We needed a drawing tool that included the advantages of both digital and manual.”
The prototype device, made of 3D-printed ABS resin, contains a rotary encoder to detect the rotation angle, a servomotor to regulate the radius of a pen, LEDs, a switch, and a micro controller. A blade attached in place of the pencil, enables shapes to be cut from as well as drawn onto paper or card. This movement allows for any number of shapes within a range of diameters to be drawn in the same way a conventional compass creates a circle. But these systems lack the intuitiveness of drawing on paper. Related story: Moleskine Livescribe Notebooks transfer ideas from paper to screen”The initial idea came from simple curiosity – how would it feel to draw a square with a compass?” Nakagaki told Dezeen. It can do the same with three-dimensional objects, converting the measurements into a net, which can be drawn, cut out and folded into a replica of the 3D shape. Comppass was shortlisted for this year’s James Dyson Foundation Award, which honours projects that offer innovative solutions to common problems. Ken Nakagaki’s Comppass draws simple shapes created as digital files onto paper in a similar way to how a conventional compass draws a circle. A Bluetooth module enables wireless communication with other devices. A two-piece arm slides back and forth parallel to the drawing surface along a pair of metal rods. Currently completing a masters degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s Media Lab, Nakagaki developed the project while studying at the Yasuaki Kakehi Lab – part of Keio University in Japan. The shapes are then converted into a digital file that the Comppass can draw onto paper, creating a replica of the original.