Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab

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Final Project– Joy Shi

For my final project, I decided to make a stained glass lamp. This is something completely new to me so I had no idea what I had in store for me. Before starting my project, I did a bit of research and watched some YouTube videos related to stained glass. In all honesty, it looked pretty easy. By the end of my project, I can confidently say that it was not easy.

There were definitely a lot of challenges that I faced while making this project. One of the challenges is having all the individual glass pieces to fit together. Since the pieces all come from a different color, it was hard to fit them together. There were some pieces too big while others were too small and left a gap. With this sizing issue, also made it hard to nail down the pieces when I was soldering.  However, later I started using tape to hold all the pieces together while I soldered. This became a very fast and efficient way for me to get the soldering done. Even with all these challenges, I was very happy with the finishing results. 


Learning goals for this project include learning stained glass, asking staff members for help, and keeping myself accountable by making deadlines to stay on top of the project. For the most part, I believe I did reach my goals.

I now have experience with cutting and soldering glass on. With more practice and time, I believe I could’ve made the individual glasses fit more nicely. Since all five sides were all the same design, it became easier and faster to solder everything together. If one were to analyze each side of the cube, there are definitely improvements from the first side I did. 

This project was definitely not possible without the help from Amrutha. Without her knowledge on stained glass, I would’ve been completely lost. As a completely beginner, I am very thankful that Amrutha was able to guide me and take time out of her day to come and help me with this project. With Amrutha around, we were able to conquer my challenges and both learn from it. 

I, however, underestimated the time each part was going to take so my deadlines were not always met. In the end, I did keep myself accountable and didn’t rush through this project. My deadlines became more of a checklist for me where I set goals of what I wanted to get done each time I went to the FabLab. 

This class has taught me a lot about myself. I personally likes to solve problems on my own. In a way, this class has forced me to ask for help when I am stuck. It made me realize that stuff can get done a lot faster when someone who knows what they are doing is helping you. I also realize that making things requires a lot of time and patience. I struggled with this in the beginning of the semester because I didn’t manage my time well and a lot of times had to rush towards the end. This is also why I made one of my learning goals to meet deadlines. Having set days to get things done has definitely help keep some stress away. 

I do not consider myself as a creative person at all, so I definitely struggled with some of the projects for this class. Even though my projects were never above and beyond but rather very simple, I liked learning about the process behind each project. I think a maker does not necessarily have to be creative, but someone who creates something physically or digitally. By taking this class, I have become more interested in physically making things. The programs and machines that we have learned throughout the semester has made me more interested and hopefully I will create make more projects in the future. 

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Iteration Project– Joy Shi

For my iteration project, I decided to redo the first assignment, using the laser cutter to make a name tag. My original name tag was nice and simple, though a little small. For my iteration, I wanted to make my name out of acrylic as it makes the name tag look cooler than the plywood. I noticed that when rastoring on acrylic, the print is white and I wanted something with more of a color. My original idea was to use the Silhouette cutter to make a sticker that I would then place on top of the acrylic. While also looking for inspiration on Google, I came across someone using an LED light and coin battery to light up the acrylic. The effects of the light were really cool, and it seems simple enough for me to do. While proposing my idea to Maxx, she concluded that my idea was too simple. She suggested I instead use NeoPixel strips as the base and have the light shine up that would give the rastored acrylic some color instead of placing a sticker. After showing me a few examples that were in the FabLab, I decided that this was a much better idea than what I originally thought of doing.

Original Name Tag
















Since I already had a general idea of what I wanted to put on my name tag, the designing part of the name tag was relatively easy to do. Since I wanted this name tag to be more personalized than just having my name on it, I decided to add my Bitmoji with a coffee cup since coffee plays such an essential part in my life!

I decided to print out a prototype version of the name tag on plywood, just so I can see if I liked how the designed turned out and how big it was. Right when I was about to print, Maxx noticed that the name tag was a tad too big. After adjusting the size, I was ready to print it out! The final prototype turned out pretty nice and I really liked the size and design of it.

