I still remember my first time working on the Makerspace class’s first assignment, a simple name tag created using laser cut. I did not have any clue about what to do, and how to do it, since it was my first time doing a graphic design that utilizes a software more complicated than Microsoft Paint, and my first time using a device that is more complicated than a regular printer.
I am not an artsy person. Therefore, I have a hard time making a graphic art. I personally do not really like graphic design. Besides, I felt that I was not a creative person. However, I pushed myself to create the best piece of artwork that I have ever created and designed myself. I managed to create a cool little name tag that I could be proud of. I learned to use Inkscape online, by googling and looking through YouTube. Without realizing it, I tried my hard to be as creative as possible. From that assignment, I concluded that creativity comes when you push yourself harder than you have ever been. Everyone is creative. It only needs a strong desire for someone to be creative.
Moreover, I also learned that I have to not be afraid to fail. In other words, it is okay to fail. Failing is good. By failing, I can create something better by learn from my mistakes. For instance, when doing the copper tape circuit assignment, I was failed for several times, before successfully getting the desired result.
The other thing that I found very important was planning. I was not very good at planning. For instance, while designing the nametag, I did not have any paper sketches. I opened Inkscape and start trying things out. However, sometimes planning is very essential in a success of a project. This is the important skill that I want to learn in my final project.
For my final project, I created a music box that plays music when it’s opened, and stopped playing the music if it’s closed. I was inspired by the little kids’ toys. The box was created using press-fit box maker and the laser cut, while for the music, I use Arduino.
Initially, I sketched my plan on a piece of paper.
I also did a little research about my project on Instructables, where I found a super helpful tutorial about playing music from a SD card in Arduino, and a library for the Arduino. Here is the link to the tutorial: http://www.instructables.com/id/Audio-Playback-From-SD-Card-With-Arduino/. Here is the link to the library: http://www.hackerspace-ffm.de/wiki/index.php?title=SimpleSDAudio. I also sketched the design of the box, and thought about the dimensions as well, since it is important to have a fitted box that can be opened and closed.
In creating the box, I failed twice since the actual dimension was different than the one I want. I had to redesign the box, and redo the laser cut.
After getting the correct sized box, I started working on the Arduino. I use HC-SR04 proximity sensor that can measure the distance above it, a SD card reader, and an 8-ohm speaker. For coding the Arduino, I had the hard time tuning the distances right, so that the speaker plays music when the box is opened.
Here is the result of my project, after I got everything correct.
The only thing wrong in this box is that the volume was too low. The speaker was not able to produce a powerful output. I tried to solve this by creating an amplifier using a transistor. However, it only made the speaker not outputting anything.
Furthermore, Sara told me that the only actual learning goal for my project was planning everything right. For this project, I believe that I successfully plan before doing everything. For instance, I put the deadlines for the box, and Arduino. It turned out that I met the deadlines that I set for myself. Besides, I also created sketches and details for the cardboard. Therefore, I can say that I met the main learning goal for this project. I am happy with the final result. From this project, I learned a lot about planning. For example, sketching helps me a lot to design the box.
Finally, I still cannot consider myself as a maker, but I am on my way to be a maker. Being a maker means that I should try many different new things. People who should call themselves a maker are the ones who are brave enough to learn many new things, create cool things, and push themselves to be creative.
For this week’s iteration assignment, I chose to redo the Arduino sensor project. Last time, I only managed to use the rotary sensor to set the LED’s brightness. This time, I wanted to make a mini music player, using the buzzer sensor and the rotary sensor. My idea was to use the rotary sensor to choose the song. It is inspired by music toys for the little kids. This is the first time that I use Arduino’s buzzer output. I was excited to learn how to use this buzzer.
