Geometric Pillow Forms



Introduction: Geometric Pillow Forms

I'm going to demonstrate how to make random geometric shapes into pillow-like forms.  The forms in this instructable I made as an abstract art project; however the design behind them is not limited to abstract art specifically.  Be open-minded and take these designs wherever your ideas take you. 

Step 1: Tools

You will need

Rhino Software(or something of the like)
Visual MILL 

fabric for stuffing 
sewing machine
super 77

Step 2: Design Your Shape

Using Rhino, construct an interesting water tight geometric shape. 

Start by:
- choosing one of the 3D shapes from the icon (cube, cone, pyramid, etc.)
- "explode" the shape
- delete one or two of the surfaces
- turn on control points for the entire form
- use the control points to push and pull surfaces constructing a new form
- build surfaces to fill in gaps and make the form solid (make sure to have Osnap on and check the End and Point boxes)
-once you have your final shape make sure it is a solid by using the "join" command (if there are holes in the design you won't be able to join it) -if this happens: locate the areas that need repairs and use the "patch" or "drape" command to connect your surfaces together.

Step 3: Unroll Pattern

Now it's time to change the 3D model into a 2D pattern in order to print it.

- first, make the object a mesh (using the icon my shape is pointing to on the left in the first picture)
- remove the mesh so only the polysurface is left 
- use the "UnrollSrf" command on the polysurface (make sure: Explode=Yes, Labels=Yes) 

-next you want to "scale" your pattern depending on what size pillows you want to make.  This depends on what you are using as a printer. I used 11in x 17in paper to print with.  

*If you would like to make your shapes bigger, you can use a CNC machine to draw out your plans with a marker directly on your fabric or paper* 

- once the pattern is to scale save the file as a 3dm file and open it up in Visual Mill where you can then print out your plans. 

Step 4: Fabric Fun!

Now comes the fun part. 

- to save fabric cut out each shape individually (make sure to leave room around the edges as shown in the first picture)
- next use the super 77 to adhere the paper to the canvas (pins work too, but this way is faster)
- use fabric scissors to get a clean cut with the canvas

Laying out your pattern 
+ If you've ever made or seen patterns used to make clothes, this part is very similar.

- find the numbers that match and line up the corresponding edges - this is where you will be making your seams.  

Step 5: Sewing!

- place corresponding numbers back to back so the the paper side is facing out and the edges are parallel 
- because the canvas is strong you probably wont need to pin them in place, but if you want to, T-pins are the way to go
- sew the shapes together, sewing into the paper, using the lines as your guide 

Note: not all the edges will have corresponding numbers, so don't be afraid if at first your shape doesn't make sense.  Once you start sewing your shape will start to take form and you will be able to piece the rest of it together by referencing back to your 3D model in Rhino. 

- once you get to a point where you don't need the plans anymore you can remove the paper
  *the super 77 makes the canvas a little sticky, something to keep in mind if you wanted to keep this side facing out*

Step 6: Stuff and Finish

- continue to sew up your shape, referencing back to Rhino if there is some confusion 
- make sure to leave one seam open 
- turn the fabric inside out so the edges of the seams are on the inside for a cleaner look
- now fill the form with some kind of stuffing  

*I used extra fabric I had at my house to give the forms weight; however, feel free to play around with other materials.  Just a few ideas I had: ice, marshmallows, metal wire, sand, and jello.  Get creative, make them function however you want. 

- to finish up, hand stitch the last seam closed being careful to tuck in the edges as you go

Now you know how to make geometric pillow shapes! Have Fun!

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