Jaclyn Berry

w2: Computer Controlled Cutting

Vinyl Cutter

For the vinyl cutting assignment I considered two options: 1) generating my initials with an arbitrary pattern in grasshopper or 2) digging up an old drawing from my architectural past where the world was all solid and void. Option 2 prevailed, and I found this image in my old archives:

This image was a bit risky for the vinyl cutter because of all the fine points and small pieces, but it was worth a try! I converted the original charcoal drawing to a BW vector graphic in illustrator, then saved as png.

In my first attempt with mods, my vinyl cut came out surprisingly jagged. I didn't understand why this happened because the original vectorized graphic was smooth. After some investigation I realized it was because I saved the png at 72 dpi. Bumping up the png resolution to 300 dpi fixed the jagged problem.

Laser Cutter

For part 2 of this assignment, my primary inspiration was an old set of wooden tinker toys I used to play with as a kid. I remember building ferris wheels, little cars, spaceports, etc. I really wanted to make a similar system out of cardboard. In particular, I wanted my press-fit kit to include wheels and/or a spinning element. I brainstormed possible sets good old-fashioned pencil and paper.

Before I finalized my system, I made some test cuts to make sure my joints would work the way I expected. I also determined what size notch I would need for the best construction arrangement. A notch too big would create a loose connection, and a notch too small wouldn't go together. My final notch width was 3.4mm.

The system I settled on included a wall element, a wheel element, a connector element, and an axle element. There were three types of press-fit joints: one long notch for creating axles, one circular cutout for attaching axles to wheels, and one short notch for everything else.

I generated all my shapes in grasshopper, manually filleted the notch corners, then used grasshopper to lay out all of my cut files. I wasn't sure how many pieces to cut, so I cut A LOT! More pieces, more fun.

Here are some things you can build with my press-fit cardboard kit.

And some of them even spin a little bit!

How to Make (Almost) Anything | Fall 2017