The Lab

Cymata: First Laser Cut Prototype

Last week, we were pretty excited to get some laser cut proofs for Cymata courtesy of the Laser Cutter Cafe here in Vancouver. In our last blog post about the project, I described a bit how we would be changing the final output to be something you could wear. We felt it was important to start prototyping the physical part of the project along with the programming end, to start sharing ideas between both things.

We’ve split up the process of making these things into a few parts. First, we record a small sample. Then we take that sample and analyze the sound values to render out a text file with numerical data. Finally, we use that data to alter shapes according to the volume of certain frequencies – in this case, some circles.

I had my fiancée record a simple “I love you”, and I started to play with translating the sample into simple shapes from there. Eventually I got to being able to output a PDF, which we could send to get laser cut. These photos show how we’re wanting it to work:  when spread out along a string, the circles create a 3D waveform.

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The final sample is pretty large in some areas, so I don’t think it’s quite wearable yet. In the beginning of next year, we’ll be looking into setting a maximum value for the size of the circles and perhaps more in-between frequencies, so we can have a more visually interesting set of slices in the waveform. We’ll also be testing some new types of wood to see what feels right in terms of weight and build quality. Stay tuned!

1 Comment

  1. January 24, 2014

    […] Matt’s last post, he explained some of the process involved in laser cutting our last prototype. Above is an example […]

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