String art: towards computational fabrication of string images

Michael Birsak, Florian Rist, Peter Wonka, Przemyslaw Musialski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In this paper we propose a novel method for the automatic computation and digital fabrication of artistic string images. String art is a technique used by artists for the creation of abstracted images which are composed of straight lines of strings tensioned between pins distributed on a frame. Together the strings fuse to a perceptible image. Traditionally, artists craft such images manually in a highly sophisticated and tedious design process. To achieve this goal fully automatically we propose a computational setup driven by a discrete optimization algorithm which takes an ordinary picture as input and converts it into a connected graph of strings that tries to reassemble the input image best possibly. Furthermore, we propose a hardware setup for automatic digital fabrication of these images using an industrial robot that spans the strings. Finally, we demonstrate the applicability of our approach by generating and fabricating a set of real string art images.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-274
Number of pages12
JournalComputer Graphics Forum
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-04-23
Acknowledgements: We thank the reviewers for their helpful suggestions. This research was funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF P27972-N31) and the Vienna Science and Technology Fund (WWTF ICT15-082).


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