First, I had to produce sounds. I was confused about setting the tone and frequency. I only could produce three tones, which are low, medium and high. It sounds like this:
Then, after spending quite some time researching on the internet, I learned that I could set many different frequencies. I created an array of frequencies for all chords. So, I looked for the chord for a very popular song, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. I put the chord frequencies into an array, and created a loop to iterate through the entire array. It looks like this:
It is not perfect, since it’s only a buzzer, which has a very limited range of frequencies. Then, I looked for the chord for another song, which is London Bridge. After being able to produce the two songs, I start plugging the Rotary sensor into the Arduino. At first, I couldn’t manage to set the value of the rotary sensor to choose the song, since the Arduino was stuck in the loop and did not care about the rotary sensor’s value. My solution was to create a function that listens to the rotary sensor, while playing the song. It was a success. After rotating the sensor, the song was changed.
Here is the final result:
Finally, I learned a lot about Arduino by doing this project. For example, I learned how the main loop in Arduino works, and global variable is very useful in Arduino. In my CS class, I avoid using global variable, since it is dangerous. Moreover, I am satisfied that the arduino works as I wished. I met my goal, which was to create a mini music player with rotary sensor to choose the song. However, the only thing that I disliked was that sometimes the sensor did not work. I need to rotate several times before the music changes. I believe it is a synchronization problem in the Arduino.
In the future, I want to make a real music player with Arduino, using a real speaker and more complicated songs.
Here is the storyboard of my project. It tells about the arduino which plays music, and can be controlled with a certain controller. In my project, the controller is a rotary switch.
This week, I made a pom pom bot using Arduino. I was excited to do this project, since it looks ridiculous and very fun. My initial idea was to create an Arduino with two legs and two servo motors, walking like a crab slowly from left to right. It will have two eyes, one in each motors. It will also have pom poms all around it.
Here is the photo of my pom pom bot
My idea to the software design was to move left motor slowly, then right, then left, then right again.
However, with my initial code, the pom pom bot could not move, or only could move very very slowly.
Then, I did not change my bot design and/or materials at all, since I found no problems with the design. What I changed was the idea about how to make the bot move. I wanted the bot to jumping, instead of walking.
After changing the code, I managed to make the bot moving. The two motors rotates quickly so that it jumps. It looks like this:
I believe my initial pom pom bot design was successful, because it could move rapidly. The only problem that I faced was sometimes if the bot jumps too quickly, one of the sticks popped out of the bot.
Here is my final code:
My final pom pom bot appearance is the same as the initial design, but the movement is different. Instead of walking slowly, it jumps rapidly.
Using the Servo motor was a new thing for me, since I am new to Arduino. It was not difficult, but I had to find some workarounds to its limitations.
In the future, if I have to do this pom pom bot project again, I will make the bot move perfectly, and prevent the stick from popping out. The idea that came to my head was using the screw, but I could not manage to find any screw that fits with the stick and the motor.
In conclusion, I was happy to finish this project, because it’s fun and entertaining, but challenging at the same time. I believe that it is a good project for learning Arduino.
Last week’s lab was my first time using Arduino. However, since I am a Computer Science student, I did not find Arduino difficult. I was very excited to try tweaking Arduino. For this lab, we had to try using a sensor for the Arduino. I chose to use a rotary encoder sensor, which looks like this:
It works by sending an input to the arduino, based on the rotation. The input is based on the direction of the rotation. My initial idea was to utilize the QAPASS display, together with the rotary encoder sensor. However, after spending quite some time with the QAPASS, I could not figure out how to print texts on the display, since there were some library errors. Then, I decided to get a RGB LED as an output. My idea was to use the rotary sensor to control LED’s brightness.
Then, I looked for tutorials for both rotary and led online. Here are two links that I found helpful:
Combining the two tutorials, I managed to put everything together on the Arduino.
I also combined the two codes, so that the rotary sensor value controls the LED’s brightness. My code looks like this:
Here is the video of me testing the Arduino:
I was satisfied with the result, which worked as I expected. As I rotated the sensor, the LED’s brightness changed. The only thing that I would change if I had more time was to try using the Red, Green, and Blue value of the LED. Besides, I would really like to use the QAPASS display. I think there would be a lot of things that can be done using the display.
