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

Author Archive

Makerspace Student

Makerspace Student

Students from previous Fab Lab Makerspace classes

Example Final Project – Jesse Zhang

At the beginning of the project, I thought this would be a breeze since I have an instructable with detailed instructions. So, I got to work spending first few days familiarizing myself with the detailed control of the servos – the same ones used with the pom-pom bot – instead of using Servo.write, a common function used to control the servo, I wanted finer control over the rotation, therefore I had to learn how to manually do PWM on the servo. That was the easy part.

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Example Final Project – Namitha Somayaji


I liked how my experience with this project was very hands-on and interactive. Obviously this class is a hands-on class but up until now, we’ve been doing projects that we’ve been told to do. I think this project opened a lot of doors for me in terms of how I used the Fab Lab and how I will use the Fab Lab in the future.

The two main components of making my project where I learned new skills were etching the glass and creating my own string lights from scratch by soldering. I had enjoyed using the laser machines in the beginning of the semester but this time I got the chance to use it again. In fact, it was this project that led to me coming up with the idea for my boyfriend’s 21st birthday present. I etched two wine glasses and personalized them for his gift, and I only did this after etching the wine bottle for my own project.

As for the soldering, I’ve always been very wary of anything physics/science-y related since the beginning of high school where I did poorly in physics and since then have shunned that part of the science field. Although I like lights very much, up until now, I wasn’t too familiar with the workings behind it. I learned that soldering is quite a relaxing experience, aside from the potential to get lead poisoning, but I was very proud when I finished making the lights and seeing how it worked. It gave me a newfound appreciation for electrical engineers and people who make their own lights.

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Example Final Project – Mamoru O’Hara

My project was to create a prosthetic hand using the Myo Armband as the method of
control. I had a few learning objectives with this, and that is to learn more about 3D printing,
being comfortable with new technology, and understanding the limits of modern consumer
grade products that could potentially be used for cheaper prosthetics. I was extremely excited
to be able to use the Myo Armband because I had only used cheaper, less reliable muscle
readers. My initial concerns with this was how the actual data would be handled, and how to
actually model the hand around the tech.
I started off coding first and played around with my Arduino Mega’s serial write, to
make sure that I could properly read in data passed from my computer. Next, I spent a couple
days reading documentation of the Myo Armband API to figure out how I can read the data,
and in what form it would come in. During this time, I was also looking for a way to connect the
Arduino with the Myo Armband, but the only library I found was for Windows only, and I have a
Mac. I ended up having to do a little bit of systems programming to send the data to a python
program which could then write to the Arduino.

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Example Final Project – Piotr Cudzich

Multichannel Weatherproof Amplifier

This project was quite difficult and complicated. I knew it would be; however, I didn’t anticipate how much time and effort would be needed to complete what I initially wanted to create. I wanted to create a multiple channel/multiple speaker amplifier-mixer combo and make it weatherproof. This would be for my dad that has outdoor speakers, but does not have a good audio setup to make it easy to hide the speakers during the winter. Due to time constraints, I ended up making a single channel simple amplifier with volume control, but I learned a lot from it. The sound is a bit fuzzy, but if I add a few filters and fine tune them, the sound should be a lot better.

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Example Final Project – Cindy Hernandez



My original plan was to create a sculpture of myself using 123D Make model. Then I will add LEDS around my head along with an afro or flowers to make it more colorful and it a glow. However, after used Connect 2 to scan my head and then proceeded make the design more nice by using some type of program that is equivalent to Sculptris only the program is new then I realized the design wasn’t going to look very nice. In addition, since I also wanted to make something to give to my parents, I felt the design wasn’t that great so I change the whole prototype/design. I created a 123D Make model out of a bitten apple. Then I decided to put LED lights inside the apple and make the leave connect to the LED lights that way every time you touch the leave the LED lights turn on.


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Exemplar Project Writeup- Priya Mittal

3D Model from storyboard

Initially my thoughts were all over the place. It was ranging from making Harry Potter themed designs to building a basic solar system using sculptis. Eventually though, I settled upon my design by understanding the fact that Sculptris works best when trying to design somewhat spherical figures. Therefore, I started to design Togepi (Pokemon), tha’s round and could be made perfectly with the help of this software.


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Exemplar Project Writeup- Xue Yan Chen

Advanced Vinyl Sticker

When I was told to make a griffin sticker, the first thing that came to my mind was the cloud because I love its curly shape for whatever reason. I originally wanted to combine the cloud with a cat, however, the design didn’t work out well. So, I changed my mind and ended up choosing a deer. At first, I had no idea how could I combined a deer and a cloud together to created something that’s meaningful and aesthetic. By randomly moving the cloud around the deer, magic happened, I got a snail! And I was glad that I chose to print in gold because it really stands out. 

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Exemplar Project Writeup- Christine Huh

Laser Name Tag

It was satisfying to be able to create my own design from start to finish. 

Before class, I wasn’t really sure about the design of my name tag.  After playing around with Inkscape during lab, I decided that I didn’t want it to be the standard rectangular name tag shape, but something different with a little bit more shape. So I chose an apple shape.  It’s an reference to my parents’ business and my job as a teacher. I also chose to write hello in English, Korean, and Spanish; the three languages that I speak, study, and teach. For the material, I found two acrylic pieces that I liked, so I chose layer them and join them with acrylic solvent cement. 

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Exemplar Project Writeup- Heather Brown

Soft Circuit

For this project, I was immediately drawn to the embroidered patches on the wall of the FabLab. I have sewn a little bit, but it has been several years since I have attempted any projects. The thought of being able to create your own patch seemed like an interesting challenge. In approaching the assignment, I wanted to have a light-hearted concept because I had been overthinking previous projects. After tossing around several ideas, I decided to design a scientific theme patch with a play on words. The project was not without learning opportunities as I struggled to development my concept into an image that was compatible with the embroidering machine. The process of embroidering was helpful to observe as I might lay out my design differently especially with regard to lettering. In addition, it took several attempts at sewing a functioning parallel circuit in-spite of drawing it out on paper. While the project is not without problems, I enjoyed the process and hope to create more patches applying what I have learned.

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Exemplar Project Write Up- Sam Fu

Locomotive Pom Pom Bot

Initial Design

I wanted to create a robot with one arm with 2 hinges to rotate on. These arms would alternate between rowing the contraption using the rowing arm and resetting the rowing arm in a loop. It would move forward ever so slightly by making contact with the table surface at the bottom of each rowing motion. I wasn’t quite decided on how the base of the device would look, as that didn’t seem too important. I just knew I wanted to construct it out of popsicle sticks and hot glue, although I had not yet thought of how pompoms would fit into the design.

Sketch Image-  arduino0.jpg

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Exemplar Project Writeup – Zhan Chen

My initial proposal was to realistic 3d print of a mediaeval knight armor from scratch. The purpose of the print would acting as a scarecrow for my cats and preventing them from pushing fragile object off the table. The original design was supposed to be a realistic warrior of some sort, the aesthetic focus would be making it look as intimidating as possible.

Original Model












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