Perplexity

Digitally Fabricated Projection Mapping Surface

This design intervention is meant to provide an intriguing interactive visual experience via projection mapping. It has been installed at the University of Colorado, at the Stantec offices in Denver, and is being installed next by the Denver Center for Performing Arts. The model of this object was created almost entirely within the Grasshopper extension for Rhino 3D. The physical object was created using a combination of CNC milling and 3D printing. The base shape is a deconstructed three-dimensional voronoi (space filling) pattern created with a Grasshopper definition. This object was designed almost entirely paramterically, with almost no conventional 3D modeling required. 

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Support System

The support system for this object consists of a CNC cut waffle pattern and 3D printed brackets. Each bracket is unique and was generated parametrically to fit the edge of the panels. The waffle pattern is meant to provide structural support as well as hold the panels in their correct positions. This waffle was cut from an extrusion of the voronoi pattern that created this shape. Corner overcuts were built into the grasshopper definition to eliminate the need for conventional 3D modeling.

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Panels

This rendering shows Perplexity with panels attached. These panels attach to the support system using neodymium magnets placed in optimized locations near the edges of each board. These panels were cut on the CNC out of white-coated MDF with accurate holes for magnets to be attached. Each panel was numbered and given an orientation marker for ease of assembly.

Grasshopper Script

This definition takes the base shape and sides as inputs, shown in frame one below, and turns it into the whole object seen here. Most of the physical characteristics of the support system can be controlled parametrically, meaning that this shape can be modified heavily via the definition without any hands-on intervention in rhino itself. This definition first creates a simple waffle structure for fabrication using a CNC, and then creates optimally placed brackets for 3D printing that attach to this waffle structure. Each bracket is unique, cut at a specific angle to be attached via inlaid neodymium magnets at corresponding locations around each panelā€™s edge.

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Full object with panels attached

Full object with panels attached

Basic lighting pattern showing projection mapping

Basic lighting pattern showing projection mapping

Object with panels removed, showing waffle structure and bracketing

Object with panels removed, showing waffle structure and bracketing

Object projection mapped with an oscillating, color changing pattern

Object projection mapped with an oscillating, color changing pattern

Close-up of panels attached

Close-up of panels attached

Object projection mapped with a digitally placed (artificial) light source

Object projection mapped with a digitally placed (artificial) light source

3D-printed brackets with magnets attached

3D-printed brackets with magnets attached

Object with a more complex pattern that corrects for the angle of each panel

Object with a more complex pattern that corrects for the angle of each panel

Close-up of the wall during projection

Close-up of the wall during projection