Stipple the Hoan

StippleGen2 from our friends at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories is a great little application for creating line art from graphic images. The docs on their wiki will give you a good overview of what it does.

When I first got my Egg-Bot I used an application called “Voronoi Stippler” to play around with stippling, but sadly the code for the application was taken offline. StippleGen2 takes the place of Voronoi Stippler quite well!

Hoan Bridge Graphic
Original Hoan Bridge Graphic

I started out with this graphic of the Hoan Bridge, a Milwaukee Landmark, and converted the small color image to a larger grayscale image. (Why the Hoan Bridge? Because someone on Facebook suggested it!)

Hoan TSP
TSP Artwork

Here is the result of generating the TSP art. What is TSP you ask? Basically, it’s a path with a single line. It’s great for generating toolpaths used by things like CNC machines, engravers, routers, lasers, etc. (Find out more about TSP!)

Hoan Stipples
Stipple Artwork

I wasn’t convinced the TSP art would come out great, so I went to the circular stipples. Here’s the final version, which is incredibly hard to see rendered properly at this size, so look below for some zoomed in versions.

Hoan Stipples Zoomed
Stipple Artwork Zoomed In

Hoan Stipples Zoomed More
Stipple Artwork Zoomed In More

Hoan Stipples Zoomed Even More
Stipple Artwork Zoomed In Even More!

As you can see, the circles overlap, which means if we were to etch this with a laser, and use the vector setting (as opposed to raster) it would see each circle as a distinct object, and etch each one. (Etching as raster would most likely just etch it all as one single blob, no individual circles.)

So because each circle will be etched individually, and they overlap, we’ll end up with different heights/layers, as it were, due to some areas of our material being hit with the laser more than once. In other words… texture!

Laser-eched Hoan
Final Laser-etched piece

Here’s our final piece of laser-etched Baltic Birch plywood. Below you can see some zoomed in shots showing the surface. Notice how the circles are so small they essentially looks like dots. (You can click each photo to see the large version on Flickr.)

Laser-eched Hoan
Close-up of stipples

Laser-eched Hoan
Texture in upper-right corner

Laser-eched Hoan
Texture in the letter “N”