Beetle Blocks is a system I am developing, in collaboration with Duks Koschitz and Anisha Deshmane, for enabling people to explore algorithmic 3D geometry. You snap together Scratch-like blocks to create instructions for a graphical "Beetle" (like a 3D LOGO turtle) to move around in 3D space, leaving behind objects such as cubes, cylinders and spheres. A simple algorithm can generate beautifully complex forms and structures. Our hope is to bring the power of algorithms to artists and designers as they learn to work in 3D, without having to face the ordinary hurdles of learning to program.
The software is still in a prototype stage, but below you can see some examples of work created in a two hour workshop with Beetle Blocks, where the particpants were given the task of designing a bridge. Eventually we hope to host workshops in which the participants can try out 3D printing their creations.