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

Author Archive

Final project – Eric Hallstrom

My first thought when rereading my writeups was how bad of a writer I am. There is no story and tons of mistakes in them. It was simple a boring reading. Maybe I can do better in this last assignment. The second though that hit me was that I literally said I failed with every project I made. How does this reflect upon my learning? How does finishing something and saying it failed radiates upon my learning experience? First, I think failing is good and perhaps I feel more comfortable with failing now than I did before this course, it’s too early to tell.  Second, the learning in this course have been very different compared to what I’m used to but at the same time very similar. This might sound like a confusing statement but bare with me.

The typical learning within the academia is to read a book or listen to a dude (yes, I’ve had one female professor during my  five years at KTH), understand the book, memorize certain things and remember what you learned so you can relate your new learning to other knowledge you learned before. And the reason you do this it so you can be right, right? To be right in the way your rightness is based in experience and knowledge, you want to be able to answer questions with correct answers right? But since this course requires tons of creativity, old knowledge is not applicable. Old experiences can’t be used to be creative, experience is the opposite of being creative. Being right is extremely valued in computer science and in engineering in general and in this course, noone is right. This is why this course have been so amazingly awesome and not being right is probably the factor that has contributed most to my learning.

I’m quite sceptic to the maker identity and don’t really see why one must adapt a identity to create stuff. The actual experience when reflecting upon the maker identity has been quite bad to be frank. Maybe it’s not the identity thats wrong but just who actually is a maker. During my time at the fablab I felt that there is two kind of makers. There is the people  who are there and doing temporary stuff, it’s hard to explain who they are but I guess they are the people who don’t ‘hang’ around at the fablab and then there is the people who hang around at the fablab on a continuous basis. The former kind of people seems to be very focused on their own stuff and is almost sucked up in themselves because all focus in on completing the task they have. Comparing this with the latter kind of people which is super helpful and really contributes to the awesome atmosphere at the fablab it’s quite a big difference. However, I’ve definitely developed a confidence as a maker but I tend to put too much focus on the engineering side of things. To move away from the functional and technical stuff has been quite hard for me and this is also here where my initial ideas get stuck. But I guess it’s also here where my confidence is rooted, I know what my technical abilities are which contributes a lot to what I choose to make. I would like to take my maker definition to be a fine balance between art and engineering and it’s definitely something I will strive for in the future.

My final project was a Spirograph which was a nice combination of engineering and art. The challenging parts was the moving parts in the constriction, to have something spinning freely but sits in place turned out to be quite hard.

My first learning goal was a continuation on the theme I’ve been following since this course started – failing. I wanted to fail fast compared to what I’ve done in previous assignments which is something I actually managed to do. I did tons of iterations in different materials from paper printouts, different wood materials and different techniques to create the gears.

My second learning goal was to be able to express art by using my engineering knowledge and I guess this boils down to if I actually succeeded with the project or not.  Succeeding is something that I felt I actually did this time and it didn’t turn out like the rest of the assignments I’ve done this semester.

The main reason for succeeding in this project was me reaching out to others to get input and feedback. I frequently discussed my problems with peers and when Brandon came in to assist and contribute to ideas, that was the turning point for the project. It was in this stage I started to combine wood and 3d printed parts to make up for the lack of flexibility and modifiability that wood has. I did the majority of the cuts with the laser engraver which feels like you have one shot to make it right and if you fail you just wasted tons of material. Comparing this stiffness to 3D printing where material waste is almost eliminated.

 

During the project I got fluent in Tinkercad and discovered lots of features that I didn’t know about back when we did the 3D printing assignments.  One of the features I requested in the write up was to be able to pivot different objects, this button was just to the right! Together with pivoting and alignment, creating models was really easy and fast which made up for the long printing times.  

