Home > I Made a Thing! > Treeline


Late in my Brown undergrad stint, a professor in the art department, Paul Myoda, made the mistake of placing me  in charge of staring at the brand-new, super expensive laser cutter for three hours a week and making sure it didn’t fall apart or get stolen or something.  As a result, I had access to it 24 hours a day.  I don’t know who could possibly resist the temptation to do stuff with it–Ponoko is a fantastic way to get things cut, but a pile of acrylic, wood and vinyl and your very own 80-watt CO2 laser cutter is just sublime.  I was exceptionally fortunate to have this kind of toy to play with.

The main design in this project, the treeline itself, is created from a composite of a bunch of tree photos taken from my own collection and from around the internet.  These are a couple prominent ones, located on the headstock and the top tube, respectively:


I first stitched the images together in photoshop, then traced the trees in illustrator to create an outline of the shapes that a lasercutter could follow (click for detailed image).
With all the tiny turns and lines, it took a good twenty or thirty minutes to cut out.  And that doesn’t include the time it took to painstakingly peel it off the backing and stick it to the frame without destroying it or snarling it into a ball of adhesive disappointment.


Recognize the tree on the headstock?  The other one appears about halfway down the big treeline on the top tube, cut in miniature by the deft moves of the machine.
A funny thing happened.  I originally had planned on just making that first treeline, but I found very quickly that I simply could not resist designing and cutting.  The machine could create with blinding speed any concept I designed, and it was a slide down a slippery slope from there.  Long story short, here’s what I ended up with (click ’em for some seriously high resolution versions):

I’m kind of disappointed that it’s done now; it was a whole lot of fun to put together.  Oh well!  Finishing is a necessary evil, I suppose.

On to the next project!

Categories: I Made a Thing!
  1. August 3, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    So awesome! Good Bike too, I’ve got 2 Felts now. (s22, and F55)

  1. August 4, 2011 at 10:10 am
  2. August 4, 2011 at 3:11 pm

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