Posts Tagged ‘snowflake’

Snowflakes are a seasonal craft around here.  Using my aforementioned Snowflake Seeds, my little family makes a variety of snowflakes to decorate our windows.  This year, I tried something a little different… a steampunk snowflake:

Steampunk Snowflake 1.0

I wasn’t sure that it would work… and I could do a lot more detail with a laser cutter… but for an experiment, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.  I’m obviously cheating on the spans, and I’ll make one with better meshing teeth later.  It really should get the brass and grunge treatment, but the shape is what’s important for this initial test.  I’d really love to make one with working gears via Shapeways… maybe once I can carve out a bit more time.

Happy holidays!

Edited to add:  Now, with more sense!  This version of the Gearflake has one more gear at the center, and the shape is entirely gears, no support struts like the first one.  Way too much fun to make these, I tell you.  The great part is that they don’t need any weird laser cutting tools, you can do these just with paper and scissors.  All the cuts come in from the sides of the snowflake seed.  (I’ve got a picture around here somewhere of the folded/cut versions of these…)  Sure, the gears aren’t machine precise, and there are errors thanks to the paper folding thickness… but still, these are great to see take shape.

Gearflake 2.0

This is the pattern to make the Gearflake 2.0.  Once you have the snowflake seed wedge, you take this pattern (maybe fudging the teeth if you want it a little more precise) and cut out the dark parts.  Leave the blue-grey parts.

Thanks for stopping by, especially if you’re here from epbot.com.  Many thanks for the link!

Gearflake 2.0 Pattern

…aaand here’s version 3.0.  Each iteration comes with another layer of gears.  I’m running into cutting resolution issues and slight warping (though that can be cleaned up with iteration), so I’m not sure if I can go a layer deeper.  I guess we’ll find out.  The basics are simple enough, alternating sides for each successive gear arc when plotting them out on the ‘seed, as you might note on the 2.0 pattern.  I’m sure I could use Illustrator or even Photoshop to nail down some more precise gearwork… these have been just arcs I’m guesstimating by hand.

This is probably way more fun than it should be.  It’s just papercutting after all… but it’s also math, art and a little bit of whimsy.  I love playing in that space.  It’s a somewhat eclectic Venn intersection, but it’s satisfying to see things come together.  Left brain-right brain combinations and all that.

Gearflake 3.0

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Here in the Northern hemisphere of the globe, snow is part of the Christmas season.  Decorations are also a big part of that whole social/celebration/homemaking/party thing.  Since Larisa recently called me a snowflake (thanks!), it got me thinking of snowflake decorations, and I figured I’d share my recipe for snowflake seeds.  I designed this bit of origami-like paperfolding to give a proper flat hexagonal structure for snowflake cutting, rather than the much easier but oh-so-inaccurate octagonal pattern that one sometimes sees.

…yes, I’m a purist snob in the art of cutting paper snowflakes.  I know, I’m terrible.  That said, if I could use a laser cutting table to do my snowflakes, I’d be all for it, and I *do* make crazy, arcing cuts on the “crystal spines” so I’m not really a purist…

Anyway, some step-by-step illustrations:

1. Start with a sheet of 8.5×11 paper and fold it in half the shorter way.  (This also works for most rectangular paper, say an A4 paper or a square, since the important angles come from the folds and their relationships.)

2. Fold the paper in half the other way (at a right angle to the first fold), then unfold.

Pre3 (optional). If you want some help for 3, you can make a “guidance” fold here and fold one edge in to the center from step 2, then unfold.

3. Fold one corner up from the center, making a 60 degree angle with the other side.  If you have the guidance fold from Pre3, the corner will touch the guidance fold.  I’ve taken to eyeballing this, and can usually get within a degree or three (evident when i fold step 4).  I prefer that since the guidance fold can show up in the final snowflake, but it’s really not a big deal either way.

It should look something like this:

4. Turn the paper over and fold the other corner up to match the edge of the fold from 3.  The resulting shape will leave you with a 60 degree angle pointing to the cross of the two initial folds, and should look like this.  There should be three “pockets”, one for each flap you folded and one for the center 60 degree slice in between.

5. Open the center “pocket” and flatten it along the folds made in step 2.  (One fold will be inverted.)

This should leave you with something like this:

6. Lift one of the (previously) corner pockets and flatten it, creating two new folds and aligning the old pocket’s “spine” fold with the underlying edges.

That should give you this:

Then turn the model over and do the same to the other corner pocket, which should leave you with this:

7. Fold the whole thing in half, as noted above.  This is your final Snowflake Seed, ready for cutting.

Here’s hoping that made sense.  I’m happy to answer any questions.  Apologies for posting this initially without pictures.  My internet connection has been intermittent and this slipped through the cracks.

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One of the tangential thoughts I’ve seen a few times about this RealID thing is that people with unique names will be easier to stalk.  Even though it’s not all that hard to track [RandomDude719], unique names make the heavy lifting easier.

So, I wandered over to HowManyofMe.com to see just how unique I am.  Y’know, just in case.   The Twitter, XBox Live and WordPress accounts may not cement my fame.

…or maybe I’m just looking for validation.  Anyway…

Turns out I’m the only one of me.  309,633,291 people in the U.S. according to the site, and I’m the only one with my first and last name.  In either order.

I’m a pretty, pretty snowflake.

Tish Tosh Tesh Flake

Too bad I’m already famous.  Otherwise, I might be concerned.

OK, OK, Ysh, here’s the nondoily version:

Tish Tosh Tesh Nondoily Flake

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