Sketch of the design






















I went back and made a few tweaks on the design since there was a bit of blank space on the prototype. After adjusting, I decided to laser cut my design onto acrylic. Halfway through the print, I realize that I forgot to adjust the size of the design!! So in the end, the design was slightly larger than I anticipated, but it was still really nice. 









After all that fiasco, I went to search for NeoPixel strips. Sadly the only NeoPixel strips they had didn’t have the wires soldered on. After a brief tutorial, I was soldering the wires onto the NeoPixel strips. The process was pretty cool and was really easy if my hands weren’t so shaky. With the wires connected to the NeoPixel strips, it was time to test it out. Since I’m not that good with coding for the Arduino, I just found a code on Google. With the code loaded and wires connected, I tested out the NeoPixel strips.









With the acrylic design ready, and NeoPixel strips working, it was time to determine how to make the stand I was going to put my acrylic on. Google had many ideas, from using a box to 3D printing to using the laser cutter. Since I was already using the laser cutter, it only seems reasonable to continue using the laser cutter. The design of the stand was relatively easy to format. Drawing out the stand on Inkscape was relatively easy since they were all rectangles cut into different shapes. I specifically was very careful when it came to the measurements of the slit for where I was going to place the acrylic. The lasering of the stand was also straight forward. However, when I attempted to put the acrylic into the slit I made, the acrylic wouldn’t fit!! I was slightly disappointed since I specifically paid attention to make sure that this wouldn’t happen:( Thankfully it was only slightly off, so I used some sandpaper to remove the excess part. Surprisingly this took a while since the pieces were small, and I didn’t want to break it. After finally being able to have all the pieces fit through the slit, I worked on placing the NeoPixel strips. With the help of some double-sided tape, I placed the NeoPixel strips on the base of the stand. I then glued the top part of the stand with the acrylic on top of the NeoPixel strips.

Using sandpaper to make the acrylic fit:(

finally with all the slits lining up with the acrylic

In the end, I really liked how the whole project turned out, even though now it’s more like a nameplate than a name tag!!!


Code used:


Inspiration used for base:

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PomBot- Joy Shi

This week in class, we learned to make a simple bot using a servo motor. This was relatively simple since we already had a code ready for us to use. I decided to make a mouse with its tail moving.


For my assignment, I originally had no idea of what to make. So I started with making and coding the 2 servo motors  to make it move. To get so ideas, I researched on ways to make two motors move. After making sure that the motors moved, I started to brainstorm on what my bot should be.

Sketch of pombot








With the supplies given in the FabLab, I decided to make an airplane using a toilet paper roll and some popsicle sticks. To make it prettier, I placed some pipe cleaners and pompoms. After designing the airplane, I placed the two motors on the bottom-front of the plane. While testing it out, I realized that I made the front of the plane too heavy, while the back of the airplane had nothing to hold it down. When I tested the motors, the head of the airplane basically tipped forward. To resolve this issue, I placed two pennies on the tail end of the airplane to balance out the weight. This helped, as the plane did not tip forward again.

After solving this first problem, my second problem quickly became apparent. Since I placed the plane on top of the two motors, it became a bit heavy for the two legs of the motor to make the bot move. I quickly realized that I could just place rubber on the leg of the motor to help it grip the surface of the table.














Sadly, the plane does not move far and if I were to improve on this project, I would try to figure out how to make it move farther.

Final Product!



Code Used: 

#include <Servo.h>

Servo servoLeft;
Servo servoRight; 

void setup() {

void loop() { 

void forward() {

void reverse() {

void move1() {
void move2() {

void stopRobot() {

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Arduino Introduction- Joy Shi

This week in lab, we were introduced to Arduino, in which was something that I have never experienced before. During our lab, we learned the basics of Arduino and how to make a LED light up and blink. It was relatively simple since we had diagrams to look at and follow. However, looking at diagrams did not help me when it came to making my own sensor project.  I personally had to Google multiple times what each part of the Uno board did and how to use it. After understanding a bit more about Arduino, I started on the storyboard and prototype for my project.

Class Introduction to Arduino















My storyboard is inspired by a problem that me and my roommates have. Sometimes we forget to turn off the lights or AC/ heater in our apartment when we leave. This usually occurs when we are in a rush to leave or trying to catch the bus. As a result, this has led to a pretty high electricity bill over the past few months. This is a bad problem that needs to be fixed, as this is harmful for the environment and also our bank accounts.  










