Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab
Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab

Author Archive

Iteration-David Booke

I decided to iterate the name tag assignment. This was because we had learned so many new things that I’d be able to incorporate into my name tag. Here’s a reference picture of my first name tag from the original assignment:

I liked how this one turned out, but it wasn’t super effective as a name tag because it didn’t have my last name and it wasn’t that easy to read. I wanted to use the embroidery and soft circuit stuff that we did for the pouch assignment. My idea was to make a patch with my name on it and light it up from the back using the LEDs and conductive thread. For the design, I decided to do go with a space theme. The LEDs were going to be placed behind stars so it looked like they were shining. I designed the patch in Inkscape and brought it over to PE Design. The embroidery itself took a surprisingly long time. I always underestimate how long it takes (this one took about two hours.) 

The patch isn’t quite as clean as I would have liked, but I don’t think there’s anything I can do about that. Now, all I had to do was attach the LEDs and battery pack. This went smoothly since I had a lot of practice doing it from class and from the previous soft circuit assignment. 

The last thing I wanted was to add a backing. This way the name tag would be more rigid instead of just being a patch and you could attach a pin to the back so you could put it on your shirt. I originally was going to use foam for this but there wasn’t really many options for foam. Instead, I salvaged a small circular piece of wood. I super glued the wood to the battery pack. 

I think this is an improvement on my previous name tag for a few reasons. First of all, it says my full name and it says it more clearly. Also, this tag shows one of my greatest interests which is space. I like how the LEDs behind the stars make them look like they’re shining. Most importantly, I like this tag because it utilized both the embroidery and soft circuits. 

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PomPom Bot-David Booke

I planned on my pom pom bot moving like someone jumping up from their knees. The motion is supposed to be similar to the guy in this video:

When he jumps up from his knees, he naturally moves forward. I figured if I had three motors with legs all horizontal and then simultaneously go down perpendicular to the surface it’s on, then this same effect could be created. A picture of this motion can be seen in my initial design below:

I planned on using glued together Popsicle sticks for the base and gluing the motors directly to the Popsicle sticks of the base. I wasn’t sure if the attachments the motors came with would be long enough to create any kind of movement with this motion, so I tried it out with just those for my initial design. 

Here’s a video of my first prototype trying to move:


As you can see, the bot does not move at all. Also, due to the orientation of the motors, one motor rotates in a different direction than the other two initially. I wasn’t sure if this would hamper the bot’s movement, so I decided to make adjustments and then see if I needed to change the code. I planned on hot gluing two halves of Popsicle sticks together and hot gluing that to the motors so the legs would have more length. I was going to glue the two sticks together so the legs would be a little wider and more stable. 

A video of my second prototype is given below:

As you heard, I was distraught when it broke. This prototype seemed to work quite well before the rear leg fell off. I think the leg fell off because there was a little bit of friction between the tops of the sticks and the base of the bot. For that reason, I decided that the only change I needed to make for the final version was to attach the little legs to the motors better. I used hot glue for this. This would help keep the legs attached despite some rubbing with the base. I tried fixing the code so that all the legs would rotate the same way, but I was not able to. I wasn’t able to get the motor to rotate in the opposite direction. I also had to make my bot pretty now that I wasn’t making more adjustments on it. I used some fuzz balls and pipe cleaners for that. Unfortunately, something happened to the video of my final version moving, but I do have a picture of what it looked like. 

It moved in the same fashion as the previous model sans leg removal. All together, this is very similar to the initial design of the bot. I was lucky that my first idea for making the bot move worked. 

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Arduino Introduction-David Booke

I chose the joystick sensor for this project. I forgot to take a picture of it for this post, but a picture of a very similar sensor can be seen below.

This joystick sensor in junction with an Arduino can read out the 2D position of the joystick. The exact same type of sensor is used for almost all video game controllers. I decided not to go with the video game route for my Arduino device though. I think such a sensor could be used to help balance flat surfaces. If this sensor were attached to some motors and a waiter’s tray for example, when the waiter is about to lose balance of the tray and drop the food, the sensor could read which way the tray is tilting and correct the tray’s angle with the motors. It would operate in a very similar way as those fancy tables that keep the ball from rolling away from the center of a flat surface. A storyboard for my device can be seen below. 

