Exploration MSS3 Fall 2021

Rasmus Canfjorden

3. Perforation

If the 2-dimensional representation of the mesh is put in a different framing, it can perhaps be envisioned as something else than ”just” a carved or casted ornamental surface. Inspiration is drawn from the very detailed church window seen in fig. 2 to explore possible light effects created through perforation.  The digital expression of the projected mesh can be exploited by setting up a digital work flow for generating perforation in the surface.


As with previous explorations, the mesh is projected onto the XY-plane as a collection of planar polylines. The logic behind the perforation is based on point proximity. Points can be placed in desirable locations and the closer a polyline is to one of the points, the higher the probability is that it will be ”removed” from the original polyline collection. If removed, the polyline will be used to create perforation. If not removed, the polyline will be used for engraving. To make the ornament suitable for laser cutting, the removed polylines were scaled so that there would always be material left between each individual polyline. Also, polylines smaller than a specific threshold were excluded due to limitations of the laser cutter.

Result and discussion

This exploration resulted in a physical ornament showing the precision and different effects of the laser cutter. The spacing of the holes and the digital expression of the engraving suggest that it was fabricated by something non-human. Again, the power needed to cut through gives the perforated areas the burnt appearance.  The inclusion of a random-component in the grasshopper-script introduces some disorder into the otherwise evenly spaced perforated areas which can be interesting to further investigate. The most notable challenge with this iteration is the fact that the laser cutter (and the material) has far more noticeable limitations than the computer. The possible spacing and area of the cut out parts was ultimately in charge of the outcome. With experience, one could design more consciously with this insight so that the digital design and physical result are less different. If looked at as a potential window element to create certain light effects this could work well. A future iteration would look into layering several of these “filters” to create an even more intricate expression.