Doodle your way back to childhood with a digital Spirograph

8 Sep 2015

This Spirograph design was created using Inspirograph by Nathan Friend. Image via Inspirograph

Spirograph, the strangely soothing mathematical drawing toy, has an online counterpart where you can doodle whirls and curves to your heart’s content.

Remember Spirograph? The toy set that came with cogs and gears you combined with pens and paper to create colourful geometric shapes? I don’t know about you but, for me, as a kid, Spirograph was hours of fun.

Spirograph design by Inspirograph

A bit of Spirograph history

The Spirograph toy set has been around since the ’60s, developed by British engineer Denys Fisher.

In 1967, Spirograph was named Toy of the Year. Almost 50 years later, after some reinvigoration, it was once again a Toy of the Year finalist in two categories in 2014.

What’s the key to Spirograph’s enduring popularity? It could be the way it makes it so easy to create intricate spiralling designs, or that satisfying pleasure of watching perfect patterns form.

Spirograph design by Inspirograph


The good news I bring you today is that this strangely soothing mathematical drawing toy has an online counterpart where you can doodle whirls and curves to your heart’s content.

Inspirograph, a digital version of Spirograph, has been crafted by Nathan Friend, a senior software developer at DuPont Pioneer in Iowa.

His personal website is where he showcases the projects he works on outside of his day job and, as well as Inspirograph, includes a HTML5 based Theremin that works with a Leap Motion controller.

Inspirograph needs no special equipment or software, though. Just a browser, a keyboard and a mouse and away you go, round and round and round.

Spirograph design by Inspirograph

Oh, and according to the website, there’s a mobile app in the works. Which is all the better, because time spent making Spirograph designs is time you won’t spend getting mixed up in gangs. Think about it.

Gigglebit is’s daily dose of the funny and fantastic in science and tech, to help start your day on a lighter note.

All images via the Inspirograph gallery

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic