Introduction: 3D String Sculpture Within MDF Frame

Picture of 3D String Sculpture Within MDF Frame

This is a tutorial using different materials to study string art in a three dimensional form.

Step 1: Step 1: Gather All Materials

Picture of Step 1: Gather All Materials

To begin this project, it is necessary to obtain the proper materials.

You will need:

1) MDF Board (recommended 1/8" thickness)

2) Glue (Tacky Glue works well with MDF, Maxi-cure works well to secure the string in the frame)

3) String (May use string or twine, make sure thickness of string is smaller that 1/16")

4) Scissors

5) Tweezers (optional, but very helpful)

Also, make sure you have access to a laser cutter (or a drill with a 1/16" drill bit)

Step 2: Step 2: Create Digital Model of Frame

Picture of Step 2: Create Digital Model of Frame

This is the stage where you design what the outer frame will look like. The string will be woven through this frame, so make sure it has enough support/strength to maintain the string in tension.

You may mimic the provided designs, or you may create your own frame design. Just make sure the thickness of the frame is at least 1/8"x1/8" thick.

Once you have the frame designed, next you will want to puncture 1/16" diameter holes along the members. As you can see in the images, the holes are spaced evenly throughout the frame, and this is where the string will be woven through. Again, you can mimic the design provided, or design your own hole pattern.

Step 3: Step 3: Prepare Laser Cut File

Picture of Step 3: Prepare Laser Cut File

Once you finalize the digital model, explode the frame into separate pieces so that they may be laser cut. Make sure that the scale is accurate and the planes you cut out are completely flat. Lay them out in a laser cutter template and get cutting!

Step 4: Step 4: Laser Cut the Frame Pieces

Picture of Step 4: Laser Cut the Frame Pieces

Laser cut the frame pieces so that you can start to assemble. Make sure to label the different pieces so you remember what pieces are meant to connect to one another! As you can see, I created four different pieces for my frame.

Step 5: Step 5: Assemble the Frame

Picture of Step 5: Assemble the Frame

Using the Tacky Glue, assemble the frame as you have designed it! The frame should resemble a rectangular shape once it is fully assembled.

Step 6: Step 6: Start to Weave the String

Picture of Step 6: Start to Weave the String

Once you have the frame assembled, you can begin to weave the string through the holes! You may aim to create a uniform pattern, or go completely random, it is up to your personal preference! Make sure you provide yourself plenty of slack with the string.

One you have the string woven, secure the string ends to the frame with the Maxi-Cure Glue!

Step 7: Step 7: Enjoy Your String Sculpture

Picture of Step 7: Enjoy Your String Sculpture

Now you are done and have an awesome 3D string sculpture! Great work!


JohnL622 made it! (author)2017-01-20

I made this sculpture using your instructable! I took out many of the different triangular frames because I wanted to minimize the frame. However that ended up allowing the frame to bow because the tightness of the string. The string is threaded in groups of 7 so that there is visual continuity as the string moves around the frame.

I wish the instructable was a little more clear on the process for frame was made and the workflow from digital modeling to laser cutting. It was really fun! :)

Modern Rustic Workshop (author)2017-01-14

Really phenomenal looking! Would love to make something like this just to play with on my desk!

watchmeflyy (author)2017-01-14

Nice job! What program did you use to generate your model and explode for laser cutting?

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2017-01-14

This looks really cool. It would be super impressive if it were made to a larger scale.

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