Finding example code online for this sensor was very easy. I was quickly able to have the sensor hooked up to the Arduino. I coded it so the position of the joystick was read out on the serial monitor every second. An example of what the serial monitor printed is given below. 

To add a little extra in, I decided to add an LED and have it light up whenever the joystick was at a more extreme position relative to the standard upright position. This way, the LED being on models the motors turning on to correct the balance of the tray in my storyboard. The code uploaded to the Arduino for this is provided below along with two pictures of the LED turning on as I moved the joystick.

This project by far went the smoothest of any project yet. I didn’t run into any hiccups or problems. I think this is mostly due to how well documented the Arduino and its sensors are. You’ll always be able to find resources that can help you with a device you want to make. If I were to actually create the device depicted in my storyboard, I’d take off the rounded rubber part of the joystick and just attach a small flat piece of metal or plastic. That way, the tray would easily attach to the sensor and would be a better indicator of how off balance the tray is since the sensor would essentially become a part of the tray. 

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Soft Circuits-David Booke

Here are the three in-class demonstrations we did. From left to right, they are the monogram embroidery, the LED felt sewing practice, and the Jeff Gordon pouch demo




For my final project, I decided to make my patch after A Tribe Called Quest’s album Midnight Marauders. I’m a big fan of the album, and there’s a person type thing on the album cover of it that I thought would be cool for a patch. I couldn’t find any pictures of just the person, so I looked up on Youtube how to select only portions of an imported image on PE Design. I quickly found a video and began cropping the image (this can be seen below.)

All I had to do was move around the boxes to outline the part of the image I wanted embroidered. This feature of PE Design is very handy. Here’s a picture of just the person thing with the rest of the album cover cropped out after it was converted into the stitching. After Duncan took a look at this, he told me the method I used to import the image was different than the one he recommends, and that’s why the stitching looks so rough. I liked the way it looked though, so I stuck with it. 

I was surprised by how long it took this to embroider. All in all, it took nearly an hour, but that was because it did a lot of redundant stitching. I could have skipped over some of the iterations of the same color because they were essentially just going over each other. Instead of 9 steps, this easily could have been done in 4. If I were to do this again, I’d definitely take a look at the different steps of the stitching it shows in PE Design and delete the redundant ones. Here’s an in progress picture of the embroidery and the final patch once it was complete. I’m quite happy with how it turned out. 


Attaching the LEDs and battery pack proved to be the most difficult portion of this assignment. The plan was to place two white LEDs on the head so they would look like eyes. This proved to be difficult due to the close proximity of the conductive thread; it was difficult to make them not overlap or touch. This assignment was finicky in the same way the copper tape assignment was. It was also quite difficult to pass the needle through the patch due to how many layers of thread there were. After one failure of trying to connect the LED and battery due to threads touching, I started running the negative part of the thread underneath the battery pack for both LEDs. This saved space and allowed for none of the thread to be in contact with each other. A picture of the back of the patch with the LEDs and battery and a picture of the LEDs working from the front are included below.

Attaching this piece and making the pouch was the easiest and my favorite part of this assignment. I did mess up by putting the battery right on the other side of the outer piece of fabric. I should have put it on the inside of the inner piece of fabric. This proved to not be a serious issue though since it is still easy to switch the battery on through the inner layer of fabric. I went for a fabric on the inside that I thought complemented the colors of the patch. Pictures of the inside and front of the final product are included below. 









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3D Scan and Model-David Booke

Here are my three demos of the different design methods from in class. 

I have no idea what the thing is that I made in tinkercad; I was just messing around with the shapes and seeing what I can do. In Sculptris, I tried making a hand, and you can be the judge of whether or not I succeeded in that. There is also the 3D scan of my torso and head after cutting off the incomplete bottom.

For my final project, I planned on making something for the second prompt. My idea was to make utensils that featured two different ends Darth Maul style. One was going to be a spoon-fork combo and the other was going to be a butter knife-steak knife combo. I decided that the best way to design these would be to make the general shapes in tinkercad then refine them in Sculptris. The outline designs from tinkercad are included in the pictures below. 









I imported these into Sculptris but had difficulty altering them in any way. When I did any kind of alteration, it affected the whole utensil in a grotesque way. An example of this can be seen below.

