This week for Critical Making, we were tasked with creating another 2D pattern for laser cutting. I began in Rhino and Grasshopper, using a simple hexagon pattern and various shapes.

I adjust the highlighted segments slider to adjust the shapes of the polygons in the pattern. Once it got to a shape I liked, I would bake the polygons and repeat the process.

I came up with a few different patterns I liked and then exported these into Illustrator to get them ready for laser cutting.

Once the patterns were in Illustrator, I began to adjust the patterns by filling some shapes, finding other patterns with them, and also figuring out which pieces I wanted to be engraved or not. The key when it comes to the fabrication design is to think in positive and negative shapes. Some of this I accomplished by adjusting the background from white to black.

I tried out variations with each of the patterns, but as I suspected I ended up going with the classic hexagon pattern. They remind me of vintage bathroom tiles, which I had in my old apartment. Harking back to that traditional style helped me to visualize what these designs could look like in hand.

Before spending more money on wood (as I assume we will be doing for our CNC milling project), I decided to give this one a go on cardboard. I think this will be good practice for the next project I anticipate to make!

Current graduate student at the CMCI Studio in Boulder, CO. Designer, Colorado native, dog-obsessed.