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16 May 2012

Nervous System – Generative Puzzles



Jessica and Jesse of Nervous System just released these new Generative Puzzles featuring one-of-a-kind complex puzzle shapes and artwork from contemporary digital artists (Jonathan McCabe seen here). My favorite part of the puzzle are the random recognizable puzzle pieces that they inserted into the designs.

A little more about the project:
Each generative puzzle is a one of a kind creation with unique art and pieces. Our goal was to marry the artistry of traditional, hand-crafted jigsaw puzzles with the possibilities of new technologies. Custom software simulates crystal growth to create an organic interlocking pattern. Our laser cutter translates this into a unique set of plywood pieces. We collaborated with contemporary digital artists who created engaging artwork for the puzzles.
To create the organic shape of the pieces, we designed a system based the simulation of dendritic solidification, a crystal growth process similar to the formation of snowflakes that occurs in supercooled solutions of certain metallic alloys. By varying the parameter space, it can produce a variety of cut styles. You can read about how our simulation works here.
The puzzles are made entirely in our studio in Somerville, MA. We print the artwork on archival paper and laser cut the puzzles from birch plywood. They come in two sizes, a round 7.5″ puzzle with 85 pieces and a rectangular 18×12″ puzzle with 410 pieces. Every puzzle is unique.

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