Picture of 3D Pantograph
This instructable is to build a 3d pantograph. A pantograph is a device that is used to copy pictures by tracing the original picture and the device draws a copy.  The pantograph can change the copy size to larger or smaller, depending on how it is designed.

This pantograph will let you carve or engrave a picture into a medium such as glass, metal, or wood.  You can also trace a carving and reproduce it. It uses a rotary tool such as a Dremel to carve. Think of it as an old fashioned 3d printer.

This pantograph can cost between $15-$50, depending on what kind of rotary tool you buy.

Parts needed:
  • 1 - 1"x4" by 10 foot pine board.
  • 1 - 3/16"x36" metal rod
  • 1 - Rotary tool (such as a Dremel).
Remember a 1x4 board is not exactly 1x4 but about 3/4 by 3 3/4. I will refer to the board as a 1x4. for simplicity.
Tools needed:
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Hole saw 1" and 2" or depends on the size of your rotary tool. rotary tool.
  • 3/16 drill bit
  • Hammer
  • Hacksaw
  • Wood Clamps
  • Nail Gun or Wood Glue
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate.
Time to build: 5 hours.
beeferer3 days ago

"If your rotary tool is not variable speed and it spins to fast, you will want to consider this"? Where is it spinning to? Fast? Makes no sense.

beeferer3 days ago

How are you supposed to get a 5" square on a board that you said was 3-1/2"?

wood doctor1 month ago

this is cool i'"m gonna build one but mod the drem mounting apart from that you explain it well thanx for sharing!

knorseth (author) 9 months ago

Each part of the pantograph needs to be the same size to be a 1 to 1 ratio. A pantograph itself is a duplicator, the result size is the only thing different which will depend on the lengths of wood you are using.

Sorry but that is wrong, the only way to make a true 1:1 panto is to have no extention handle, and for that it doesnt matter about the side lengths. If you think about it mathmatically, having all side lengths identical and still using a handle will just change the ratio of any drawing youre trying to copy for example, if all sides were 10m and using a 10m handle trying to copy a 5m by 5m square, what you would end up with is a 2,5x2,5 m parralellogram :/
Ohhson6 months ago
Just built this today, took about 2-3 hours working at a relaxed pace. Works really quite well. Much simpler design than the one from woodgears. One word of advice though, don't bother trying to fit the upper hole to your Dremel. Just center it 1" away from the edge like instructions say to, cut a hole slightly bigger than tool and use a quick clamp to hold it in place. Much sturdier and quick access for bit changes. Good job knorseth.
Very nice. I like how this is designed for a dremel, and a heck of a lot cheaper than some other ones I seen. One question though, as you have it built, what is the scale ratio? Is it exactly 2:1?
knorseth (author)  Funhouse_D712 years ago
This is 1/4 size. I have been carving wood and glass about 4" square of a pattern made on a 8x11 paper.

Another one I have been working as part of a design refinement is a 1 to 1 ratio.
Jakob HW knorseth7 months ago

I wood like to make 1, in a 1 to 1 ratio ... How do i figure out the length ...

stacy4012 9 months ago
What's the word on figuring out the 1:1 ratio? Would that technically be a duplicator?
jtaylor1151 year ago

Update: Skip the woodglue and countersync all the screws. I made this in about 45 minutes. Works fairly well, Im trying some modifications to control the Size ratio bettter as I would rather have about 3/5th ratio on mine.

jtaylor1151 year ago
I am gonna give this a try sometime this week its def different from the woodgears.ca pantograph but I dont want to spend $12 for their plans and another pain in the ass to use thier printing program and cad. ill repost when I finish and test. thank you.
radbro1 year ago

how do you make a 5" square on a 4" board? makes no sense.

Osmanli1 year ago
Hi can you tell me if this is the same as Mathias wandel pantograph
knorseth (author) 2 years ago
The Pantograph has been around for a long time. Using a Dremel allows me a lot more flexibility with the medium I am working with than something bigger such as a router.

Now that I have a better glass bit to use, my results are a lot better than what I used in the pictures.
I had to look up what a pantograph was, pretty cool. Great work.