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

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An Evil Whisk, A Bandanna Bust, and Some Plastic Shards – 3D Modelling

This week’s assignment was that of two parts, an in class introductory 3d model and, a batch of different prompts that we had to complete using 3D modelling software as well as print one. The three prompts I chose to complete were: 1. cutlery for your enemy, 3. insert yourself into a piece of famous art, and 4. make a part you need. The prompt I chose for my one print was the part that you actually need.

 Overall this project was tough! I definitely spent more time thinking about the prompts then actually working in Fusion. Oddly enough the part I needed and printed took the least time to plot out. To be fair though, my printed object was just a rectangular prism that has had two subtractions. The other two models I made use different functions like loft and editing face meshes. The printed part was more plug and play while the other two were a design challenge.

Part 1.

                In class we were given 15 min to design a castle in tinker CAD. I spent 10 of these minutes trying to figure out how the heck to make an arch. Turns out that you cannot rotate faces in tinker CAD so, in a mad panic, I threw up some castle wall and made concept art for a white castle. We then took our shoddy models into mesh mixer to toy around with various tools. The amalgamation shown below was the final product at the end of the session.

Picture 1: Castle walls made with extruding blocks, connected using the union function.

Part 2.

The next pictures will be answers to a few of the prompts that were laid out for us a couple weeks ago. 


Pictures 2 & 3: Bumpy Whisk (left) is modified in mesh mixer. Metal Disk Whisker (right) made in fusion.

Ok, so this prompt, Cutlery for your enemy, ended up a bit weird but in a way I accomplished what I wanted to do. I included both the meshmixer picture and the fusion picture because the small metal disks (right) did not show up as well in the meshmixer picture (left). The original design was to make a whisk with metal disks at the top where one’s thumb would go and a bumpy sticky looking handle. The metal disks are placed where the user’s thumb would go, or where the most pressure would be applied. After some use these metal disks would probably slice the users hand. Moving on to the second modification, the handle was meant to be sticky-looking because that’d be terrible. I thought that if I were to use meshmixers’ brushes I could achieve some sort of residue looking pattern. I ran into the same issue we did in lab with there not being enough polygons, so I tried to remesh. Remeshing ruined everything so I had to revert everything. I ended up playing with the brushes at random and came up with the bumpy handle (left). So, this metal-slicing-disk-bumpy-sitcky-handle-whisk is the perfect gift for your latest enemy! 

Pictures 4 & 5 Me 3D scanned using fusion and a piece of famous art found on google images.

This 3D model addresses prompt number three on the assignment sheet. We all scanned ourselves during last week lab and, when doing so, I made myself as low as a polygon render as possible because I knew I wanted to do some sort of bust. Through my googling I found that busts are WAY more detailed then most images. That is not to say that the image on the right is low detail because I chose it, but it was the easiest to incorporate into my 3D model. The bust was sculpted by Chris Mitton and is supposed to be modern iconography in a classical medium. I was already wearing a hoodie so having two hoods would look weird thus I had to find another way to make me look anonymous. I was able to make a complex mesh and seemed as though it was a bandanna wrapped around my face. Then I threw on some shades because I thought it was lacking.

Picture 6 Complex 3D Mesh

This was the mesh that I made using two center arcs connecting with a line. I then added a anchor point in the middle of the top line so it can be bent outward. I then used the face mesh editor to pull some vertices out, creating the warps you see above. All of this made it seem that the bandanna was kinda attached to my face.

Pictures 7 & 8 Battery Pack Wall Mount in Fusion(left) and Battery Wall Mount Printed(right).

The final prompt was to make a part that I needed. Would be silly to do this one and not print it thus is why I printed it. Starting out, I took measurements of the orange battery pack (right). Once I constructed a prism with the dimensions I needed I made two subtractions. One was to make a cavity for the battery pack. The other was so that I could snake a micro USB through the bottom. The picture on the left has the small hole in the wrong spot, I fixed it in the right picture. Where I messed up (I guess) was making the fusion model in inches instead of millimeters. When I imported the .stl into the flashware it came up as the inch measurements but in millimeters, so it was tiny as heck. I googled the conversion and scaled it. The right was the end result, didn’t print right at all. 

Picture 9 Attempt at salvaging.

  The height and depth were manageable but the width was not. So, I tried to clip them off with clippers. The model was too sturdy though so it just snapped and broke. 


Overall I don’t think the biggest challenge was designing for 3D modelling but actually navigating the software. My prior experience in 3D modelling was using 3DS MAX, and its was more of a sculpting software, (atleast that how I used it). When making an arc, not have to sketch a line and loft it. I could just keep extruding the same circle and rotate the face a little bit to form a curve. the process of getting there is always the hardest, never the execution. The battery pack wall mount is a contender for my iterative project for sure. I have these modular slots on the front face of my computer tower and could possibly make a charging try come out of it. Would be really cool if I pull it off tho. 

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Pseudo-Circuit Battleships

For this week’s assignment, we had to create some sort of paper circuit display using: copper tape, a watch cell battery, & some LEDs. In my case it was all those listed items plus some alligator clamps. The purpose of this assignment is to give us a very basic understanding of how electrons flow to make a circuit.

Initial Concept

Instead of making a paper display with LEDs, I decided to do something a little more engaging. I made a small time version of the board game “Battleships” where the players used alligator clamps to scout for enemy “ships”(red LED). A player uses their alligator clamp to find enemy ships by clamping down on a positive end of the opponent’s LED. If it clamps onto an enemy ship the LED will light up red, if they miss the LED will light white. Instead of mimicking the 100 square board that Battleships has, I only did 9 squares so that I would be able to get the point of the design across.