To solve this problem, I decided to make a buzzer to remind to check if all the lights are off before leaving. The buzzer will only sound for a few seconds and will only buzz whenever motion is detected through the motion sensor. When making this prototype I did rely on YouTube videos to help me. As a beginner, I got confused while watching the tutorial as to where to put the wires and the wires were getting all jumbled up together.  So in the end, I did simplify the tutorial by excluding the LED light and resistor.

The coding part was a bit easier, as I knew what I wanted my buzzer to do. After Googling the codes I needed, I was able to make my circuit work.

Overall, this was an interesting project. The amount of different sensors that could have been used for this project was pretty cool. Just looking at all the sensors available at the FabLab was overwhelming, but this definitely something that I want to learn more about. 

Final product










void setup() {

pinMode(6, INPUT);

pinMode(8, OUTPUT);


void loop() {

if(digitalRead(6) == HIGH){

tone(8, 400);




tone(8, 400);



else {




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Textile Project: T-Rex Plushie

During our two week session of sewing, we made a drawstring pouch and an embroidery.  The process of making the drawstring pouch was pretty straightforward, since we were sewing straight lines and not curves. The same goes for the embroidery, once there was an image to be embroidered the sewing machine did all the work. However, I did mess up on the embroidery because I accidentally moved the fabric when I was inspecting the sewing and so the border of the image is a bit shifted downward. 

Drawstring Pouch















For this week, I chose to make a T-rex plushie using fleece. Initially, when I first read the direction for the plushie it seemed pretty straight forward. Sadly, that did not last long. Cutting the fabric took longer than I expected. After cutting all the pieces needed for my plushie,  I started to sew the pieces together, and that is when I encountered my second problem. While cutting the fabric pieces, I did not register that the fleece had a” right side” vs “raw edge” resulting in me backtracking to cutting more fabric. Finally having all my pieces, I was able to sew them together. The sewing portion of the t-rex was relatively easy, except for the teeth portion of the t-rex. The instructions given for that section was a bit confusing and vague, so that part of my plushie did not come out that great. I also attempted to sew in the eyes of the t-rex, but it did not turn out as I wanted it to be, so I sewed in buttons for eyes as an alternative.

Material used

Final product!















For the embroidery part of the project, I decided to add another dinosaur on the belly of the t-rex plushie. I used four different colors on the embroidery, red, white, blue, and black. The overall embroidery came out pretty good, except that the eye of the dinosaur can’t be really seen.














Overall, this was a fun project to do. It honestly turned out a lot better than I expected. If I were to improve on this project, I would probably use a different stitch on the sewing machine just because some of the stitches are showing through.

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Joy Shi- 3D printing

In the last two weeks of lab, we learned about 3d modeling and printing. During the first week, we learned the basics of using Tinkercad and Meshmixer. They were relatively easy to use, but very time consuming. My attempt on making a castle and alien were not that great. However, this exercise was a good introduction on how to use Tinkercad, since I have never used it before.

On the second week, we dived into using 3d scanning. This mostly dealt with scanning an object or person. The hardest part in the scanning would probably be trying to get all the angles of the object or else the object would have a hole somewhere.

For our assignment, we were required to make four different sketches of things we might possibly print later on. After some thought processing, the top two that I was considering printing was either the utensil prompt or the part I need prompt.

In the utensil prompt, I designed utensils that can be stacked on top of each other. This is so that less space is taken up and portable to  take while camping or traveling or everyday use. To make sure that the utensils won’t fly everywhere, I decided to add a ring, like the ones seen on measuring cups, to hold everything in place. Lastly, I added a little stand on the neck of the utensil. The purpose of this is to make sure that the utensil doesn’t touch any dirty surfaces.


However, in the end, I decided to actually print the part I need prompt. My original idea was to build a stand to wrap my chaotic wires around, so everything is more organized. The box on the bottom would be to put adaptors or chargers.

After showing one of my roommates my design, she thought it would be better to make it into a jewelry stand. This is a good idea since all my jewelry are all tangled and missing. Having them in one place would definitely benefit me. So I decided to get rid of the box on the bottom. 

