December 2019 archive
You may well ask, why am I posting a photo of a seemingly nondescript plane? Hint: it usually flies at night and this is the first time I've seen it by light of day. It's an old Boeing 747 modified to carry a big telescope. It's used for infrared astronomy observations which benefit from being way above most of the water vapor in the atmosphere.
When I first started working with wood, making curve‑shaped things usually started with drawing a shape on paper, perhaps with the aid of a compass and French curves. After settling on a shape, marking it on wood (with carbon paper or by cutting out the pattern and penciling around it) often introduced error.
I'm glad I don't have to do it that way anymore. The PostScript language (and many drawing programs) let you create cubic Bézier curves which concisely describe all kinds of shapes. You can print patterns on adhesive labels or clear film and stick that on wood before cutting.
The pic below came from some work I was doing on Thanksgiving day. I know it's traditional to give thanks for necessities like health or food or shelter but I am also grateful for Bézier curves and laser printers.