When I tried removing any feature, it would vastly change the whole design. I couldn’t really think of any other way to design my multi-utensils other than scanning, so I changed to a different idea. The new idea was for the third prompt.

My roommates and I play a lot of darts. We have a large balcony and a dartboard on one of the walls. Whoever wins out of the three of us is Champ, and they retain that title until someone beats them and takes it. I decided that for this project, I was going to make a kind of trophy for whoever held Champ status. Champ would keep their darts in it and they would be displayed for everyone to see. 

At first, I wanted to scan a small doll that has been the mascot of my roommates since our freshman year. However, it was too small and could not be scanned by the Kinect. My last resort was to scan my friend Harrison. I had him pose with his hands out in a shrugging position. The plan was to have two holes through his hand and one hole through his head to hold the darts. I was going to put the scan of him on a base for support and add the word Champ. Here’s the scan of Harrison in his beautiful pose. 

I must have been holding the Kinect very crookedly during the scan because I had to rotate him a bit for him to be straight. I imported the scan into tinkercad and added the base, letters, and holes. I had a bit of trouble grouping the holes with the scan. Often, it would delete everything. After lots of undoing and redoing, I finally had it designed as I wanted it. 

In this photo, you can see me using a cylinder to fill in the whole in the base. I should have just made the hole cylinder shorter so it would have gone only through his hand instead of the base as well. I also added some hemispherical divots in the base underneath the holes to house the dart tips. The divots and the holes in his hands can be seen in the picture below. 

I went to the Makerlab to print my trophy/dart holder. It failed the first two times I tried to print it. Due to how much it cost to print, I decided to make a smaller prototype version instead. This smaller version can be seen below. 

When I was trying to take off the supports, I accidentally broke off his hand. This made me scared to break off any other of the supports, so I left them off. This way you can see what it generally looks like and it’s mostly in one piece. 

In addition to learning about how to operate the software, I learned how finicky 3D printing is. Sometimes there’s no reason it doesn’t work. 3D printers aren’t perfect, and I’ve learned that they require a lot of patience. The Makerlab also doesn’t notify you if your print fails, which I think they should start doing. Otherwise you can waste a lot of time waiting for your print when it isn’t actually being made.  

If I were to do another version of this design, I’d use the small doll instead of Harrison for scanning. They have a scanner at the Makerlab that could have worked, but it was too late to change my design by the time I was there. With this current design, I’d like the hands to be a bit higher off the base. That way the darts would be held a little more stably. I’d also use the water soluble supports so I wouldn’t have to worry about breaking off the fragile pieces.


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Copper Tape Pop-Up Card-David Booke

For this project, I wanted to make a basketball scene. My pop-up features were going to be two basketball players and a basketball hoop. The plan was to use two red LEDs to put behind the backboard to make it look like the buzzer was going off. The inspiration for this card can be watched through this link:

Before making it, I was slightly worried about making the parallel circuit and doing the wiring from the card to the backboard; I knew it was going to be messy and require a lot of planning. The tutorial provided on compass only featured one LED, so I didn’t think I’d be able to make it look as clean as that one since there was going to be two LEDs on my card.

The first time I tried cutting out the hoop, I forgot about that inner border around the backboard so it didn’t cut how I wanted it to. Removing all the details on the net and making it just a cone shaped black blob also took some time. It required messing around with the nodes a lot. With all the pieces cut out, I quickly realized that the hoop was far too skinny to stand up on its own, especially when it had LEDs on the top of it. I also realized that there was no way I was going to be able to hide the copper tape behind the pop-up like in the tutorial due to how skinny the hoop was. I decided to diagram my circuit and handle those problems when I ran into them. As you can see, I had some issues. My pop-up square proved to not be large enough to have all my tape running up and down it. If I were to do this again, I’d definitely choose wider objects. That way the card would look much better without the tape visible everywhere. Another issue I ran into was having the tape overlap each other. To remedy this, I created a bridge over some of the tape using some cardboard so there was no overlapping happening. It can be seen in the picture above as the blue square to the left of the backboard. Another problem I had was getting the hoop to stand up straight. I was so worried about getting the circuit to work that I neglected the aesthetics of the card. Despite all my issues, both the LEDs worked when the switch was underneath the tape flap. It isn’t pretty, but it works. I think I’m most proud that my circuit worked on the first try. That was thanks to careful planning and Physics 212. 

