Laser Cut Reaction-Diffusion Systems.

I’ve been looking for an excuse to play with Alan Turing’s reaction-diffusion model for a long time. My recent artist residency at the Laser Cutter Cafe was perfect.

I created a Processing sketch based on Christopher G. Jennings’ Java example:

After tweaking the diffusion constants a bit I realized I wanted to explore the parameter space to see what was out there. So I generated several grids of patterns to see how the values changed the appearance.

Based on that, I created another sketch which uses image masking to vary the diffusion constants across the surface. You can get the source code for these on GitHub:

Finally, I laser cut some raster and vector versions of the design. This is still just a test but I’m working on getting this pattern printed on a rolling pin so I can push it into pastries. Still more problems to solve for this one, though.


Some inspiration.
Structures grown studies.

ferrofluid in a shallow dish

Ferrofluids appear to be normal liquids until a magnet is introduced, then their unique properties quickly become apparent. Nanoparticles, coated to protect clumping, are suspended in a normal liquid like water or an organic solvent, and these materials have applications in everything from the drive shafts in hard disks to new methods of cancer detection and treatment.