Computer-Generated Papercutting


  We found papercutting is another form of binary design. The craft of papercutting is part of the folk art traditions of cultures all over the world. Generally, a papercutting design is a shape formed by cutting out some parts. The geometric constraint for it is keeping every part connected. In this ongoing project, we examine the problem of constructing valid digital paper-cut designs. We implement a set of tools for constructing varieties of simple designs including black-and-white representations of images, geometric patterns and procedurally generated arrangements of shapes. Each of these designs is a valid paper-cut. We then define ˇ°paper-cut algebraˇ± to combine individual designs into a valid scene. This algebra is in fact a set of binary operations that preserve connectivity.  The results of our system are well suited to being cut by a computer-controlled craft cutter.


goose3 goose4


teapot1 teapot2

mao1 mao2

scene pagoda tango


Other resources

Paper-cut artists: Susan Throckmorton and Zhou family.

All images are copyright 2007 by Jie Xu and Craig S. Kaplan. You are free to use them for personal and non-commercial purposes. Please check with me about any other uses.

Jie Xu
Last updated: Wednesday, 07-November-2007 14:15 EDT