As I said before, I’m sceptic to the maker identity. I’m not embracing the identity in the same way I do with being a CS major or a programmer or a baker or something else I really like to do. Can it be because the term maker is too broad? is being a maker the most natural thing we can do? I don’t identify myself with being a human, being a human is just something you are. At the same time, does everyone make stuff? do making stuff just refers to the stuff you make in a makerspace? Or is cooking your own dinner, making connections in a bar, making progress in your work or just making your life healthy? included in the term maker? The point I’m trying to make is that it’s not possible to conclude one definition of what a maker is since it’s such a subjective topic and making is the most natural thing a human can do.

 

I definitely think this course managed to capture both of Seymours suggestions. However, the focus tended to be on learning the actual equipment for the first part of the assignments and then continued on for the personalisation in the last step of the assignments. This setup was necessary in order to actually create something but I think the last step could include more theory of some sort, maybe some fundamental theory of physics or some psychology theory. I don’t really know what that actually means and the balance between locking down one in the prompts and to have the freedom to personalise it was well done and I wouldn’t prefer this course to be a pure science course that ends up in a big science fair.

 

Art progress, can you see the which one is the first produced vs the last ?

It’s getting there, spring roll stuck in a vortex

Progress

Progress 2

Motor mount

Motor shield to control the stepper motor.

Washers to keep the drawing axis up, 3d printed

Found a steel plate which was perfect for keeping the magnets in place and the wobble is removed!

3d printed motor holder

Magnet holder, printed with the Flashforge printer, the quality is insane!

Printed a washer to keep the central magnet in place because the laser engraved hole was a bit to large.

Mount to connect the gear with the motor,

Best printer out there!

Problem with wood, one day I came back to work on the project and because of the moist in the air the wood had curved…

Initial design without magnets, It was really hard to align the gears on the wobble was insane.

Some electric tejp and screws to keep up the gears, didn’t work very well.

One iteration, was wobbling and didn’t really work..

Gear cutting!

Learned how to use the shapenkoo milling machine, only worked with a very soft wood though.

CNC milling

First pair of gears, this was done with really thick plywood and an insane angle of for the teeth

 

 

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Iteration project – Eric Hallstrom

“Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”

– Winston Churchill

This project turned out to probably be the most failed project in this course so far for me. I had two objectives, make a pouch with a 3D printer side and make a traffic light brodery picture on one side that lights up each light as you drag the zipper. Both of these objectives was to upgrade my previous sewn pouch that had neither of these features. However, the 3D printer side turned out to be really good but the failure was me sewing the fabric side way to tight so the pouch looks like a tight bended banana. Because of this failure my second objective failed because the room for the zipper is very tight and the pouch isn’t even straight.

Even though I had to drop the big failure of the project to begin with, let’s start explaining the journey that led up the failure. I got the idea to make the one sided pouch when we brainstormed ideas during last lecture and was very intrigued by the idea of combining different material. I also wanted to remake the pouch because I really enjoyed sewing last time we did that.

This project was basically divided into three parts. The first part was the 3D printing part where I got lots of help from Andrew. We did the print on the tassle 3D printer which was quite hardcore and I’m certain that it wouldn’t go as smooth as it did with Andrew’s help. The print took 29h and I didn’t have access to printer outside opening hours so the small success in this project is definitely because of Andrew.

The second part was the sewing part, this part consists of sewing the fabric to a pouch and combining the printed side with the fabric. The sewing part went fine and I managed to add a zipper inside the pouch which was a nice feature and helped a lot when working with the soft circuits inside. Not to be forgotten a big part of this was to do the actual brodery. I did a more minimalistic traffic light compared to the previous pouch I made. It took some time to get used to the software for the brodery which I can now say have a horrible interface. For example I made the patch to fit inside the rectangular piece you and sent it to the machine but nothing showed up. After about 30 min of trouble shooting someone said it won’t show up if the patch is to large and that was exactly what the problem was, it was to large. The brodery went  fine up to a point when the thread got stuck in the handle a top of the sewing machine :

 

Thread spool got stuck in the handle.

Ouch, sry Duncan

New patch with fill stitches.

