Picture of Curved laser bent wood

This instructable will cover my own experiments with laser kerf bent wood, also known as lattice hinges, and how I tried to create it parametrically to bend along a curved surface.

There's a lot of good information about lattice hinges here http://www.deferredprocrastination.co.uk/blog/cate... which explains the concept and actual physics behind it.

I'm no engineer, so all of what I've found is through trial and error.

Step 1: Patterns

Picture of Patterns

I tried a lot of different patterns to try to achieve different results, most of which were failed attempts at making a doubly curved surface. Some turned out to be more flexible than I expected. Some were much less than expected.

I'll explain each pattern in the following steps.

I've attached the files for the pattern samples in the photo above. If your browser tries to open the file and you get a blank page, try right clicking the link and choose "save link as". It seems people are having issues downloading the files.

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Hi Aaron and everybody,

I was researching the same thing, and I have found a pattern that is super flexible in both directions and it is possible to achieve double curvature surfaces.

I wanted to share it with you since you've done such a nice research.

visit to download dxf file


super_flexible _playwood_ (10).JPGsuper_flexible _playwood_ (15).JPG
yueshi1 month ago

Hi Aaron, I am Yue, a new AiR just joined pier 9 this month. I saw your study of the bend wood sample material on the showcase shelf. the patterns are very cool. Gabe showed me this instructable today and I thought that I can use the bend wood to cover curved gaps. it turns out great. thanks for knowledge and sharing!

rinusdamen1 year ago

I cannot download the .dxf file, i get a webpage with a lot of text, what do i do wrong?

Aaron Porterfield (author)  rinusdamen1 year ago

Try right click and "save link as", or the mac equivalent (sorry I'm mac illiterate).

Hello Aaron, Unfortunately I am also unable to save the .dxf, save link as.... does force me to save the file as html... please help!

ClaraS11 month ago

Hi! Really nice work, really love how much you can use it for and how nice it looks. May I ask what scale you have been making it? What should be the distance between two lines? And how trick can the plywood be? Making a case for my boyfriends moduler synthesizer.

buck22172 months ago

That looks awesome, shame I don't have a laser cutter!

joe.andolina made it!2 months ago

Getting my head around the laser cutter. The kerf bending stuff is kinda amazing. I had some trouble with the curve math. How do you measure the curves so that the tabs line up correctly? Should I be measuring the inside edges?

Aaron Porterfield (author)  joe.andolina2 months ago
That looks great! Yes the length of the inner radius should match.
tatiang3 months ago

Love the study of kerf bending patterns. I ended up using the cross lattice for a round box I'm making and it worked great. It opens up so many possibilities for working with wood and a laser cut. Thanks!

amoore323 months ago

Great resources. Looking to make a 3mm plywood bookcover with this for a uni project. Any input on what pattern you'd recommend

alex.lobodan4 months ago

could this be done on a cnc machine?

A laser cutter technically is a cnc machine, but I guess you mean a cnc router? It can, especially makes sense for thicker material (we bent 10mm plywood easily). The limitations of the cnc router are actually an advantage here, because it's impossible to create sharp 90° angles.

Just keep in mind to adjust the distances accordingly, because the router takes away more material than the laser. It ends up being stiffer in the end, so it's more for bend-once-then-glue connections that won't move much.

I'm working on laser cutting a flexible ramp. Which one would you recommend to use where it'll create a relatively smooth surface? The ramp is a parabolic piece-wise function with the latticed section being the actual surface the ball is travelling on. #1 with some space filling cyanoacrylate or epoxy?

malialtin1 year ago
I am not sure if it helps. I had tried for double bending sometime ago. These are out of thin PVC sheets. These could be useful for wood also if you try with different dimensions.

amazing work! wonder if i can test it for some fashion project. can i use it? =)

Aaron Porterfield (author)  malialtin1 year ago
Nice! I wonder what would happen if it was scaled way down and cut from wood.
fer_qo5 months ago

BUSCO DISEÑO para corte laser y cnc router.

porfavor contactar con el siguiente rotulo DISEÑOS PARA CORTE LASER - CNC

si la misma persona me puede realizar otros diseño tambien me interesa.

pub _ alternativa & yahoo com


felixmerk6 months ago

Hi, great work! Which material thickness of wood have you already tried?

Hi good afternoon, i say hi from mexico, recently i discovered your page i really like it, just a question i can not download the file, where in this page i can do it? thank you

wyattroscoe9 months ago

Really well done, my adjacent possible has been expanded.

Aaron Porterfield (author)  wyattroscoe8 months ago


felixmerk8 months ago

Hi Momsen,

I hope that Files work!

Please post a request.


Aaron Porterfield (author)  felixmerk8 months ago

Thanks so much!

Thank you sooo much! I do appreciatte your generosity by sharing .

Thank you!

RosalíaD9 months ago

AWESOME! I am going to test this tomorrow!!!!!!!!!

Aaron Porterfield (author)  RosalíaD8 months ago


Momsen Design8 months ago

Can anybody please make the .Ai file into .SVG for me. :-)

The .DXF only comes out as text and Inkscape cant open these two files for me. :-/

totony9 months ago

Any chance one of you could convert the file to SVG or another inkscape compatible format?

I can't wait to try these bends. Beyond function, some of them are very aesthetic!!

Mr.Hyde9 months ago
Impressive, I like your methodical approach with a focus on experiments. Will try these
Aaron Porterfield (author)  Mr.Hyde9 months ago
Thank you!
domenic31 year ago


Aaron Porterfield (author)  domenic39 months ago
Akar_Ki1 year ago

Nice job. I'm wondering what kind of modification should be
made, if any, in order to use these or similar pattern with a CNC router
instead of laser cutter/engraver? Anyone has experience in this
direction? Any suggestion would be appreciated.

Aaron Porterfield (author)  Akar_Ki1 year ago

It should translate to CNC without problems and possibly work better with a wider kerf. The things you will have to take into account are material thickness and pattern density. There are some formulas available online for figuring that out, if you understand them. For me it was just guess work.

alienate1 year ago

Have you tried Illustrator's Warp function? I wonder if you could eliminate the Photoshop step that way...

Aaron Porterfield (author)  alienate1 year ago

You're right! Thanks! I forgot Illustrator had it's own warp function. That definitely saves some time.

stico1 year ago

Nice job, made some experiments of my own few months ago but i've found out later i didn't invented sh*t ;). There's a patent in progress for something similar,. http://www.dukta.com/en/

Nice job anyway, wish i had that kind of tools to go crazy with wood experimentations !

keep up the good work mate ;)

Aaron Porterfield (author)  stico1 year ago
That's a shame. I'm not a fan of patents. Definitely don't let them stop you from doing your own experiments. You may discover something completely new.

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