As I discussed in my in-depth review of the new Spirograph Deluxe Set compared to my old Super Spirograph, the holes in the new wheels are larger than in the old ones, in order to accommodate more pens.
What difference does a larger hole make in the designs you draw?
To find out, I made some designs with the old Super Spirograph set and the new Spirograph Deluxe set, using the same pen, a red uni-ball Vision fine point. This ballpoint pen is not particularly thin at the tip, but we can still observe the pattern of differences.
You’ll notice that the old wheel on the left, with the smaller hole, produces smaller loops. At right, the new wheel’s larger hole allows the pen to move around the hole more as the wheel goes round. The design is just as regular, but the loops are bigger.
In the above pair with wheel 56, the loops made with the old wheel (left) are again smaller. We really see the consequence in the center of the pattern. The smaller loops have made for a more open centre.
Taking the same wheel 56, let’s see what it does in a more elaborate design.
The differences in the overall pattern are slight. The overall geometry, a 12-pointed star, is the same. There is some variation in where the lines cross. In the pattern at left, the central point has been closed in while on the right the weave is a little more open.
Spotting the differences between the two is a bit like another old childhood game, often found in magazines, in which the artist has deliberately drawn different details in two different pictures. What do you see?
Here are some more examples. What do you conclude?