Old patch with satin stitches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the completed patch I could start sewing the inside and outside fabrics together which went fine but required some repetition to get my head around the flip it outside in part.

Now on to the third part where the soft circuit came into picture. I really messed up the last soft circuit I did because of the conductive thread was way too close to each other so I spent a significant amount of time thinking of how I should do this. My plan was to have a 3 rails just beneath the main zipper and then fasten the positive side on the zipper that would touch and slide along with the rails where each rail was connected to a LED’s positive side so when sliding past that railing the circuit would close and the LED would light up. This turned out to work really well actually. Mostly because I did the circuit very carefully because of the lessons learned from last time.

 

Circuit on my first pouch

Diagram of how to connect the LED with the rails

Inside of the new pouch

Clean circuit on the new bag!

New circuit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pitfalls during this project was clearly my failure of executing the most vital with perfection. I really made sure that I wouldn’t fall into the failures I did on the last iteration and I can clearly say that I spent a significant amount of just thinking instead of doing.

 

The stuff I learned from this project is to have some sort of testing model that could be made of paper or something that resembled the actual bag. This is an interesting parallel to software development where I in most cases unit tests would have saved several hours of debugging and troubleshooting. Maybe a 3D model of the pouch would have helped but that would have been very time consuming. But the essence of my failure is the lack of failing fast. When I attached the 3D part with the fabric I just kept going and didn’t notice how tight it was until it was time to flip the bag inside out. Since this was the most vital part of the project several iterations would have been better than just doing it in one go and notice how bad it turned out afterwards.

 

If I had more time on this project I would have corrected my mistake and cut out a bigger piece of fabric to be on the front so I would have more slack in the pouch and it wouldn’t look like a uptight banana.

To conclude this project I didn’t meet my two initial objectives, 3D printed side of the pouch and a sliding LED circuit. Reasons for this was that it turned out that the sliding LED rail was depending on a straight bag. I guess it’s good to have independent objectives when doing a project. Even though my failures this project was really fun and required a significant amount of time, more than any other project which is one reason for my disappointment because I spent so much time and turned out to be the worst project so far. But I’m still stoked on sewing and as Winston would say, success is the ability to go from failure to failure.  

 

Completed pouch, like a banana..

Previous completed pouch

Failure…

Last pouch, you can see that I didn’t had enough stabiliser behind the patch so it looks ugl

You can’t see the bend!

3D printed holes to be able to sew.

Zipper failed because of too tight fabric

Sewing went actually good because of the pre printed holes.

One side put together!

Inside view

Second patch, this didn’t fail!

Inner zipper.

With the letters, the print is 1 cm thick, way to thick for this actually..

The print turned out really nice

It bends!

Ninjaflex

30h later

Print!

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PomPom Bot- Eric Hallstrom

My initial plan was to have a robot that would have triangles as legs and then yank back and forth with them. Later on this was actually the best “walking” design. I want a minimalistic design so you could really see the interior of how the robot works. So the robot will definitely showcase it’s Popsicle sticks. Popsicle and feathers will be the building blocks for this robot. The only thing I had in mind was Boston dynamic, so yeah, definitely good inspiration.

  • Take a photo or video of your initial pom-pom bot fabrication

Here is a video of the first robot: https://photos.app.goo.gl/7tX9pfPCUm2BB1Kj1

The next iteration was to be more adventurous and make the robot walkable on both sides. This kinda failed because the legs turned out to be a bit to heavy for the axis on the servos to carry.

Photo of the second design, you could see I extended the triangles legs from the first design to also be on the upper part of the robot so it could walk both upside down.

The second design turned out to be very unstable towards the sides so I wanted to make a more human like so when it fell it would have a servo that could lift it up, so it operates both straight ahead and 90 degrees around it as well.

Changing materials would remove the fun of this challenge I think because Popsicle turned out to be extremely good for fast prototypes and suited the purpose very well. But yeha, you could 3D print fancy stuff but …!