The most fun part about Arduino was to be able to see my code works in a real circuit. There are limitless possibilities that Arduino can do.
Here is the storyboard of my Arduino.
The story is about a guy who wants to adjust his room’s brightness. Usually, there are only two modes in our room’s light, which are on and off. With this Arduino, the brightness can be ajusted.
This week, I made a zipper pouch, with embroidery and two LEDs. On the lab, we were shown how to print the embroidery and how to sew a zipper pouch. Before this project, I have never sewn anything in my entire life. This is a entirely new thing for me. Therefore, my sewing skill is very poor. I couldn’t even manage to sew a straight line. However, I was very excited to learn to sew and do this project, because the embroidery printing is very cool. I can print anything I want. Initially, I wanted to print a Donkey King embroidery. Due to limited amount of time, I changed my idea to print a tiny elephant, and put two LEDs besides the elephant.
While working on the project, I had many challenges. First, the fab lab was really full on Sunday. Thus, I had to sew and print with a very limited time, which was difficult, since sewing needs patience and time. Printing the embroidery, and stitching the LED were not hard for me. The toughest challenge was sewing it all together. I made a silly mistake by stitching the inside part together, which made me unable to stitch the outer part together. The workaround I found was to stitch the outer part from the outside. Although it does not look very nice and tidy, I still managed to create a usable pouch, with an elephant embroidery and two fully working LEDs.
Obviously, I still need to improve my sewing skill, in order to make a better-looking pouch. If I had more time, I would really like to re-do the stitching part. I was frustrated because it was the only thing that was not right in my pouch.
Overall, this project was the toughest project that we had so far. It was fun, but it required too much time.
During the lab section, my section did not save the Sculptris work. Here is the result of my TinkerCad random creating.
It is only a weird wheel that can be rotated.
For this week’s project, I chose the third prompt, which is the 3d scanning + printing. My original idea was to create a superhero cup. However, I got this brilliant idea to use my 3d scanned torso, which has been done in the lab section, as a cup.
Here is the storyboard of my project:
It’s about someone who thinks that his cup is boring, scanned himself, and created a cup based on it.
Before this project, I have never done any 3d printing or scanning. I also have never done things like AutoCAD. I was so excited to transform my idea into reality.
I used TinkerCAD to tweak my 3d scanned torso, because it was super easy to use. First, I removed my head from the object, by slicing it. Then, I put an half-egg-shaped hole to my body.
I had a hard time finding the right place for the hole, since the body part is uneven.
I believe that this could be avoided by scanning the torso slowly, to get a straight scan of the torso.
Then, I added the holder part to the object, by using the donut shape in TinkerCad, which was not a difficult task to do.
When everything’s ready, I finally print the object, using the 3D printer in the FabLab. The process took two hours.
Here is the result of my work:
When I first got this, I was not happy because it turned out to be too small. This happened because I did not know the actual dimension of the object in the TinkerCad.
However, I’m satisfied with the overall shape of the cup. I think the printing was successful. Well, the cup was not practical, but I think it’s cool to have your body as a cup. If I had more time doing this project, I want to re-scan my torso and edit the dimension of the cup, so that it’s bigger.
Overall, this project was very fun and enjoyable. I’d like to explore more about 3d Printing, which I believe has a bright future ahead.
This week project is about creating a LED Circuit based on paperboard. For the first two in-class assignment, we made two basic boards. The first one has no images. On the second boards, I picked a quote and drew a simple cartoon based on the quote.
The quote is saying “The only whole heart is a broken one because it lets the light in.” – David J. Wolpe
Based on this quote, I was inspired to draw a couple with broken heart between them. Then, I put the LED on the heart. Besides, I wrote “Let the light in”, and used it as a switch to turn the light on.
