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This Instructable documents reproducing a black and white image using laser cut strips of paper. Each paper strip is printed with a gradient, then laser cut to a depth matching a specific column of pixels from the source image. The strips can be thought of as a cross section of the height map of the image.

Step 1: The Strip

I wrote Octave code that would sample columns of pixels at a fixed interval and convert this column of intensities into a vector drawing. Black pixels would be set to a minimum distance and white pixels were set to the maximum strip width. This vector drawing was saved as an SVG. In a separate jpg file, a gradient spanning the strips width was created.

Step 2: The Support

To guide the gluing of the strips, I laser cut a pattern into several 1/4” thick wood panels. Each guide line is 1/16” apart. I varied their appearance to avoid confusion. I backed the panels with a frame for support.

Step 3: 3. Printing, Cutting, Folding and Gluing, 2880 Times

Each piece of paper was first printed with several gradients, and then laser cut. I folded each strip at its base at about a 30 degree angle, using the guide shown, to give the piece some volume. Then I glued each strip in place following the guide lines, using a pH neutral glue. It took 3 strips to span the vertical distance. The total number of strips for the 60” wide piece was 2880.

<p>Amazing work, loved seeing it in person. </p>
<p>This is art. </p>
<p>It sounds beautiful. I would love to see it in person.</p>
<p>Lucky enough to have seen this in person. It's spectacular!</p>

About This Instructable

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Bio: I have a background in art and engineering, and make things that use both.
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