Something Big: Random Voronoi Table

Joel Gustafson

A Voronoi diagram is a way of dividing up space based on a set of points. Each point is enclosed by a polygon such that every other point in the polygon is closer to the center point than any other of the original set. As usual, GIFs make more sense than words.

Voronoi diagrams have an eerily artistic appeal and often seem very natural or organic, so this week I decided to make a table with a voronoi diagram design.

I was prepared to write code for this one, but lucky for me there's plugin for Fusion 360 that generates random voronoi diagrams as sketches. At first I modeled a circular voronoi table:

... but then I remembered that I had a 30 x 36 inch glass tabletop left over from a previous project, so I abandonded that for a rectangular design that I could fit the glass sheet on top of.

(I had originally intended the legs to be taller, but when I first drew my bounding rectangle I mistakenly drew 48 x 72 inches instead of 48 x 96 and 5 inch legs were the tallest I could fit, and when I finally realized the mistake I was too lazy to change anything.)

I exported the sketch to a .dxf file and (with extensive help from Catherine) imported it into MasterCAM. During the cut, one of the legs came loose and during a second pass, the mill cut into the OSB a little bit, but other than that, the cut went perfectly! The joints of the legs needed just a little bit of sanding to fit together, and felt surprisingly sturdy for just a few inches of plywood.

When the grand finale came and I dug out my sheet of glass from storage, I found out that I misremembered its dimensions: it was 24x36, not 30x36 (mistaking dimensions is quickly becoming a troubling motif). It's a shame it didn't end on a better note, but this was still an incredibly fun week.