The Penrose (Danah + Steph)

Part 1

We are to create 3D tiles in Rhino then using a 3-axis CNC MILLING machine we will produce a pattern on timber and foam .

First we explored different tiles and terminology

  • Packing – As close together as possible for strength
  • Cracking – finding the centre and dividing it many times
  • Blending – Random spacial lines/curved blended together
  • Tiling – Finding the mid-point then project a 90 degrees extension
  • A Penrose – tiling (featured on RMITs Story Hall)

This is a joint project and on completion there will be a report submitted.


In Rhino 4, create 3 different curves

– First curve (create top to bottom)

– Second curve (create top to bottom)

– Third curve (create bottom to top)

**Make sure ortho is turned off when doing this as you want to create a 3D curve… this is what happens

** You can use any type of curve tool, and feel free to use “F10” or the “rebuild” mode to make an interesting form

Then visit

– Click “View Plain”

– Copy the text

– Open Notepad and paste text

– Save file as an .rvb document and on the drop down menu click all files

Back in Rhino 4, “LoadScript” and all the .rvb file saved

After we found a design that we liked, we turned it into a blended shape

Final tweak and Rhino Cam

About Rhino-Cam

– This is the Rhino plug-in used to get the CNC Milling mesh

– Remember, this program is also good for simulation of designs, this technique could be used in studio / tech to communicate designs

– This plug-in is not actually connected to the CNC Miller, but is able to make files for the machine to formulate the design

At this stage we decided on a final blend design and the technical CNC Milling technique.

Our chosen technique was to vary the depth of each of the blend lines that would be cut (we found out later that this was quite a large task we took on!).

From a technical point of view (and for aesthetics!) the deepest we decided to go on our blends trace was 12 mm maximum. This was because it would simply take too much time to cut.

To get the variation of levels that the CNC miller would cut our trace we did the following steps:

– Copy the shape, sit it under the original

– In order to bring up the copied tiles corners we select the copied tile then “Transform” -> “Blend”

(This worked for one of the three corners of our tile.)

– To connect the other two corners of the copy to the original we  “Rebuild”(t)

– Then we lowered the amount of points on the copied surface and turned on then F11.

We did this because we wanted a flowing pattern of depth for the miller to follow.

(we did the opposite in the second tile, for a contrasting effect)

– We carefully pushed up the copied surface by dragging the points and referring to the various viewpoints, then measuring the distance between the original and the copy after that to check that it is not greater than 12mm.

Final products!! 😀

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