This project was created for my first nephew’s 1st birthday. This is the first child of all my siblings so he is the next generation of our family. I wanted to represent this with a tree of life and in order to make it a functional piece I decided to create a night light.

Construction: The tree design was inspired by a necklace my sister wears. I knew she was fond of it and might appreciate it as the design for the light. I hand drew an interpretation of this tree and then translated it to a vector file. From here I laser cut various layers of plywood and glued them together, along with the mirrored lens, to create the face and frame for the fixture. The final light was painted a golden color and the Arduino teensy was programmed in order to give the LED’s within the fixture the color and motion variation.

Assembly Pieces
the various laser cut pieces for construction
LED holder
assembled rings to create a recessed housing for the LEDS and a frame for the light
Edge Rings
the concentric layers of the frame to allude to tree rings
Final Wood Construction
sanded and finished assembled frame…I almost left it like this
Reflective Center
reflection onto the mirrored surface, how the light appears without the lights on

Tree of Life Digital Integration | Creating a repeating circular pattern in grasshopper

Grasshopper Snip

I was not sure what I wanted the border to look like so I created a grasshopper script which allowed me to vary the patterns shape, scale, and repetition until I got to something I was happy with. This became useful when I began to laser cut because I realized it was an inch too big to fit on my plywood sheet. After discovering this I was able to quickly adjust the parameters in grasshopper and scale down the whole piece without scaling down the pattern. This was important because I wanted to maintain the size of the circles and tear shapes so I couldn’t just scale down the entire design altogether. Additionally, I was able to adjust the spacing and repetition of the shapes so they were not too close together when printing.


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