I love getting to work in the space where art meets engineering! For Laser Thursday this week I took a page out of the book of game developers everywhere and used solid noise to generate my laser design.
Using a few handy lines of Python I was able to take a greyscale image of some solid noise, break it into “bands” matching the thickness of my material, and then use the color of each pixel in these bands to dictate the path the laser would follow. In the end I had a set of 20 SVGs I could then cut into separate 2.5"x2.5"x1/8" clear acrylic squares.
The finished product doesn’t do much other than sit on my desk and look neat (I actually ended up stacking the negatives to build an overly intricate pencil holder) but regardless I’d call the experiment a success. Trading artistic roles with your code can be a ton of fun, and I think if I do something like this again I’ll try a different material, maybe Maple or Padauk? It’s a little tough to see contours in a clear material…
If any of you out there in the community have mathematically generated laser projects of your own, I’d love to see them!