Flat Pack Future

This exercise is about building 3d form using 2D materials. I want you to design a kit of parts that can be assembled to create a 3D form. On the laser cutter we can cut flat stock (corrugated cardboard, matte board, architectural pywood). The trick is desinging flat parts that can be assembled to make a 3D structure. This technique is probably most familiar to you from wooden models (see the dinosaur above). In terms of form, this exercise is very open ended – you do not need to make a dinosaur.

For this assignment you can predominantly do 2D free-form drawing in Rhino, so long as you are sure to include some tabs and slots so that those drawings can be assembled after they are cut.

Learning Goals:


  1. Ideation
    • What kind of a form do you want to make? (Discuss)
  2. Design
    • Refer to our week3 tutorials and the video recording.
    • You will create a complete 2D layout for your part in Rhino.
    • You do not necessarily need to assemble it in 3D in Rhino. (Though if it helps you to think through how the piece will go together, then extrude your outlines as 2D parts, and rotate/translate/assemble them in 3D)
  3. Fabrication
    • You need to actually fabricate this assignment from some flat material.
      • I suggest that you use salvaged corrogated cardboard.
    • What time will we have open fabrication hours? check here


  1. Documentation:
    • Take screenshots of your 2d designs
    • Photos/videos to document your fabrication and assembly process
    • Photographs of your final product, assembled. Follow good documentation procedure.
    • SVG export of your final design, formatted to run on our laser cutter. (remember to hide extraneous layers)
    • Photographs of your final product.
  2. Sketchbook Updates:
    • sketches; screenshots of 2D designs; process images/videos; photos of final product; any notes, narrative about process.
  3. Submission:
    • Photographs of the final product
    • SVG file of your cutting templates
    • Rhino file (3DM)
    • Upload all of these files to Canvas
      • (use the naming convention ex3_Lastname_1.jpg and ex3_Lastname.svg ex3_Lastname.3dm for the files.)

DUE 9/16, 9pm (Thursday) to Canvas