 

Design 1.

Second design with balls to keep it stable, to heavy though…

Design 2 with the fat support balls.

Final design with 4 servos and a pimp feather.

Second design without support balls.

The second iteration kinda failed because of to heavy legs, I think the last design turned out to be pretty good even though the cables to the Arudino turned out to be kinda messy and hard to keep track of so it didn’t tangle itself into the robot.

Movie of my final design: https://photos.app.goo.gl/YGXtkxIYy7w7l6qM2

The initial design was a minimalistic approach with very few details. Comparing this to the last design which had a complex set of axis made and several motors. This clearly proves that less is more.

For next time. It would be awesome to start with building a robot that with very high probability will walk from point A to point B in a decent time. Then instead of focusing on the interior design you could build a game of life simulation and see what the robot will do. It would also be interesting to put some sort of pen on the robot so you could trace the robots thinking and get a insight in the 4th dimension 😉

 

 

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Arduino Introduction – Eric Hallstrom

My idea is to use a pressure sensor and incorporate it into a lightweight mat that can be rolled out on the sidewalk to indicate a trash area. This mat would then measure the pressure, i.e how much trash there is on this mat and send it to a control station. The control station could then use this data to see in what areas are in most needs for a pickup and schedule smarter routes for the garbage truck to go. For this project I was inspired from my visit to NYC during spring break. I was baffled by the amount of trash on the sidewalks and figured that my smart pressure sensor mat could be used to solve this problem, or at least mitigate it. The idea was built upon seems to be quite unique. There is plenty of sensors that measures the distance from the top within trash bins but nothing that measures the amount of trash laying on the street.

 

I wanted to use some sort of sensor to measure weight or pressure on a area. I couldn’t find a sensor within the sensors that were offered during class but I went looking in the electronic room and found another sensor tool box, I just the right sensor that I was looking for inside this box. The pressure sensor. I really liked this project but I felt it was a bit to small but It was quite some time ago that I tinkered with arduinos and it was really fun to do it again.

 

To explain this to a peer a visit to NYC would be helpful or some knowledge about the trash problem NYC has been dealing at least. There is literally piles of garbage on every corner in the city.

 

I care about this because the garbage problem is a huge problem and have been bothering NYC for ages. From the mafia boss Allie Shades [1] controlling NYC garbage hauling to the closing of Fresh kills landfill [2], garbage is a huge problem and billions of dollars is spent each year on it. This sensor isn’t solving the trash problem but might limit the time each garbage pile lives on the street and also improve the routes garbage trucks takes.

 

This project was quite different compared to the previous ones. The iterations was quick and didn’t require much time to setup. The problem I encountered was mostly based the horrible operating system Windows. I tried to incorporate the LCD screen but gave up after some fighting with missing libraries.

 

The thing that inspired me was solely based on my trip to NYC. IT would be interesting to do more travel to less developed countries to see how technology could help improve cities.

 

 

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphonse_Malangone

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fresh_Kills_Landfill

 

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Soft Circuits – Eric Hallstrom

I think the focus on design process in this course is to small. I’m an engineer so my artistic creativity is based in binary 1/0 and does not always turns out that good. For this project I wanted something that could easily be incorporated with LEDs. My knowledge in sewing was based on the classes I had in high school where sewing and woodworking was incorporated into the schedule, it was awesome. However that was like 15 years ago now but I still could feel familiarity with the sewing machine.

 

This was by far the best project so far. I love sewing and it’s definitely something I will continue to do after this class. To be able to sew my own clothes would be so awesome. To be able to complete this project I think some basic knowledge of circuits and electricity. Even though you can easily make this without knowing that much. The hardest part was actually to figure out how to flip and start sewing the bag so you could flip it around and have the correct sides on the outside and inside. The pitfalls during this project was the conductive thread, it’s a real mess, or at least my circuit became a mess which made the lights glitchy.

Why do you care about this?

