About this project
I'm asking for your help to create the economy of scale that will allow me to produce the Proportioner, an instrument that empowers you to discover the golden ratio in the natural world and in human-made objects. It also gives you the means to harmonize your own creations with what Pythagoras called the secret of the universe—better known today as the divine proportion or golden ratio.
Due to its precise geometric design, the middle pointer always proportionally indicates the golden ratio with respect to the width of the outer arms (aka, the whole).
The whole is to the larger segment in exactly the same "golden ratio" as the larger segment is to the smaller. The golden ratio is a gateway to the study of sacred geometry.
The Proportioner's range is from slightly more than 1 foot to less than 1 inch (320 - 24mm).
Innovative magnetic hinging enables the middle arms to be easily detached and reattached at any time without tools.
In traditional caliper mode the Proportioner can be used to transfer measurements from outside or inside surfaces. You can tighten the screw hinge with your fingernail to freeze the calipers in any position.
The optional magnetic stand is shipped flat-packed with the Proportioner. The stand is assembled without tools, simply by pressing the finger joint together at a right angle. Micro bevels laser-cut into the finger joint ensure a snug fit. For the best results I recommend using a few drops of any general purpose glue (not supplied) to make the finger joint permanent.
The stand is highly recommended not only because it provides you with a convenient place to store the Proportioner, but it converts the instrument into an attractive small sculpture when not in use.
I have made many electronic and physical prototypes, which allowed me to significantly refine the Proportioner's design, its material selection and hardware.
I found that thin plywood is not dimensionally stable enough as it warps badly in the required thickness and it does not result in laser-cut holes that are consistently the same size. MDF (medium density fiberboard) is a dimensionally stable substrate, but is too brittle and easily shears at 3-4mm thickness. I settled on premium walnut veneer laminated on both sides of MDF because I found that it provides the best qualities—attractive appearance, resistance to shear and dimensional stability. The dark MDF and dark, thin slice of walnut hardwood veneer nearly match in color so the device seems like it is made out of a single solid material.
I started by tapping threads in the wood and using a tiny threaded metal shaft as the pivot, but later found that a two-piece threaded metal screw post was a better solution for the pivot. This is brass in my latest prototype but will have a silver finish in the final product to better match the color of the rare-earth magnets.
Six tiny neodymium magnets are permanently press-fit in laser drilled holes in the arms. The laser gives a tolerance in the range of 0.2 mm so a friction fit can be snug and repeatable. The magnets cannot be removed without using a punch but if one were to forcibly destroy the device (by cracking the wood at the magnets), the liberated magnets would pose a risk to toddlers—magnets must never be ingested. The device also has sharp wooden points at the ends of three arms. For these reasons it is imperative to note:
The Proportioner is not a toy and must be kept out of the reach of small children.
The Proportioner shows that credit cards are nearly perfect golden rectangles, said to be the most aesthetically pleasing rectangles of all. The shape of credit cards is no accident!
Many old masters structured their compositions using the golden ratio, a fact that still goes largely unrecognized.
I published the following golden ratio correlation—and many others—in my book on Leonardo da Vinci. Maybe you will discover more with the Proportioner!
Here are a few quotes about what the Proportioner can help you rediscover:
- “Geometry has two great treasures. One is the theorem of Pythagoras, the other, the division of a line into extreme and mean ratio. The first we may compare to a measure of gold; the second we may name a precious jewel.” -Johannes Kepler, a key figure in the 17th century scientific revolution, best known for his laws of planetary motion
- “The golden ratio is the key to universal physics.” -Sir Edward Victor Appleton, Nobel Laureate in physics (1947)
- “Plato considered the golden section proportion the most binding of all mathematical relations, making it the key to the physics of the cosmos.” -Peter Tompkins, author of Secrets of the Great Pyramid (1971)
- “The golden section is the pattern of life.” -John Michell (1933-2009), father of the earth mysteries movement
- “The golden ratio is a reminder of the relatedness of the created world to the perfection of its source and of its potential future evolution.” -Robert Lawlor, author of Sacred Geometry: Philosophy & Practice (1982)
- “Phi (1.618) is the most beautiful number in the universe.” -Robert Langdon, from Dan Brown’s bestselling fiction The Da Vinci Code (2003)
My full-color illustrated books, The Divine Proportion and Secrets in Plain Sight: Leonardo da Vinci, are featured as rewards in combination with the Proportioner for those who would like to learn more about this amazing proportion and how Da Vinci ingeniously encoded what his contemporary Pacioli called a very secret science [the golden ratio] into his art.
