at a particular knob setting and loop that in my editing software.  Then I could stop frame, drawing by drawing, up the notches on the knob.  It might look pretty awesome.
Anyways, I’m pretty happy with this device.  I’d like to one day free them from the power supply and make it run off of a couple of 9 volt batteries.
The video below is something I threw together once I got home so that you could see it in action.  The music in the video is from an artist named Dolza.  It was a made for the latest Monome Community Remix project.  The track is called “Musical Construction Requires Pseudograph”  Download it here.