Exercise 01 > 2D Drawing

This exercise was based on learning to use BeetleBlocks to create a 2D drawing through turtle geometry. The second step consisted of converting these scripts to SVG files that were capable of being read by the vinyl cutter (US Cutter Laser Point II). We utilized the machine to draw with different mediums and materials



TRIANGLE MAP > BB script here

This script was written in order to have a better understanding of Beetleblocks. A sequence of 120 angles, where the intersection of several sequences starts to form triangles. The change in hues starts to determine hierarchy where the lighter it gets the  further we are within the script. In other words, the different hues determines the repeat within the loop.




Based on the previous script, we tried to maintain the triangular replication but added a circle boundary. When the beetle hits the boundary, it would start the sequence of triangles again from the same point. This way the circular shape is highlighted while the interior stays lighter. We were trying to explore 3D in 2D script, while maintaining control over the beetle’s movements and being able to track them with the gradiant of color.

Grid3 (1)


FLOWER > BB script here

Based on the length of the segment, the hue begins to change. This way, within the folds of the square we were able to track the different sides. Each segment is smaller than the previous one, which creates n “open” suqare that is folding around its center. The effect achieved is a flower that seems to rotate around its center where all lines start.

flowers2 (1)


CIRCLE WALK > BB script here

Screenshot 2016-09-01 12.55.57




FIREWORKS > BB script here

Screenshot 2016-09-01 12.51.38




EXPLOSION > BB script here

Screenshot 2016-09-01 12.51.42




SCRIBBLE > BB script here

Screenshot 2016-09-01 12.51.58




Screenshot 2016-09-01 12.52.04




EXPLOSION POINT > BB script here

Screenshot 2016-09-01 12.52.19




GRADIENT GRID > BB script here

The original attempt for the gradient grids were to create a pattern of square that was a gradient of color in one diagonal direction and a gradient of density in the other diagonal direction. I couldn’t ever get the density squares to stop at the edge of the grid (in the second image), so eventual result was the top image, where the density also changes with the color.

Screenshot 2016-09-01 12.52.24





Screenshot 2016-09-01 12.55.21







ANAGLYPH > BB script here

Using the sine curve as a guideline, we wanted to create a 3D effect. Using different scales of the same form as well as having them emerge from the same point begins to emphasize the beginning of extrusion of the overall form. We began to picture this drawing as the shadow of many projected columns. Using an offset of the form for its three different scales, was created in order to have them be in blue and red which would represent the way to draw an anaglyph.





Using the vinyl cutter, we inserted a simple blue pen into the pen holder. We initially wanted to have the drawing be in blue and red but we have failed to print the two colors at different time, therefore the vinyl cutter drew the whole drawing with one pen. On one hand, we appreciate the type of  line weight that the pen left, yet on the other we would have liked to see if, when printed with its two color, the drawing would have kept its anaglyph effect.









SINE CURVE > BB script here

Based on the sine curve, different segments come of the curve. Each segment comes out of the main curve in a random angle varying from -45 to 45 as well as different size also varying between 1 and 6 BB units. We were inspired by our initial Anaglyph drawing when we generated this.



This drawing was done with a vinyl cutter on 11 by 17 paper with two pens with a felt tip; one blue and one red one. The drawing was pretty successful as we did not take major risks with the medium used. After further discussion with our peers, we decided to think of this drawing as a diagram of one bridge-like structure, where one color can be read as the position in tension and the other color the position in compression.




BLACK HOLE > BB script here

This drawing is focused around triangles. The script is oriented around a center where each triangle shares the same centroid. Each triangle is multiplied four times with each different one is slighty shifted. The lighter the triangle the smaller it is. Having this gradiant of color, starts to emphasize the three dimensions of the overall drawing. We started to observe this drawing as a tunnel that went from very narrow (small triangle/light) to very wide (larger triangle/darker).



This first drawing was made on watercolor paper with the intent to have the colors spread. First we used water color pencils of four different colors – yellow green blue and purple. Each color was printed separately in the hopes of creating that gradiant of color that would maintain the 3 dimensional effect we got with the BB script. We set up the paper and pen into the viny cutter then kept switching the pens until the drawing was complete. Once the script was printed, we took the paper and ran it under tap water. We hoped to have the watercolor crayon pigment dilute under the water and spread on the page but we were not able to achieve such results.


This drawing was made, again, on a vinyl cutter with a dip pen. The nib of the pen was one that was pretty thin which creates thin line weights. We set the vinyl cutter to print the triangles as one initial cut-rather than cutting the different colors. We first inked the pen and then sent the print. The drawing below shows fewer lines than the initial script because it was done with only the initial inking of the pen. In other words, once the pen ran dry we stopped the print.


On the other hand, this drawing was set up the same way as the previous one yet we used a thicker nib. Moreover, every time the pen ran dry we would take of the machine and ink it again until the print was over. Because of the overlap of many lines and the amount of ink that was introduced at different times of the drawing, the ink started to wet the paper and the nib started to scratch the paper.



Below are pictures of the failed attempt of drawing the Black Hole drawing. We wanted to try the dip pen with the previous script on thinner paper. We wanted to try this on thin paper because we hoped the ink would spread among the fiber and start to create more diversion within the drawing. Yet, the ink pen ripped the paper with its very sharp nib while the wetness of the ink weakened the paper even more.

dsc_0100 dsc_0101 dsc_0102

This drawing failed because for the white pencil to leave a mark on the black paper we had to increase the pressure of the machine while the drawing had many lines which means that the tip of the pen ran out very fast. We had to resharpen the pencil, readjust the electrical tape and reinsert the pencil after three lines. We did not want to be resharpening the pen so often as then we didn’t not see how valuable the machine was to the whole process.





Screenshot 2016-09-01 12.52.13



We tried to make a drawing on Cyanotype fabric with a light pen. We used the vinyl cutter on 100 mm/s, and ran it twice, while it was under a black sheet. However, nothing turned out when we took it out. We think that studio was really too bright, and our light pen was not bright enough. We also probably should have run the pen many more times than twice.


We used a needle point tool used for ceramics on black scratch board.

We also tested out a second method by breaking another clay tool and taping it so that it would drag at an angle. It didn’t work at all! The pressure just bent the tool and didn’t scratch the paper.


We tried several pressures, and settled on around 250 g after it ripped the paper at 450 g.


We also had some trouble centering the drawing properly as the sheets were only 8.5×11 and the vinyl cutter wouldn’t grasp them with two clamps in portrait. Eventually, we set up our file as an 11×17 with the drawing on the bottom half of the page, and inserted the paper in landscape.


The wheels left slight marks on the scratch board.