Sewing feels like the forgotten art in today’s society. Imagine if more people did sew their own clothes , the uniqueness that would create would be just awesome. We are so used to just go buy a new shirt, new pants, new blankets, new towels, new everything that is made from fabric. Even though it’s a time aspect associated with this but it might lead to better quality in our clothes which would be a good thing for the environment. To put today’s clothing industry in perspective, look at what happend with half fabric food industry during the 70-80ths. Like mash potatoes from powder, fish sticks that didn’t came from fish, sausage that was something else and yeha lot’s more examples. We see exactly the same thing today but with clothes. We have H&M (Swedish…) and Zarah who have slave workers in 3d world countries that makes clothes so cheap that it would be stupid to make your own clothes [1][2][3][4][5][6][7]. But I think people will get fed up with the unethical behind these ‘fast-food clothing lines’ and something great will evolve.

 

To improve this project I think the attention for details and accuracy when you sew is essential. My first bag turned out really good because I had a lot of focus, compared this to my second bag that I was a bit sloppy with the zipper and it sometimes get stuck when you open.  If I had more time I would have made the 3 LED’s light up independently, so when you have the bag open the red LED is turned on and half way through the yellow LED is light up and when it’s closed the green LED is turned on. This was quite optimistic though because of all the midterms and deadlines this week.

 

Ideas that shaped my process was definitely the tutorial on how to sew the bag. I could probably have figured out how to sew the bag but I’m quite sure that it wouldn’t turn out nowhere close to this brilliant technique that we learned during class. Duncan the sewing artist helped a ton with the initial learning, i also asked my peers about the circuits and got a really nice tip on how to test the LED’s with hard wires before sewing them in place. The biggest mistakes was clearly the soft circuit that is really glitchy. However, I’m not sure on how to improve this because I remade the circuit 3 times and paid a lot of attention so the wires didn’t touch each other etc. I don’t met my goal that was to have the LEDs glow up independently. The reason for this was because I was really stressed out with lots of other stuff going on in school right this week.

 

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/aug/21/hm-factories-myanmar-employed-14-year-old-workers

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/aug/31/burma-minimum-wage-uk-retailers

[3] https://www.salon.com/2015/03/22/the_slave_labor_behind_your_favorite_clothing_brands_gap_hm_and_more_exposed_partner/

[4] http://en.yesurdu.com/international/workers-of-international-brand-hm-being-treated-like-slaves-in-karachi-factory/

[5] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/05/child-labour-myanmar-high-street-brands

[6] https://www.theodysseyonline.com/5-companies-using-slave-labor

[7] https://asia.floorwage.org/workersvoices/reports/precarious-work-in-the-h-m-global-value-chain

 

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3D printing project – Eric Hallstrom

The original point of view for this project was that I was very dedicated to make some sort of utensils. This POV turned out to actually be very problematic because I somehow locked down my mind to actually do something useful and solve a real problem. I have yet to figure out what problem there is to solve when it comes to kitchen utensils.

The additional learnings I’ve acquired during this project have been huge. First; my imagination and ideas are way too easy to get locked down into a certain path. Second; I’m really bad at having the artistry and abstract thinking about my ideas, I’m almost obsessed with the functionality of the idea. Third; Product design is hard and takes extremely long time that required tons of iterations.

I need a lock mechanism to keep the chopsticks as bracelets around your arm. I also need some kind of stabilization mechanism to keep the chopstick straight when they are in eating mode. I also need to make the top of the eating part smaller and more chopstick friendly.

This was the biggest problem. I wasn’t really inspired by anything. I was just way to dedicated to make a product that solved something. Which made my mind go complete on lockdown. I iterated on the famous chopstick utensil and wanted to make a foldable version that when not eating can keep as a bracelet or hang on your backpack. I definitely did had the knowledge and tools I needed. However I did realize quite fast that TinkerCAD is missing some essential functions which made parts of the modeling experience terrible. Like why can’t you pivot around a different point than the exact middle? or why can’t you keep showing the measurement of objects? and the alignment tool kinda sucked. To finally get to try out 3D printing. The thing that worried me was that when I realised my mind and imagination just got locked down and I had a really hard time to actually think of something interesting to do.

