Free Online Tessellation Maker
Free easy-to-use online Java-based program.
also available on a CD, if you donate to Shodor.
Shodor.org is a website for teachers. It has lesson plans, activity plans, teaching tools... what a treasure chest it is!
For us, Shodor.org's main pages of interest are
this tessellation engine and their search
page which gives us an amaaaazing one hundred and eleven activities, student evaluation tools, and lesson plans for "tessellation".
Just click on this link to their web page. No installation is necessary, beyond having a functional web browser, Internet connection, and Java.
If you don't see a screen like the one pictured on the right side of my page, then perhaps you need to install Java.
Its drawing toolkit is very limited. That makes this software easy to learn, yes, but after using it once or thrice you may wish for more.
You start with one of three basic "tile" shapes: square, triangle, or hexagon. You click on the "edit edges" or "edit corner" buttons on the right side of the screen, then click-and-drag the outline of your tile with your mouse. In this way you can add new corners, move the whole tile, drag corners around the page, and drag the entire tile around the page.
All lines are black, and there is no way to adjust the line width or its color, nor to draw interior lines like eyes, mouth, fish scales, fur, and so on. You cannot even make curved lines, although you can "break" an existing line into joined straight segments (essentially creating a new corner).
There is no eraser. There is no "undo" button except "reset", but "reset" brings you all the way back to a fresh beginning.
The help menu is nonexistent, although there's a very nice picture-filled tutorial about how to make a screenshot of your work to edit or save in another program such as Windows' "Paint".
How do we rate this program? It's intuitive & easy to start creating immediately,
but lacks almost every basic drawing tool, editing and file-saving feature, & advanced tessellation feature. Like the Chinese food served in American restaurants, it's entertaining but half an hour afterward you'll be wanting something more substantial.