Picture of Desktop 3D String Art

Back in geometry class we used to draw these on paper. I could never remember what they were actually called, but I think they went by "string art". (That’s what came up in a search too)

Basically the Idea is making a curve with straight lines. Usually it's done on paper or 'stitched' onto cardboard. The plan for this one was to make a 3D version that I could hang on the wall or display on my desk. I think it turned out awesome, so I hope you like it and I can get more people to try it also.


Step 1: Supplies & Tools

 For this project you’re going to need a couple tools and supplies.

- Drill
- 3/16" Drill Bit
- Pencil (writing utensil)
- Tape Measure, Ruler
- Heavy Duty Stapler (this part is optional you could just use glue alone, you would need something else as an anchor then)
- Saw (I used a coping saw, but any fine toothed saw should work, you don't need to cut much)
- Clamps will be a big help, even more so if you’re just using glue.

- About 4 Feet of 3/4" Screen molding (also sold as plywood edging) this is the wood frame of the project.
- A Roll of String (I used mason line)
- Staples (If you’re using them)
- A Piece of Scrap Wood that’s about 1/2" thick
- Paint (optional of course)

(If I missed anything Sorry it will be somewhere in here)

Oystark5 months ago
Your awesome project inspired me to do my own!
Thanks :)
photo-17.03.15 12:40.jpg
mli33 years ago
Man, this illustrates the concept of derivatives rather well.
shokora3 years ago
Very nice : D Never thought of using these materials for the frame. Just a quick side-note for people wanting to make this. You can also use UV reactive neon-wire. This type of 3d art is done a lot in the psytrance / goa scene, and they build incredibly complex (and psychedelic) constructs with all sorts of neon-wire. I'm not sure where you can buy this outside of The Netherlands, but here you can probably find it at smartshops.
Marsanni5 years ago
I'm going to try and make one out of EL wire :D
Already tried. the string didn't bend the way I wanted it to and it's an awful pain to replace when the lights dim.
I thought the SAME thing! HAHA!
noelle_tan4 years ago
What could this be useful for? I want to make it, but I don't want it just be centrepiece.
its a parabola
Radh14 years ago
This is great..could You do this in fiber optic cable?
ezcheese4 years ago
Know the guy who built a stool like this. Its awesome.
Charlie134 years ago
i'm in the process of building one with UV LEDs and the some fluorescent string. should be cool to look at, but rather impractical for a coffee table unless it's at a night club
Mini Desktop 3D String Art
Inspired by this tutorial but not able to fit the result of it on my desk, I created a miniature version of it in my own Instructable. Thanks for the idea.
tz1_1zt5 years ago
Looks great. First thing I thought was,; "Wow, a deconstructed tennis racket" But no one else seems to have spotted that. I might make one and attach a racket handle to one end, just to communicate my hatred of the silly ball sport.
so true
Really good, fun, easy project. I just finished creating one, and hung it up on my wall. I found two things in the Instructable to be confusing or annoying, however: First, the small amount of pictures - Even just one or two more pictures on the steps when you're weaving in the string would help immensely with understanding the technique you used. Second, you should have measured how much string you actually used. Your units are very vague in writing, and you never had a picture of the string you had before weaving it. I had about 11 feet on my first attempt, and had to start over after the first "L" because I realized that it wasn't enough. I ended up using closer to like 20 or 25 feet of string. If you fixed those two aspects of the Instructable, it would be much easier for people to do the project.
well, if you say that each line is 8 inches, multiply by 10 lines per section, multiplied by three sections, equals 240 inches. then add about an inch for each turnaround. there are ten holes per leg, multiplied by four legs, equals 40 inches in turnarounds. 280 inches = 23’ 4". that took maybe thirty seconds to calculate? just a guesstimate.
Wow, very cool. Definatly gonna try it! Good job! :D
updown7895 years ago
I'm thinking about making two and stretching fabric over it to make a roof for a trellis. Hmm....
zigzagchris5 years ago
Wow stole this from my head. Used to do it on paper and thought of how well it would work with string
Kiteman5 years ago
You could make this with hinges at the corners, instead of the wooden blocks, and then hang it by one end from the ceiling.

Or a larger version, with more legs, could make a really interesting garden fence...
peguiono (author)  Kiteman5 years ago
good points, I just used what i had laying around for this one, I always thought if I made it large scale it would make a cool stairway banister or railing on a second floor.
it would be very nice
tanmanknex5 years ago
Can you say EL wire?
DIYCharlie5 years ago
This is very cool. I do believe I will be trying this very soon....well as soon as I finish up other projects. I think I'm going to try to complete the entire section, all 3 curves essentially, with one length of string. This will result in less overlapping and less use of the same hole...I think. If I finish it up, I'll post some pictures up here.
peguiono (author)  DIYCharlie5 years ago
Cool! I would love to see pictures if you do it
solo.card5 years ago
Really love this, and things of a similar nature. I used to draw these all the time when I was a kid. I love the various lamp shade type things using similar principles. :)
Use electroluminescent wire…
+1/2, because that would take A LOT of wire.
lol yup.
eulaliaaaa!5 years ago
It is called a "parabola". Great Instructable!
Or one half of a hyperbola :P
BeanGolem5 years ago
Yes! I just made a lampshade for the corner of my living room using a similar technique. It makes a pretty cool complex 3D surface though, because the two pieces of wood between which the yarn is stretched aren't in plane with each other. There are basically two of these that cross at the middle... Instructable this weekend!
peguiono (author)  BeanGolem5 years ago
awesome! I'll look out for it
Jayefuu5 years ago
Great job :D What other cool shapes can you make?
peguiono (author)  Jayefuu5 years ago
All kinds, You can adjust the angles to make different curves, and you can use a bunch of them together to make Images, It would be hard to do in 3d though. On paper you can make all kinds of shapes and figures with them.
peguiono (author) 5 years ago
Thanks for the nice comments everyone I really appreciate it.
SterLuMan5 years ago
Nice job on the thing and the instructable... if i wasnt so lazy id definitively do it...
ChrysN5 years ago
Nice, I remember drawing these when I was a kid.
frollard5 years ago
Beautiful project! The power of the compound curve in the mind is so beautiful.