To explain this project to a peer would be to present a real user experience because chopsticks are quite self explanatory. The pitfalls during this project was that I got obsessed with an idea in the beginning of the project and didn’t figure a  way to keep an open mind. So to actually have an open mind turned out to be really hard. I don’t to these kind of stuff at home but I really want to get better and more fluent in 3D modeling. When it comes to the hardware I think it’s far fetched to wish for a 4k $ 3D printer  to have a home but, yeah; that would be awesome.

The design process in the beginning of the project and the idea creation. These are stuff I’m really bad at and they shone through this project all the way to the end.  I’m most disappointed with my mental lockdown in the beginning of the project because I still think that I could have done something better. But at the same time I actually managed to make three iterations, one iteration on my initial idea that I started to print and fast figured out that this is not going to work and two iterations on the final idea where the last iteration actually made the product better.

The initial sketch of Edward scissor eating hand

What were you inspired by is actually a really good question and I need to figure this out until the next project. Something that was very interesting to see was the different printing places around campus. I first spent a few hours at the 3D printers by the door in the fab lab. These prints turned out really good but they had the filament on the base plate that was quite hard to remove from the actual printed piece. I also spent several hours at the business center makerspace lab. These hours where a disaster because they had really high end printers but the maintenance was quite poor which made all my prints fail. The absolute best experience was when I got introduced to the Flashforge at the Fablab. This is like the royal highness of 3D printers. There were no base plate that was needed for the piece and the printing went 50 % faster than the printers by the door. Also the details was incredible and way better than the other printers.

I started out wanted to make a eating finger glow, kinda like Edward scissorhands but with a spoon on each finger. I revised this idea mainly because of my lack in modeling skills which was evident after the first print I did. My second revision was after the first chopstick print and the lack of product design skills was evident here. This revision included a small tweak in the model of the connected where I made one of the edges square instead of round so you could only bend the chopstick one way.

Chopstick sketch

The unexpected things during this project was my complete meltdown in idea generation, I’m usually good at this but during this project I failed miserably. The second and third was probably the difference in quality of the printing between the complete failure at the business makerspace and the total success of the Flashforge. A big moment forward was when I actually got the first print of the Edward scissorhands eating model in my hand and I could clearly see that this is not going to work. I got stressed when I saw the printing times. The Edward scissorhands would take approximately 9h to print completely. I revised the idea and started with the chopstick idea which took around 4h to print in total.

Final chopsticks

Folded chopsticks

Last chopstick printed from the Flashforge printer

First chopsticks, I used solder thread to keep the parts together.

My original locking mechanism, it was to small and broke.

Printed from the business makerlab, way to small for a .4 nosle apparently

Another view of the printed part from business makerlab.

Ultimaker from the business lab.

Initial idea with the edward scissorhands eating hand.Printed from the fablab printers.

The connected for the initial idea, the base plate that had to be manually removed is in the back.

First chopstick

First chopstick before solder together.

First connected with a super filter on.

 

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Copper Tape Circuit Origami – Eric Hallstrom

I was inspired by the quotes we got in at the lecture, it was actually helpful in order to start designing. I started of with the quote for the first project. For the second part I was developing the idea that Facebook owns and got ton of data about us. I wanted to make 3D origami for the last part. I was thinking, how hard can it really be with origami (never done it before) but gosh I was wrong, It’s really hard! It was fun to play with circuits and copper teip really brings electronic down to the most basic thing ever, just flow in current.

