Trekant - Customizable Tile

Introduction: Trekant - Customizable Tile

"Think outside the box, in this case the square."

This was a project by exchange students, from different studies and nationalities, asked to develop a new tile for Scandinavian market. To do so we used Photoshop to illustrate our ideas, illustrator to translate our ideas into something a machine could use and the latest ink jet technology to turn our ideas into real tiles. This process is shown in steps 1 to 5.

When making this Instructable we realized that not everyone will have access to ink jet tech, so we decided to also make two more DIYable versions, to see these skip to steps 6 and 7.

Step 1: Understanding the Market

One of the goals for this market was to create an innovative design which would change Scandinavian people’s perspective of the word tile. Through user and market research (as well as personal experience from three members of the group) we found that Scandinavian people like the customizable and clean design.

Step 2: Iterations

After thinking long and hard about how to cater to the users needs we ended up with three concepts. All based on the notion that triangles and diamonds would allow users to create their own patterns by simply turning the tiles. While at the same time making it easy for a supplier to mass produce it.

At this stage is when the photo manipulation software came in handy to visually communicate our ideas to users and figure out which one was most popular.

Step 3: Translating the Ideas Into Something the Machine Can Diggest

Still not sure which concept to pick we went about prototyping all three. In this case we got the tiles printed by INKCID in Valencia. (

The first step in doing so was to create a vector image on illustrator, which you can find attached or make yourself. In addition it is always good to add a PDF or jpeg explaining the exact dimensions and colours you want on your tile. Usually you will get a square tile printed and in this case we were lucky to have them cut as well as printed. So we added another illustrator file for the CNC machine. Although there are many other possibilities for cutting the tile, you can even just do it at home.

Step 4: Prototypes

These were the end results printed, baked and cut.

Step 5: Product in Context

Trekant is an innovative way to decorate your wall. The idea behind the concept is to allow end users to be creative and unique. The tile can create a large number of patterns, depending on the total amount of tiles.

Step 6: Lazer Cut and Engrave

If you don't have access to a ink jet company or tile supplier, a good alternative is to do it your self. Go to your local fablab or find a lazer cutter on-line and cut out and engrave some triangles in plywood. To do so you can use the vector file attached in this section.Then fix the triangles to each other with fishing wire and hang it.

We haven't done this ourselves but you can get an idea of what it cold look like from the render.

Step 7: Saw and Paint

One last way to do it is to simply:

  1. buy regular plywood or bamboo plywood, fishing wire and paint,
  2. make a stencil,
  3. draw the triangles in the wood,
  4. saw them,
  5. dip the tip or each triangle up to the previously draw guide
  6. fix them to each other in what ever pattern you like with the fishing wire
  7. hang it

Again we haven't physically prototyped this particular variation of the concept but it is very feasible. You can get an idea of what it could potentially look like from the render. You can find the stencil template attached.

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