Custom 3D-Printed Rollers for Frieze Pattern Cookies

Robert Hanson and George Hart
Proceedings of Bridges 2013: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2013)
Pages 311–316


Inspired by ancient Near Eastern cylinder seals, we describe a method for converting images of repeating patterns, e.g., Roman friezes or Escher tessellations, into 3D-printed rollers for shaping custom-designed cookies. The rollers may be used as a math club activity to make cookies for a math event and can also be used in other creative works, e.g., imprinting ceramics and similar materials. Examples are shown of sugar cookies based on tessellation patterns of M.C. Escher, and the idea can be extended to many types of patterns and media. The 3D files and the generating software are made freely available, so anyone can download them and produce rollers for their own favorite frieze patterns.