The above is a system for building a surface using triangular panels and connectors with an articulated angle that register the angle between panels when they are put together. This system works with rigid materials for both the connector and panels, but because their is not a structural frame, form found surfaces work best. The balance between light weight and rigid material is also important. In the example above the installation was made with laser cut chipboard.
The Grasshopper definition above flattens the original geometry into panels, adds labels and notches to the flattened panels, and generates with labels between panels. The backbone of the definition is really finding and sorting adjacent panels and corresponding edges along with the angle between panels along corresponding edges. From there the details for the connection point on the panels and the connector can easily be changed. You can download the definition here: surface_flatten_w_clips.zip
This system was used for one of our earliest site specific installations pAlice.
The original version of this system was developed using MEL in Maya long before Grasshopper was available. It was developed as part of an independent study at Columbia’s GSAPP in 2003. This script was used to create all the cut files for the project above. The video below shows the script running in the Maya environment and you can download a copy here: flatten.zip