A recipe for Creation

Here is the recipe I am following in order to create my first parametric Vase/lamp

  1. Draw 2d line.
  2. subdivide by points
  3. extrude points up several times – limit defined by user
  4. create surface from points
  5. create attractor
  6. offset surface based on distance from attractor.
  7. user specifies number of attractors, YZ coordinates
  8. draw planes perp to surfaces
  9. - get material information (thickness)
  10. create contours
  11. - layout for cutting
  12. extrude contour cuts
  13. preview surfaces created by contours.
  14. save
  15. print

This is a draft, and will be updated shortly.


July 5, 2011
Theory, Work In Progress
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Can you laser cut Ceramics

I love laser cutters. I love parametric and algorithmic design. I love working with clay. Can I combine all three?

Ceramic craft is an ancient art form that is still practiced in parts of the world as it was several thousand years ago. It also has been adopted in the industrial era for even greater quantities of consumer goods. It is versatile, durable, and cheap. It is for these reasons that I decided to try to laser cut the material.

Would the aggregate in the clay redirect the laser, keeping it from cutting?  would moisture content affect performance?

I ran several tests as I attempted to find the ideal path for completing this project.



It failed.  greater moisture content seems to allow to the laser to cut deeper into the clay, but ultimately clay density is the main issue. After trying several attempts, each test was only able to cut about 1/16″ down, regardless of changes.

I want this medium to join me in the information age.My next step is to mount our CNC mill with an ‘ancient’ tool- a needle tool.  While the laser I have access to cannot cut deep enough into the clay to be useful, the needle tool will.

Can I get the needle tool sharp enough to resist picking up the clay?
will I be able to ‘unload’ the clay from a canvas sheet (which will protect the thermwood’s mdf)?


June 29, 2011
Featured, general, Research, Theory, Work In Progress
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