Wednesday, June 26, 2019

A STEM Project - Using the Silhouette Cameo Software to Make Kaleidoscope Flowers

If you like Kaleidoscopes then you will love making these Kaleidoscope flowers.

Make a circle using the drawing tools.  Remember that you need to hold the shift key down to make a perfectly round circle.

Second, make a petal shape that you would like repeated on the edge of the circle. This shape is a closed figure. Next, remove the portion that would be on the edge of the circle. To remove this portion inside the circle, you can do it in a variety of ways such as using the eraser tool or the knife tool or point editing mode. You can choose which ever one you feel comfortable with.  You have now created an open shaped object.

Next draw a straight vertical line. This line needs to be added to the shape to move the grab handle so that the software will work. Move this line so that the top of the line and the left side of the open shape are close to one another.

Here is an example of what I made 

Click and drag to make the petal shape and the straight line with a bounding box around them both. Go to the Object menu and in the drop down menu Make Compound Path.  Double click inside this bounding box to go to point editing mode. 

The red points that are at the top of the line and the bottom of the petal shape need to be joined. 

Click on the red dot and move it so that it turns from red to gray. The point that would be on the circle is gray and has been joined correctly.

This joined point is the point that the grab handle crosshair needs to be centered at. Adjust the line downwards by clicking on the red point on the left side of the figure(this point was the bottom of the line that you just merged with the petal figure) Move this red point until the cross hair circle is centered on the left side where the point would intersect the circle.

The grab handle crosshair is now positioned correctly over the left point on the circle.

Go to the Replicate menu and choose the Object on Path menu. Notice that the bounding box is around the petal shape. 

 Click on the Show Grab Handle. Move the curser to the Grab Handle Crosshair that you just created. The crosshair will turn red when you grab it correctly. Move the grab handle to the circle.  You will notice that you will get multiple petals depending on the number of repeats. I have three repeats. Notice that the petal is not angled correctly on the circle. You can change the angle by changing the start angle under the Perpendicular section of the menu.  

I clicked the start angle and moved the figure slowly until the angle was 27 to get the petal on the circle.

Here I added a few more petals by changing the Number of Repeats to five. At this point you are done making a flower. you can use the outer edge of the image by using the Offset menu. I will explain how to do this later.  In the meantime, I want to show you a really interesting part of the replicate software. You can alter the points of the flower to create a kaleidoscope!

Double click the flower image and you will get gray and red dots.  These dots are the original points of the petal figure with the handle. Drag the point around the screen to create interesting kaleidoscope figures. Change the values for the number of repeats and start angle to create even more variations of your design.

Kaleidoscope Flower

In order to get a cutable image, highlight the flower and set the Offset window to .01 and then apply. Go to the Object window to release the compound path.  Select the outer line which looks like your flower and highlight it to Offset the image with an Internal Offset of .01. Discard the outer image by deleting it. The resulting image is now your Kaleidoscope flower.

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