For the third assignment, we created a 3D objects with LEDs on it. My original idea was to make a heart shaped origami, since the Valentine’s Day is coming soon. However, I failed since the paper was too thick, while the heart origami requires a lot of bending. Therefore, I needed to get another idea. I chose to make a origami bird. I followed the tutorial on https://www.origamiway.com/easy-origami-bird.shtml. I personally do not do origami at home, since I’m not an artsy person. However, I want to make a origami circuit because I was inspired by a short movie on Youtube.
The process of making the origami bird was not quite difficult, but also not that easy at the same time. I was able to follow the steps by making some corrections. Initially, I made a paper-bird that was too small.
It was difficult to put LED on this mini bird. Besides, it will look not that nice.
Then, I made another bird. This time, I picked a larger paper.
Some pitfalls that others can avoid while making origami was not folding the paper carefully. Origami requires a lot of attention to detail. If it was not folded carefully, there will be some gaps between the folds.
After done folding the paper, I drew the circuit. It was not too tidy since I only used it for guidelines for sticking the copper tape.
I chose to put the LEDs on the bird’s eyes.
Initially, the orange LED that I chose cannot be turned on. I had to change the LED to the pink one.
I put the switch on the body, so when the body or wings are touched, the eyes will be shining.
This is the final product.
Finally, there are lots of things that I still need to learn to create a better LED-origami. I think the circuit design was nice. However, the problem is on the origami itself. My foldings were not really tidy. Besides, I believe I need to use a real origami paper for a better result. Using an ordinary paper will not be enough to make a pretty origami bird.
Something that I like about my origami bird was it has pinky eyes shining brightly when it’s touched.
For this week’s INFO490 Makerspace Project, I made a vinyl sticker using Inkscape, Silhouette, and Silhouette Printer. I have never had any experiences creating these things before. However, in the lab section, I learned to make basic stickers, such as a simple two combined animals silhouette, and a logo bi-layer sticker. For the multi-layered sticker, I planned to make a minion with Illinois logo on its shirt, because who does not like minion? I think it will be a funny sticker to be on my laptop’s cover.
PigLion silhouette sticker, and inverted McDonald logo sticker.
While designing the minion, I looked for one with flat color, so that it will be easier to cut. Besides, I also looked for a simple Illinois logo. It was difficult to find a simple minion cartoon. I found one without eyes and mouth. Thus, I googled images of minion eyes and mouth.
In the Silhouette Studio, I had to set the setting of Trace, so that it only traces the outer part of the minion’s body.
I could not find any vinyl paper that matches the color of my minion. So, I picked papers that have similar colors to the minion.
After finished printing all the parts of the minion, I used the transfer paper to combine all the parts. It was not that easy to align them properly, because my sticker turned out to be relatively small.
Here is my finished sticker. I am not really satisfied with the sticker, because the color is off. I wanted the brighter yellow and blue color. Besides, I believed the mouth is too close to the eyes.
In the future, I will make sure the materials are available before designing.
For the first project of the class Info 490 Makerspace B, I created a name tag using the laser cutter and Inkscape. This was my first experience utilizing the laser cutter and I was so excited since the laser cutter is a great tool. I was inspired by things that I love, which are basketball and sneakers. I did not have any idea about how to use the laser cutter and Inkscape. However, during the lab section, Sara showed the steps and details to use both of them.
The idea for my name tag is by creating two layers of acrylic, orange acrylic for the basketball and black acrylic for the sneaker. Then, since the sneaker is smaller than the basketball, it will be on top of the basketball.
After done printing my two layers, I used the acrylic paint to put colors to my name tags. For the basketball, I painted it with a black paint on the lines. While for the sneaker, I used a red acrylic paints for my name.
Then, I used the acrylic glue to stick the shoe on top of the ball. I could not take a picture of the glue, since I was told to being careful and use the gloves and glasses because the acrylic glue is dangerous.
Here is the finished name tag. I believe that my name tag could be improved by using another color for my name. I enjoyed working on this project because it is a new challenging experience for me.