The actual printing process took a bit longer than I expected. For some reason, I did not check the measurements of my stand, so it turned out a bit smaller than I anticipated. However, I’m still happy with it.

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Joy Shi Paper Circuit

This week in lab session, we learned a bit about circuits, led lights, and resistors. The first project we did was fairly simple. It gave introduction to where I was suppose to put the battery, how to make a switch, and how to layer the copper tape on top of the led light to make it light up.

Simple circuit that introduced the basic concepts of circuits


The second project that was done during the lab section involve us to incorporate a quote. The quote I chose was “see the light in others, and treat them as if that is all you see.” This was a bit more challenging in which you had to use the knowledge of parallel circuits and have everything line up in the exact position you want it to be. In the end it was fun to learn about how parallel circuits worked!

The inside of the quote led light

Final product for led light up quote!


Lastly and probably the one that required the most time and thought process was the pop up led card. Out of the three led projects this obviously has the most requirements, so I started first with a sketch of how the circuit was going to look. 

Sketch of the circuit for pop up card

After some test run, I finally had a circuit that works! I then started to actually design the pop up card. In the end, I decided on an ocean theme. Using the scrape papers in the bin, I was able to create a shark, fish, and some kelp.


For me, the hardest part was calculating the resistors, but after viewing a few videos and using the resistor calculator, the process became pretty easy. Also, using the copper tape was pretty complicated since it was so thin and delicate. Along the way, I also had some trouble with getting a few of the led lights to actually turn on. I ended up adding another layer of copper tape on some area and that seem to do the trick!!But overall it was an exciting project to make!!  

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Joy Shi Vinyl Stickers

This week we were assigned to make a multilayer sticker. At first I was a bit confused, not really understanding on how to make a sticker multilayered. However, some helpful people at the FabLab made it so much more understandable. I knew for this project that I wanted to make a sticker for my computer, so I started to Google some ideas. After a few mins of searching, I really liked the idea of using Snoopy. I came across an image of Snoopy and Woodstock in a cape. To adjust the picture, I decided to add a superhero outfit to Snoopy and his sidekick. In a way, it sort of resembles Superman and Batman. I also got rid of Snoopy’s tail from the original image to make the image more clean. 

While making this sticker, I ran into a few problems. When I first printed the image, it was way too small making it extremely hard to actually layer the stickers together. On my second try, I made it slightly bigger, due to the limitation of vinyl located in the scrap basket. With the assistance of the people working at the FabLab, I ended up making holes on the while vinyl for Snoopy’s face rather than layering another layer of black vinyl on top of the white vinyl.

For me, the actual hard part with this project was actually layering the stickers since I don’t have the steadiest hand. Thankfully, the transfer tape made a huge difference in helping me! 

Overall, I’m very happy with the result of my sticker. If I were to redo this project, I would make the sticker slightly larger to make it easier to layer the smaller pieces of the sticker on top of each other. The black border around Snoopy’s face isn’t as smooth as I want it to be and that is something that could be improved on.

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Joy Shi Name Tag

When I first initially started this project, I had some inspiration based on the example name tags that were seen during lab. However, this was my first time using Inkscape along with the laser machinery so in the end, I decided to keep the design simple.

While using Inkscape for the first time, I was kind of confused on how to use the program and how exactly it would print out the image. However, after playing around with the program and seeing the laser, I got the hang of it and designing became slightly easier.

Since I love eating chocolate, I chose to base my name tag around a chocolate bar. To spice things up a bit, I replaced the “O” in my name with a pumpkin because I was born in October and Halloween is my favorite holiday.  

During the lab section, we briefly talked about raster vs vector. I was mostly leaning toward keeping my name tag using the raster method, but I was still curious of how the vector method would turn out to be. So in the end, I decided to use the vector method on my little California state image. I was fairly shocked at the precision of how the image was cut out.

In the end, the overall name tag came out pretty amazing. Even though the end design is very simple, it was personalized by me making it pretty awesome! If I were to make a revision on this project, it probably be to make it slightly larger and use the raster method on the whole name tag.


Final Product!!

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