First Run

To the left is the first version of the battleship board. The copper tape can be seen intended to make the 3×3 grid. I have an arbitrary LED at the bottom right of the copper box which I used to test the circuit. The placement of the watch battery servers a structural purpose by weighing down the paper flaps when the board is standing up. Once the player taps the positive side of the LED, the circuit is completed and the LED lights up.


I learned a couple things from making this prototype. For starters, terrible spot for the alligator clamp. The clamp being at the bottom of the paper made it difficult for the whole board to stand up. Also, paper is a poor material for making things stand up on their own so the jump to construction paper was made. Finally, I learned that completing the circuit while using another piece of metal, that is not the top of the watch cell battery, made completing the circuit inconsistent. So, I had to anchor the clamps to the actual board.

Final Form

Pictured above in the blurry picture on the left and the clear picture on the right is the final form of the pseudo Battleship game. The LEDs on the paper have their positive side sticking through the paper so that the opposing player can clamp on to it while the negative side sits under copper tape waiting to be completed. I moved the clamp position from the bottom of the paper to the side of the board. This allows for not only a better structure, but also looks nice. From these pictures, one can see how this method could be applied to a large board for a real game of Battleships. Overall the project went well and turned out better than I thought it would.


Working with circuits was harder than I thought it would be! I’d like to think I am good at design, but when it comes to circuits I have no clue. I typically do not go for the most basic idea/what is assigned at a base level. So, thinking of something was the most challenging part of this assignment. My issue with circuits might stem from me not being able to visualize what is going on within the circuit. The water analogy seems to be the best visualization but, it just doesn’t do it for me. Doing projects like these could help my situation.

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Griffin Part Two: Now with Cannons!


This weeks design task was to create an multilayered (minimum 4 layers) sticker of original design. This is not my first time using the silhouette cutter so there were not any issues regarding interacting with the technology. Issues with this task arose from the art/creativity side and will be explained late in the post.

Design Planning

The bulk of this assignment was spent in this planning phase. Starting out, I had a couple ideas but none I really liked. Most of them were simple, cut a logo in half, splice it into another one, made for a decent cop-out.

I have an affinity for taking dumb ideas and running with them, thus the Cannon Tangler! The Cannon Tangler is a Turtle with an Angler’s head and tail as well as tank cannons on its back. While this may just be a stupid design I actually had to actively think about certain aspects of the sticker that I would not have had to worry about had I went with one of my cop-outs. One such aspect was a sense of depth. the grey backing shown in Pic. 1 was made to be a consistent backing for the whole sticker as well as providing a base for one of the back cannons. In the final product (Pic. 2) you can see that I was able to achieve that sense of depth by making it seem that the Tangler has one cannon on each side of its shell. Finally, the grey backing supplied a stable base that made the sticker, well, stick better as a whole. Had I not had the backing, the back cannon would most likely not stick to the whole Tangler when peeling off the backing.

Pic. 1 Tangler Genesis. The Tangler gets its significant backing

Pic. 2 Tangler Revelation. Finished Tangler with green skin, brown spacers and, two cannons.

I do not have any pictures of the building process but in short it was mostly just connecting nodes, similar to that of the griffin lesson. However, getting the lines to fit the scraps properly was a bit of a pain. I just had to move around the red trace lines around a bit.

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LCD Cuttingboard

Our group came up with the idea of a LCD cutting board that shows the user how to chop a certain item as well as keep track of the current recipe. In the first panel we have a amateur home chef, ignorant at how to properly dice an onion. Introducing, the Chop Coach! The Chop Coach then shows the amateur home chef how to dice the onion with the use of guide lines. Multiple cutting styles can be shown on the Chop Coach, assuring the chef will always have the proper knowledge. In the last panels we see that the home chef was able to properly cook their meal with the aide of the LCD cutting board.

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How I Gutted a Xbox Controller For Education

So, this week’s project was to create a name tag that represents them in some sort of way. Me being a game designer and video game addict I immediately went to games. My main thought process for most things starts off as a joke but then I end up refining it until I manage to make it work. More fun that way. Also, an interactive name tag, even though it’s just some lame buttons and a joystick, is a cool idea. In this post, I will be posting pictures of each component while listing off what went into the associated component.

Sidenote: I don’t know why the pictures are turning out so massive and text so small. really odd.

  • Here we have the innards of a broken xbox one controller
  • The gizmo on the left is the joystick.
  • Notice how there is no joystick on the right? I had to desolder it off because it wouldn’t fit the wooden frame.
  • Learning how to use a soldering iron was a little bit of a challenge but I’m glad I finally learned. TY to Amanda for showing me!
  • This was the process that took the
  • Not much went into this front plate but, there are some subtleties.
  • The plate was laser cut from a silhouette I found on google images and modified in Inkscape. I just removed the right joystick.
  • The font I wrote my name is from one of my favorite games, Titanfall. Adds a little more “me” into the project.
  • Finally, I used the laser cutter to cut the holes and raster my name in. EZ PZ.
  • Here is the final product!
  • The final thing was gluing.
  • I originally tried wood glue (cuz wood, duh) but it never ended up sticking.
  • Then, with the help of Duncan and Emilie, I found out the proper glue was a rubber adhesive.
  • Working buttons were achieved, I found a use for some old tech, all went well.
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