I wanted to give myself an exercise in Grasshopper (a parametric extension for Rhinoceros – a 3D modelling program). The glitch art aesthetic has always appealed to me, and I wanted to see if it could be extended to three dimensional product design.
To do so, I created a Grasshopper program that generates a cone, slices it into discs of pseudorandom height, and offsets each disc in the X and Y axis independently. Then, the solid model is sliced into vertical (and then rotated) louvres, which slot into their supporting rings at top and bottom. At the top of each louvre, a small grid of circular holes indicates their assembly order. Finally, each piece is arrayed flat on the ground plane, where the drawing can be baked (finalized) and converted into a laser-cuttable file.
The grasshopper definition variables control the pendant lamp's height, upper and lower diameter, the # of random glitches, the minimum and maximum height for each glitch, the X and Y max offset, the # of louvres (+ their depth and rotation angle), and the thickness of the material to be laser cut. Theoretically, such a program could be interfaced by a web app so that anyone could customize their lamp, and simply download the tool path for laser cutting, without design expertise or CAD software.