Patterns Collection - for Bending Rigid Materials




About: CncFactory is a templates designer for cnc machines

This patterns selection for bending rigid materials wants to bring about the creation of new designs that allow bending of some rigid materials. The pierced decoration of this patterns let unload the tension of the material when curving and permit us to use - for example- the wood in many original and different ways.

Inspired by Patrick Fenner's interesting work on "Lattice Hinge Test Results", "Lattice Hinge Design" and "Curved Laser Bent Wood" by Aaron Porterfield, I have tried to provide other variants of cuts to this work technique. Some of these patterns are more flexible than others and require an appropriate configuration based on the characteristics of the material used (rigidity, dimensions, thickness, tension, aesthetics).
Wood cutting tests performed at Fablab Venezia

Hoping that they will be useful for a future research of new designs and systems of curvature.

This tutorial tries to explain how to use them and how to apply them in your project.

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Step 1: Photo Documentation

Step 2:

  • In the file that you can download (.dxf/.svg/.pdf) you will find 12 different patterns designs.
  • Identify the work zone where you want bending the material

Step 3:

  • Choose a drawing and select in the upper-right part its individual pattern
  • You can modify the pattern as you like, but it's important the respect of its symmetry

Step 4:

  • Position the pattern on the corner of your curvature area. It's better if you work keeping always the hooking activated (snap), the high precision it's fundamental for a good end result.
  • Clone the pattern horizontally to cover the desired area.
  • Select and resize the strip until it fit into the sides of the work area.

Step 5:

  • Duplicate the whole strip in a second line. We will use this second line of patterns to close them laterally. Close the vertical sides of the pattern with vertical lines.
  • Clone this pattern to cover the desired area. Probably there will be unclosed lines at the beginning and end of the zone, you can leave them or cancel them.

Step 6:

  • Join the open points and merge everything into a single line.



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    6 Discussions


    2 years ago

    I get that the flexibility is based on material but why didn't you list the material and thickness you used?

    3 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    A lot of general purpose laser cutters handle 1/8" plywood well. That what it looks like to me. Amazon has tons of venders for this.


    Reply 2 years ago

    Plywood would be the best because of the strength it gets from the alternating directions of the grains in the veneers.
    I would like to see if this could be done with a single layer piece of wood of the same thickness, I would assume it would have to go with the grain or it could snap.


    Reply 2 years ago

    Agreed. The 1/8" x 12"x12" ones I bought have at least 3 layers from what I see.