This is a project I am working on for my Art & Science of Computing class. My program allows the user to draw basic shapes on pre-drawn pattern pieces which are then cut out on a laser cutter out of denim and sewn together.
The code can be found HERE.
Initial assignment (from Art & Science of Computing class): Write a computational design program using Processing, then use a computer controlled machine to physically fabricate two different objects generated by your program. Use parametric or generative design. Code should make use of the concepts learned in class: drawing to the screen, variables, and functions.
I was inspired by designers from the fashion industry who used 3D printing and laser cutting technologies to enhance their designs (Thom Browne, Iris Van Herpen, Marchesa). Initial design intended to be a dress with individual pattern pieces designed and cut on laser cutter. In an effort to save resources, I redesigned the project to use a hat pattern rather than a dress. My goal was to create a simple template interface that could be personalized in such a way that no two hats would be identical.
The comments cite resources like Becca Rose Glowacki’s pompom maker code and Natalie Freed’s cursor location which I used for inspiration. The pattern shapes were traced from Melanie Falick’s children hat pattern and adjusted to accommodate larger head sizes. Building off of the main draw() function, I added elements to draw basic geometric shapes (square, circle, line). I wanted to keep initial prototype designs relatively simple so I included only three drawing options.
The interface is designed to allow anyone to create their own unique design. Functions include clicking and holding to create squares and circles (holding mouse enlarges shape) and a continuous line function for drawing. Once user has completed their drawing, they click “Export” to generate a PDF file with pattern outlines.
To fit the required format of the laser cutter at school, I auto-traced the image of the unique drawn design and performed a series of commands in Adobe Illustrator to convert the exported bitmap PDF image to a vector file that could be read by the laser cutter.
These charts show the fabric tests I conducted while brainstorming exact fabric choices for my project. I aimed to analyze a variety of material thicknesses, textures and compositions to discover which would best suit my project. After testing these six fabrics on the cardstock, 1/8th fiberboard, and fiberboard etching settings on the laser cutter, I concluded that a semi-synthetic denim would allow for appropriate structure in my hat, clean laser cut lines and no frayed edges (the heat of the laser cutter slightly melted and sealed each shape cut). Test results were made public and used by my classmates for their projects, can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/bucket-hat-fabric-tests
Before laser cutting, I fused each each piece of denim with interfacing. I came up with this solution in order to fuse a second piece of uncut fabric to the back of the laser cut denim pieces to highlight the drawn pattern and create a sturdy piece of clothing.
Before creating full scale human prototypes, I created two 3/4 scale prototype hats. This prototype test taught me the best way to sew a hat, something I had never done before. This photo shows one of my dogs, Pepper, modeling a design created by a friend of mine, Sarah, on my program.
This image shows both of my 3/4 scale prototypes.
After creating 3/4 scale prototypes, I chose to design ten full scale prototypes to show the variety of designs my program was able to produce with only three functions. The process of exporting and laser cutting remained identical to the 3/4 prototype process. On the left, are laser cut denim pattern pieces that have been fused to a variety of colorful fabrics. On the right, I am sewing the hats together.