The idea of creating a polygonal wig arose from a succinct question. Can there be Perlin noise in fashion? This further led to another question. Can there be rigid polygons in Haute Couture? This in turn led to another question. Can we create a polygonal wig that is worn like the aristocratic baroque counterpart?
In the first step to answer this series of question we created a wig from styrofoam. The style is far from the aesthetic constraints of high-glossy fashion accessory but the process of modelling and laser-cutting is very relevant for the ventured problem domain.
Initially we came up with two approaches to construct the 3D object. The first one involved triangulating the surface shape, cutting each triangle, and assembling the pieces Buckminster-Fuller-style. The second one and also the one we pursued was calculating planar profile shapes along one axis of the objects, cutting these out of a relatively thick material, and stacking them.
The profile shape approach turned out to be fairly simple to implement. A couple of MEL expressions to calculate the particular cutting paths, a huge board of styrofoam, and an afternoon at Eyebeam was all it took. We realized pretty soon that styro was probably not the best laser cut material. The fumes were nasty and the material ignited and started to burn when we turned up the power of the laser too high. On the other hand we found out a nice side effect of styro. If the laser intensity is just right styro expands and leaves a clean embossed shape on the surface.
In the next step we plan to further tune our MEL scripts and construct the surface by using thinner profile shapes in two directions.
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nature-of-code/polywig.txt · Last modified: 2009/04/26 01:30 (external edit)