My self-published books on the golden ratio are perfect Proportioner companions. These books measure 8.5" x 8.5" (21.6 cm x 21.6 cm) and have 54 full-color pages each.
The Plato's Academy pledge level includes the Proportioner and its stand, along with six of Scott Onstott's books, both of his films, plus the Large Proportioner.
The Large Proportioner, whose arms open in the range of 3" to 3'-3" (7 cm to 1 m), is perfect for the studio or workshop where makers can quickly proportion the objects they create according to the golden ratio. Cabinet makers, quilters, furniture makers, painters or anyone making larger objects will rejoice!
The Large Proportioner will be 2-3 times as thick as its smaller cousin plus its magnets and screw post hinge will be scaled up correspondingly.
- Free shipping on all rewards to the US & Canada.
- Proportioners and books are shipped separately.
- Duties and taxes are not included in your Kickstarter price. As the importer of record, you are responsible for duties, taxes, and any other charges that your country chooses to impose for the import.
The Proportioner makes a great gift. Please back this project today and share it!
NEW: Add $11 CAD to your pledge for custom laser-engraved text on one arm of your Proportioner. You can engrave up to 33 characters including spaces (Roman alphabet only). All Proportioners will still be laser-engraved with the web site Proportioner.info on the opposite arm.
Custom engraving is a great way to inscribe your name, company, website or significant phrase on your beautiful Proportioner. It is also a fabulous way to personalize Proportioners as gifts!
ADD-ON INSTRUCTIONS: To add custom laser-engraved text to your Proportioner, follow these steps:
- 1) Press the 'Manage Your Pledge' Button above. If you have not pledged yet, it will say 'Back this Project'.
- 2) Increase your pledge in the 'Pledge Amount' box by $11 for each Proportioner that you want to have custom-engraved.
- 3) After the end of the Kickstarter campaign you will receive a survey that will ask for your custom message(s).
If the campaign reaches $33,333 CAD, all backers will receive a free copy of my book Quantification: Illustrations from the Creator of Secrets in Plain Sight in epub format.
Quantification features 66 full-color images with a mysterious beauty inviting contemplation, philosophical inquiry and meditation; they will inspire you to perceive parallels between the universe outside of you and the universe within. You will enjoy Onstott’s discoveries connecting everything from the cell to the human body, ancient temples, sacred sites, modern architecture, art, math, physics, sport, religion, non-duality, the Sun and Sirius.
Reviews of Quantification:
- “Many of us have become intuitively awake to nature’s Grand Pattern of order and proportion. Scott’s great contribution reveals this pattern in an explicit and beautiful way. He singlehandedly has mined gold from behind the veil and his contribution to the renaissance of philosophical geometry is simply awe inspiring.” –Geoff Fitzpatrick
- “Scott Onstott continues to impress and inspire. His insights are unique and profound, balanced by his humility and grace, and grounded in undeniable mathematical correspondences. Not only does he present what could easily be dense topics in an easy to understand manner, in doing so, he cuts to the core of his message. The ‘hidden order of the universe’ is a playful mystery that seemingly wants to be found, for, if it is hiding, it is doing so ‘in plain sight’. Looking through the geometrical and mathematical lens Onstott applies to the world, a kaleidoscope of wonder opens before us. His use of example and straight-forward approach make the infinite seem within reach, yet he also frees the science from being dry or stuffy by presenting all of this with a level of beauty and artistry that is rarely attempted, let alone accomplished.” –Alan Abbadessa-Green
Risks and challenges
The production of the parts of the Proportioner is done by a commercial laser cutter/engraver and I will hand-press the rare-earth magnets into the arms, assemble and test each finished product by hand.
I’ve already made several prototypes with two different laser cutting services, which helped not only to refine the design but also to gain experience with laser cutting and optimal material selection. I’ve zeroed in on a particular laser cutting service and material combination so now there shouldn’t be any surprises in terms of manufacturing or assembly.
I am hoping to be able to complete production in 5 weeks once the campaign ends and the project being funded successfully. The only variable is shipping, and in the case of a Canada Post strike, I will endeavor to ship out all Proportioners in a timely fashion using another carrier if necessary.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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