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Escher-Style Tessellating Lizard /

by seanmichaelragan, published

Escher-Style Tessellating Lizard / by seanmichaelragan Dec 12, 2011
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This is an hexagonally-tessellating lizard tile closely based on M.C. Escher's famous design. This vector art has lived on my old personal homepage, since 2008, at
Recently, Angus Hines (angushines.com) downloaded it and used it to lasercut a bunch of ~3" tiles in fluorescent acrylic (which are shown in the attached images), and it occurred to me it was probably time to share these files on Thingiverse.

Update 2011-12-15: Angus just sent me these photos of some lizards printed on FDM/FFF equipment, and I've uploaded them, as well as the .STL and .CDR files he sent along with. Thanks, Angus! Update 2012-02-28: I've added a version of the vector art with a 1/16" diameter pinhole in the tiling center, which allows the tile to be easily and discretely secured to a wall using a small brad. Details here: http://www.smragan.com/2012/02/28/120-laser-cut-acrylic-reptiles-mounted-to-wall-with-small-pins/


Angus reports no problem putting these on the laser cutter as-is. The sides, I should note, are made up of individual line segments instead of polylines, and Angus reports that this causes them to cut slowly on his equipment. He has mentioned that he might revise the art to join the line segments.

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Hi I printed five of these to prototype for a museum classroom project. They all seem to be just a little too large to fit one another. I haven't adjusted the size at all. Is there something else that I should consider? Thanks.

Had the same problem. Was thinking of altering in Blender, but have started looking at other similar models.

These have ideal geometry, meaning there is no allowance for slip. If you're cutting them from a continuous panel with a laser, this is no problem because the laser kerf provides the necessary clearance so they'll fit together cleanly. But if you're printing them, especially on low-precision consumer equipment, you'll have to either modify the file or tweak your print settings to provide a bit of play at the edges. And the results you get on one model of printer are unlikely to give a satisfying fit on another model printer, or even another unit of the same model. TL;DR: These are fine for laser cutting as-is, but you shouldn't expect to be able to print them and get a satisfying tiling action without a bit of trial-and-error.

That was my guess/excuse for requesting a laser cutter in the studio. Thanks for the quick and clear repsonse!

That is so freaking awesome:)

When I open the dwg file it
’s not a closed line. There’s a gap in the right side of the tail when the head is pointing up. I simply joined the lines by moving the end of one of them but when you rotate and join the finished piece they no longer fit perfectly. Can you correct this? I’m not sure how to do it myself.


I have vectorized a similar lizard pattern, but with 90 dgr period..

Sean, very cool to see these posted. The black and white set that Angus sent were printed on my TOM, glad you liked them. :)

I'm tempted to tile a kitchen like this.

I'm converting this into a printable tile. What is the layername of the outline of the tile?

Hi Link-

Sorry I didn't get to this earlier. I just checked the .AI file, and both outline and inner details are squashed into one layer called "Layer 3". You may also want to look at the .CDR and .STL files from Angus that I just uploaded. Apologies if we duplicated your efforts.

I've had the same thought. The pattern is pretty busy, so I think you'd want subdued colors; if you tiled a floor with colors like Angus's tiles no one would be able to stand to look at it. I think for flooring all the tiles should be one color, or a very narrow range of hues, randomly distributed. I would love to get these in Saltillo tile, for instance.

Maybe a backsplash for a bathroom sink.