Instructables

Find The Center of a Circle

Picture of Find The Center of a Circle
This is something I learned and geometry class and completely forgot for a while.  All you will need is a drafting/drawing compass or a large homemade one for big circles.  I have a little drafting kit that has came in very useful in engineering school!  The steps are very short and will be best shown if you view all steps at once.  Sorry if the pictures are blurry I don't have very good light to take pictures at my desk.  Lets get started!

 
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Step 1:

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I'm going to use a piece of paper, since it will easily show the pencil marks, and draw a circle.

First, set your compass to just over the radius of the circle.

Second, place the pin end of the compass on the and draw an arc in the middle of the circle.  I have made a big black dot where I placed the compass pin and will continue to do this.  


Step 2:

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Now on the opposite side of the circle where you placed the compass, create another arc keeping the compass spread larger than the circle's radius. You don't have to be exactly across from where you started as you can be fairly inaccurate to get good results.

Step 3:

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Now we are going to make an arc perpendicular to the two we just made. 

Step 4:

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Now create another arc on the top of the circle directly across from the one made on the bottom.

Step 5:

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Where two arcs intersect towards their ends you will need to draw a line between the two intersections.
rimar20001 year ago
Your method requires DO NOT VARY THE RADIUS OF THE ARC, as you have done.
charels88 (author)  rimar20001 year ago
You only need to have the same radius for intersecting arcs, ex: 1&2 OR 3&4 but not all four. I will add this to the instructable.
MrOddjob1 year ago
That would explain it charels88, silly of me not to think of that. Thanks for a good instructable.
charels88 (author)  MrOddjob1 year ago
No problem, I have time to make this instructable but not to fix the short in my office fixing the lighting issue. LOL
MrOddjob1 year ago
Forgive me charels88, but am I looking at an optical illusion here? It looks to me like the intersection of the two straight lines are way off centre. My apologies if I am mistaken.
charels88 (author)  MrOddjob1 year ago
Sorry there is some perspective to the pictures or I would cast a shadow.
Peter112351 year ago
or you could drew any 2 lines going through the circle draw lines perpendicular to them and the place they meet is the middle of the circle
charels88 (author)  Peter112351 year ago
I'm not following your method but there are numerous ways to find the center. I like this one because I feel it is a little more fool proof as you don't have to be all that accurate to get good results. Make an instructable on your method and share.