Ellipsograph or Reciprocator
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Two guides travel in two perpendicular grooves. A bar with pivots connects the guides. A point on the bar or its extension traces out an ellipse. This principle can be used to convert circular motion to linear motion or to plot ellipses. Notice that the envelope of the bar's positions is an astroid.
Contributed by: Sándor Kabai (March 2011)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA
"Ellipsograph or Reciprocator"
Wolfram Demonstrations Project
Published: March 7 2011