 

The best way to explain this to a peer is to just try it out and play with it, eventually one will figure out how it works even if the lights are a bit sketchy and not 100 % perfect. The biggest failure during this project was that I underestimated origami. You need to be very patient and put a lot of time into details. Both time and patient was something that I lacked for this project. I think the knowledge of paper circuits is extremely good to explain how electronic actually work for people who don’t know. So in a broader sense this project was really important and I will hopefully get to use this to show how most of our society works in terms of technology. I’ve never done this kind of paper circuits. The only circuits I’ve done is with Aurdino. This project really removes the magic of currency flow that arduino kinda hides. It would be cool to have more components to the paper circuit and like measure currency in the circuit or something.

To do origami. I mean, I wanted to do a chest at first and I found a tutorial on how to do it. But it quite fast turned out that this was not a good thing for a first time origami project. If I had more time I would put more time into origami and the details of it. I would also get decent paper because when I was trying to do the chest I think my paper ripped aparat like 4 times so I had to start over each time. The most insirpiring thing was the origami community. The stuff that you can make out of paper is awesome to see and most of the stuff was really mind blowing, like the 3D origami where they put tons of small modules into one.

 

I got really great help from the assistances at the fablab and also Youtube was a big help.

To point that made this project completed was when my origami chest ripped apart for the 4th time and I had to decide that this was way over my head and I had to go for something simpler. The biggest mistake was to underestimate origami and how hard it actually could be. My goals for this project kinda failed because of the difficulties and limitations of time I had for the last part. Initially I wanted to make a treasure chest that had LEDs inside so when you opened the chest, it would glove but that didn’t really happen.

 

The only thing that went fine in this project was the technical part of the circuits, it was no problem to make serial- or parallel circuits but the funny thing is that this doesn’t matter because the end product turned out really bad. The three unexpected things that happened during this project was that origami is really hard, or at least I suck at it. Copper teip actually is cool and works really well. And utilizing the given reflection questions is also actually good.

 

The big moment in this project was that when I realized my origami skills is not going to make it for now so I had to switch to a simpler design. I had to give up for the initial design idea I had in mind. This made me switch to a less complicated idea. The most frustrating part was that the paper I used, was way to thin because it ripped apart several times.

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Vinyl Sticker Project -Eric Hallstrom

I started this project off without knowing exactly what I wanted to do for the two first projects, Griffin and the Logo. The multi layer sticker idea however was decided a couple of days before lecture. The idea was to take a screenshot of google maps and make divide the different map into different layers. So the ground, water, roads and houses was on different layers. 

After some research on different logos I wanted to make a twist on a very popular brand that I’ve seen a lot around campus, they are most famous for their super expensive second market value on different clothing’s. The logo consists of two layers, one white background and then a red layer where the letters are cut out. The tricky part was to merge the two layers as this had to be done by hand. This was a overall problem for this project. I think you could make some sort of frame where you could put the different layers and then squeeze them together so the wobbly manual hand labor is minimized, as you can see in the picture below, I failed a few times. eventually the sticker turned out fine and landed on my laptop.

I was however surprised by how efficient the silhuett cutter was, it was almost like a regular printer. For the last sticker, the most tricky one. The biggest problem with this one was the manual transfer of the different layers, which sucked and the work in Inkscape. I spend quite a lot of time fiddling around with paths and Inkscape crashed several times during the project because there were around 20k dots for all the paths. 

Inkscape curve problems, see all the dots.

After X hours I managed to separate the image into 4 different layers but the orange one in the picture above turned out to be way to small and would have been impossible to transfer them to another layer.

  

Yet again, transferering the layers was super hard. I used tape to help with the transfer but it was still hard. Because of all details this project turned out quite bad and I’m not that happy with the end result. 

To conclude this project, some kind of frame or assistance would be needed to merge the layers. 

Here is the Griffin:

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Laser tag by Eric Hallström

 

Initial nametag

First nametag in Inkscape

I wanted my name tag to reflect my primary hobbies and interests. I didn’t had a clear idea in the beginning and I kinda went with it. Before the lecture with Duncan I had read through the tutorial on Inkscape and finished an initial design for my name tag. The two things that really inspires me is two kinda odd things, Arch Linux the operating system which I reflect through the ‘A’ Logo, the second is computer science in general which I expressed through the binary (can you read the binary? U OF I)

As class begin Duncan started going through how to use Inkscape which was really good since I got some concept correct that I picked up from the tutorial and rep

etition is the mother of mother of learning right? 

