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.
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.