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Vinyl Sticker Project-David Booke

For the griffin sticker, I wanted to make a giraftle (giraffe and turtle.) It was going to be the head and tail of a giraffe and the body and legs of a turtle. Separating the entire giraffe into the two parts of it I wanted proved to be a bit more difficult than I expected. Messing around with, adding, and deleting nodes took a bit of getting used to, but eventually I had just the tail and head of the giraffe and the body of the turtle. Once I was ready to put them together, Inkscape force closed on me and I lost all my progress. I will definitely begin saving throughout my projects from now on to prevent this from happening again. Now I needed to save some time since I was missing the next instructions from Sara, so I just used the giraffe’s head and body of the turtle.  I like the way it turned out.

For the logo decal, it took me awhile to figure out what logo I wanted to do. Sara told us that our logo needed to be only two or three colors and simple. Finally, I settled on the Tiger Woods logo. Separating the colors using the “Break Apart” tool was kind of weird because it didn’t do anything the first few times I tried using it, but it eventually worked. With the colors separated, it was easy cutting out the two shapes using Silhouette. I decided to use red and black in honor of Tiger’s Sunday outfits. 

Using the clear transfer paper worked very well and made it easy to align the two components of the logo.

For my multi-layered final sticker, I was set on doing the Minnesota Vikings viking logo. There are a lot of intricate lines and small cutouts for it, but I decided it was going to be worth it in the end. Here’s a picture of the whole logo and its constituent colors broken up.   

I imported this image into Silhouette and traced each individual image once at a time and cut them out. I didn’t get to use the colors I wanted to for the vinyl, so Viktor ended up being a Scottish viking instead of a Scandinavian viking. Also, I couldn’t find any white vinyl, so his horns are gray instead of white. The first component I cut out was the black one, and I had a lot of trouble getting only the parts of it I wanted. I made a big mistake by taking the vinyl off from the paper and then trying to take all the little unwanted pieces out after with the sticker in my hand. For the other four components, I left the vinyl on the paper and used tweezers to take out the unwanted pieces. Also, once I was done with the black part, I put it back on the paper. This proved to be a mistake because transfer paper was no longer able to pick up the vinyl from the paper. I ended up having to redo the black component because of this. 

I really underestimated how difficult it would be to pick off the unwanted vinyl pieces. It took me at least ten minutes for the black and purple components each. I figured aligning all five components right on top of each other precisely would be difficult, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought. There is some misalignment, but all in all I think it looks pretty okay. 

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Name Tag-David Booke

I wanted to make my name tag look like a film reel. I’m really into movies, so I thought this would be a cool idea. I wanted to have two layers with the first being the outer canister portion and the second being the black film inside. My name would be etched in the second layer so that it can be seen through the slots of the first. I thought about making the outer layer able to spin but decided I’d keep it simple and just glue the two layers together. 

I used Inkscape for the design of my name tag. Choosing a film reel from the internet was a bit difficult because most of the reels only had four or five slots (not enough for my name to look good in it.) I ended up choosing a design with eight slots, so it kind of looks like a car rim but that’s okay. With eight slots, my name would look good inside the slots. The most difficult part of my design was aligning the letters of my name symmetrically in the slots. After some help, I used the Arrange tool in polar coordinates to align the letters. 



With everything designed, I need to choose materials and cut it out. I chose a metallic silver acrylic for the outer layer and a black acrylic for the bottom layer. My name being etched in the black acrylic can be seen in the picture below. 

With everything cut and etched, all I had left to do was put them together. I used the prong of a fork to carefully place super glue in strategic positions around the outer silver layer. Then I aligned the two layers and pushed down on them until the glue set. Below is my finished product.

I’m quite happy with how it turned out. I chose an old-timey looking font because I thought it fit the movie theme. The only bump I ran into was arranging the letters, but that proved to be simple with the Arrange tool. I’m not sure if there’s a way to remove the burn marks on the silver acrylic layer, but, if there is, I’d like to learn how to do that. I think that’d really clean it up and make it look better. 

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