Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Doll Houses, Minecraft, Mockups

I have had in mind for a while now to use my laser cutter to make a doll house. The laser is so precise and the things that can be done with it are really astounding to me. Thus far I have limited myself to largely 2D design work, with the exception of some of my paper sculptures. A doll house would really push the limits of what I have done with my laser cutter so far, so the idea seems like a pretty good one to me.

Of course, you have to crawl before you can walk, and walk before you can run, so I thought I'd start by crawling. I thought about doll houses for a while, looked at pictures of doll houses, and played about with some of my sister's dolls to get an idea of scale. I settled on the idea of making something in a 1:24 scale, which is a relatively new standard for doll house sizing which I find convenient because the small size means that making pieces for a doll house will be possible in my small laser cutter.

I wanted to play around with some things in a 3D environment, but realized that would entail learning a complex program like Blender or Sketchup, and while I do want to eventually use those tools, I didn't feel the need to model it that precisely in 3D. My designs get altered so much when I'm working on them in Inkscape that I figured the 3D models would only be really good for mockups. So I decided to go with something a little unorthodox: Minecraft. Yes, this doll house design began in Minecraft.

This proved to be an incredibly intuitive way to experiment with the basic shapes and ideas I wanted to have, so I could move into making some designs in Inkscape. Here you can see a very rough first idea of a house-shaped template. As you can see, some things are already being changed even here. I am excited to continue experimenting and see what I can learn.

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