Zillij by Chris K Palmer, (modified from a traditional design by his student Elizabeth Ager), 2009, 12″ diameter. Cut on the Craft ROBO Pro and assembled by Jeffrey Rutzky.

While teaching architecture at the University of Colorado-Boulder, Chris K Palmer developed Rhinoscripts to calculate intersecting ribs. Using several variables, such as material thicknesses, the script automatically generates vector-based files that, in turn, are used to drive CNC machines (laser and Craft ROBO cutters, 3-axis routers). Not only has Palmer expressed his favorite traditional Middle Eastern patterns, but he also has built, with his students, life-sized domed structures. All models assemble without external fasteners or adhesives, and use only the flat parts themselves, much like sliceforms.

Creating forms using the box slot connection began with work by Akio Hizume, who wrote custom software to calculate patterns, as well as scale and life-sized towers.

[via Bre Pettis’ I Make Things]

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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