We later moved on to print this simple name tag which I was super excited about, to start learning how to use the tools. And daem! I was surprised how good and precise the laser cutter was. My first name tag was in wood and the binary numbers were to small which ended up half burnt. 

First printed name tag

My 3D name tag in Inkscape

So now I had to step up my game with the name tag and decided to make it 3D. I kept the ideas from the 2D design and found this really cool plugin to Inkscape called LasercutBox which made dovetail joints. It was a easy plugin to use, just clone the github folder and place it into your Inkscape/extensions folder and it works. It had all kind of features where you could live preview the changes like how many joints there should be and all measurement that you needed. 

I wanted all the 6 sides to be in different materials so I had to copy paste each of the sides into different Inkscape projects since Inkscape apparently don’t support multiple pages. This process kinda sucked and would suck even more if you have more pieces you need to print. I also forgot to fix the boarder width before I started to separate all the pieces, so a strong recommendation if you are about to print multiple pieces is to first finish everything as it should be then just start to separate the pieces.

Lasercutter in progress

Yellow acrylic material in the printer

After this was done, the printing was about to begin. I found some really nice acrylic material that I wanted to use for the name tag.  The process after design in Inkscape was kinda straight forward mostly I got lots of help with the printing by Emilie which was awesome and she could answer all my questions. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assembling the pieces with failures

It fits!

All the pieces

2x fronts

When I was about to start to assembly the pieces I noticed a failure on the front piece, I forgot to cut a hole there so the pieces didn’t fit together. After a second print, I still forgot a detail which made them not fit together. I couldn’t be arsed to print yet another so I just took a small pen knife and carved away some of the pieces that didn’t fit.

 

 

 

 

The whole piece, I kept the binary text on the back. As the material is acrylic, the engraving wasn’t really that clear. I could have changed the settings on the printer but I didn’t do that with the back side. With the engraving on the front panel I changed the settings so the printer went a bit slower, around 50 % and the strength was about 65 % and I did several passes as well which was really easy to do, just don’t move the original piece and you could just run the print again. Just remember to remove the cutting setting on the printer!

Backside with binary text

Whole name tag

Clintons original copper circuit

As this assembly went quite fast, a few hours. I decided to add more features to the name tag. Clinton helped me a ton which was super nice (Thanks Clinton!). I started to experiment with copper tape and made a paper circuit.

However the copper tape was a bit fragile to put on the name tag so I soldered together two resistors to a LED and a clock battery, all the material including this was given to me by the Fab lab (Love!)

 

 

Blue LED with 2x resistors

Glue, Led, Resistors.

The complete name tag is glued together and the battery was glued to the outside (if you need to change it).  Last step was to glue the whole piece together. The two holes drilled in the bottom plate lets me connect with the battery outside, so we have one resistor glued together with the battery and then the other resistor is lose so if you press it, you close the circuit and the LED lights up.

The last step was to fill in the rasters, this was first done with nail polish which worked kinda bad, I switched to some more serious painting after a while.

 

 

 

 

 

Paint, waiting to wipe it off

Paint is now wiped off and stuck inside the raster parts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

Finished name tag above. I didn’t really have a clear goal with this project other than fulfilling the assignment which made it quite fun and I got inspired as the project went on. The thing I’m most shocked about is how precise the laser cutter was all the way down to the millimeter. I think the preparation in Inkscape was the most time consuming and the efficiency will increase a lot when the skills there improve.  Overall this project was really fun. To work with the laser printer, learn Inkscape and tinker with some electronics, clearly 5/5. The only bad thing is this blog tool which was kinda frustrating to align and place images together with text. 

 

 

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