New software for making tessellations

3 min read

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Let's take a moment to celebrate professor Kevin Lee.

Kevin Lee is not well known for his original tessellations. He's done some, and they're quite good, but he's best known for what he does ABOUT tessellations. Here are two examples:

In the last 15 years, he's written several programs for making tessellations. They come out infrequently-- the previous copies barely work in the latest operating systems.

This month, he's releasing FREE version of TesselManiac, his latest tessellation creation software. It's a BETA (Bugs Every Ten Atoms) pre-official-stable-version release. It also includes a challenging game played with tessellations.

You can download this free version from the front page of his website,

The free version will run until mid-January 2014. After that, it shuts down.
This version is free because Kevin is hoping for feedback: Where are the bugs? What features need improvement? On the same page as the download button, you'll find a contact email for bug reporting, recommendations, and other constructive comments.

Kevin wrote, in a personal email to me (Sethness),  some notes on this version of Tesselmaniac:
"Edit Art Screen:
           More tools to come
           The line tool and pencil tool are really poly-lines and can be edited.
                       Click to drag an existing point
                       Click on a line segment to add a sharp point.
                       Shift-click on a line segment to add a curved point
                       Ctrl-click on a point to delete it
           If you hold the shift key down when starting a new pencil line it will be a curvy line.
By the way you may have resize the window to see all the buttons, I have to fix that someday."

The final stable bug-free version, available in early 2014, will cost ya $30.

Let's also belatedly applaud Kevin's 2013 win… for non-paper math-related art from the prestigious international "Bridges" Joint Math Meeting contest. To win, Kevin used his school's laser CNC cutter to make precision wooden copies of tessellations.

If you've never seen a laser cutter in action, click here (… ) and go to the bottom of the page. You'll see Kevin making this year's "Bridges" contest entry, a chessboard made from M. C. Escher's lizard tessellation. You'll also see him ruining it by driving over it with the rear axle of his car. (WHY, Kevin? WHY?!) He's cutting the tiles from separate pieces of wood, not a single solid piece, because the laser makes a cut 7/1000ndths of an inch wide, and that makes for too-wide (!) a gap for Kevin's precision projects.

The tessellations in Kevin's 2013 award-winning wooden box come from several artists:

Makoto Nakamura of Japan…
Alain Nicolas (Nicolas Alain?) of France…
Bruce Bilney, King of the Kangaroos…
and Robert Fathauer of Arizona.

None of mine, and none of Hop David's art showed up in Kevin's sculpture. THAT BASTARD!!!! (Just kidding!)
© 2013 - 2021 M-C-Escher-Style
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phitek's avatar
Love it, nice work! Thank you.:) (Smile)  Prof. Lee
Demo version is fun, might buy it! 
Rem. One for all...
dtw42's avatar
None of yours, none of Hop's, none of mine! Has the man no taste? Wink/Razz
Anyway, think I'll have a go with this ... good to have some dedicated tessellation software to play with. :)
sethness's avatar
...Dedicated software that isn't so old it needs us to bend over backwards to make it work in a 2013 computer.
Also, I think Kevin came pretty close to ONLY writing this software for Macintosh computers (not Windows). That would've cut me out of the picture entirely-- the only apples I know come in pies and on trees.
dtw42's avatar
Same here. I reckon Apple need to actually move into the desserts market. They could call it an iPud.
sethness's avatar
"iPud"... you have to say that with a Bill Cosby accent.…
(I think you're in England, right? Do you get the Bill Cosby Jell-O pudding commercials, there?)
dtw42's avatar
I am ... but we don't: never seen that before :P
sethness's avatar
BTW, true story: Apple corp. sued to stop a (New Zealand, I think) company from selling dogpoo shovels under the name "iPood". Apple's lawyers argued successfully that it would cause brand-name confusion: some idiot, somewhere, would think iPood shovels were made by Apple corp. Yeahrighsurefiiiine.

Meanwhile, the "iPood" brand has become quite successful for clothing. Go figure.…

Offtopic: Someday, please let me create a gallery of your tessellations in my "guest artist" 2D gallery, on tessellations dot org
dtw42's avatar
Sure, by all means – let me know if you'd need anything from me in order to do so. :-)
sethness's avatar
DO your illustrations on dA have dA watermarks? If so, I'd want watermarkless versions, and I'd put your private watermark or Tessellations dot org's watermark.

Also, I'd want to know what site the descriptions should link to: you at dA, or another website?
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BeauW's avatar
Have to look into this...
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