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

Author Archive

3D Printing Project

For my 3D printing project, I decided to follow prompt two and picked an item from my heritage. I have had this doll for a couple of years since my great aunt gave me something that my grandpa had bought it Europe. During the 50s, my grandpa was stationed in Germany and everywhere he traveled, he sent dolls to his sister. I received this one, that was from Switzerland.

I wanted to use this item because it’s an item from my heritage and my relatives that meant a lot to my great aunt. I wanted to keep the doll similar to what she normally looks like, but just make some adjustments to modernize her a little. Once I scanned her, I realized that this would be more difficult than I had intended. The scanner did not capture the details that I wanted it to, especially her face. It got the fold of her clothes and hair pretty well, which are items that I spent a lot of time on later modifying. When I got my scan into Meshmixer, there were a lot of immediate problems that had to be worked out. First, since the doll is on a stand, I had to edit it out, which was especially difficult around her legs. Her legs were the most difficult thing to edit, and I ended up deleting most of them since I felt the more I attempted to fix it, the worse it became. Another detail that was erased was the doll’s hands – I scanned her many times in different positions, but the hands always came out like blobs. I ended up finding hands on Tinkercad and Meshmixer which worked well for the doll. 

Designs I used for my model on Tinkercad.

Editing was the hardest part of this project by far. I was way out of my element doing this very detailed editing and spent hours making very simple and small changes. I ended up downloading Meshmixer on my computer so I could work on it outside of lab hours. The first thing I changed was the hands, which were clearly absent from my scan. The one that was on Tinkercad was incredibly detailed, so I reduced the points on that a lot. It took a while to change them so they were of equal size and placement. I also had to make sure they were in the correct spot – so that they could be seen on the model, but not sticking out so much that they wouldn’t be supported. I ended up cutting the thumbs off of the hands and making them a separate aspect so I could get the configuration right. The second thing I changed were the shoes – the feet and legs were disastrous from start to finish – no matter what I did, they were unrealistic looking and always hideous. I found a Converse shoe on Tinkercad, which I had to mirror and fit onto each foot of the doll. Converse are the shoes I wear all the time, so I felt this was an accurate representation of me. Once the shoes were in the right place, I realized I could get rid of most of the feet that were causing me trouble. Because of the position of the stand, I had to edit the legs individually so the inspector tool would understand that I wanted each leg separate instead of together, like it kept doing. That alone took quite a while because no tool was the right thing I was looking for. And because of the heavy editing of the legs, the bottom of the skirt took a lot of damage and I had to repair that. This was easier that the legs because of the flatten tool. 

I did various editing all around the doll, particularly on the sleeves and stomach to make it more natural looking. The other edit I took a while with was the hair. The original doll has her hair mostly in a bun on her head and it’s very short. To make it seem more like mine, I used the inflate tool all around her head and neck to make it look more like natural hair.

I made these changes to make a small representation of me in an item from my heritage. It was interesting to find aspects about yourself and incorporate them into something familiar, but I learned from this project that 3D printing is not my thing. It’s an incredibly interesting concept and technology and the fact that so many people get to show their creative side on places like Tinkercad is unbelievable. But I was out of my element for this project and spent hours agonizing over simple decisions to make. I’m not one to focus on details, nor to get artsy with something and I think this project proved that. Using very detail-oriented software like Meshmixer was really hard for me and I felt that I could have done a better job if I had a lot of help from people more comfortable with the software. 

I ended up printing my model much smaller than the actual doll since I didn’t want focus to go to the problem areas. I had a lot of problems that I spent a while fixing – so while it was interesting to get to work with 3D printers for the first time, I was not in my comfort zone. 

Final Print.

Continue Reading

Copper Circuit Lab

The first two circuits I created were started in lab. The simple one didn’t take long – the most difficult thing I found was practicing looping the wire over and under so it would be conductive as possible.

It was also hard to learn how to successfully connect the copper wire to the LED. On this example, I had to put pressure on the negative side of the LED for it to work most of the time. But this was an issue I would fix later on.

For my first picture, I used a quote that I found during lab last week. I connected the positives and negatives together, then connected it like the first circuit.

I had to tape down the sides of the LEDs so it would light up properly. There must be pressure on the battery so I made the placement of the quote line up with the word light.

For my 3D card, I wanted to do origami but I set up the circuits first. Since there were three LEDs I had to plan it out for a while then connect the wires and LEDs. I connected the positives to negatives again, but it looked a lot less organized than my previous one.

The origami was pretty simple, but it took some planning to decide what size would fit properly on the size I had allotted. I ended up cutting a 6x6in piece of origami paper twice to make the right size. In the end, I made 24 pieces for all the flowers. Once I had made them all, I glued the sides together then taped the flower on the paper. They fit perfectly in the middle of the LEDs which is what I wanted from the beginning.

To finish, I cut another piece of paper and glued it over the battery, so there’s only a little pressure needed for it to light up.

It’s hard to get a picture with all the lights facing straight towards the camera, but they all properly lit – there were no troubles with the circuit on this one, so practice definitely helped.

Continue Reading

Sticker Assignment

  1. Griffin Sticker

For my griffin sticker I did my best to pay homage to the cat dog cartoon that was on in the 90s. I had some problems with the nodes and lining the bodies up right, but I liked how it turned out.

2. For my logo based sticker, I decided to make a sticker for one of my clubs. We’ve been planning on making stickers for a while, and I thought now would be a good time to start the process. In the future, we plan to make more in different designs and sizes, but I started off simple for now.

I made two copies of the design, deleted the nodes from the quill and words respectively, and set up the design so the background, words, and quill would all be different colors. Once it was printed, it was hard to get the words off without ruining the arrangement, but it turned out okay in the end.

3. For my complex sticker, I made a doodle I drew into a sticker. I found a small globe online, as well as the magnifying glass, and fit it into the middle of the circle. The quote is from one of my favorite movies. The words were again hard to paste on since they were so tiny, and they ended up a little crooked.

Overall, I’m really pleased with how it turned out, especially with the size of the circles fitting really well, and how the details of the land came out.

Continue Reading

Storyboard

The storyboard idea we came up with in class was about having an interactive piece of technology to help students studying. I drew elementary school students and their professor struggling to teach them. Once an interactive skeleton becomes available, the students are able to more adequately learn and succeed.

Continue Reading

Laser Name Tag

Design Process

My initial design we did two weeks ago was a little too simple and small – it was mostly a result of me learning to play with Inkscape. While I was trying to come up with an idea for my final name tag, I was playing with the 3D shape maker and ended up making this random shape:


Once it was on the screen, I thought it would be really cool to print with the two sided acrylic. Since the 3D shape was gradient, I thought it would be interesting to see that in effect on acrylic. The 3D tool on Inkscape was a little difficult to perfect, so I ended up having my red vector line on the inside of my design so it would cut out the parts I wasn’t happy with. Overall, I wanted my nametag to be fairly simple so I could use anywhere – at work, at lab, or in the future.

Once it was in the printer, I was really excited that it had worked. The texture on it is very interesting, and there is a slight gradient to the acrylic. Then all I had to do was attach a magnet on the back of it. I really like my nametag, its design, and sturdiness. It’s simplicity will allow me to use it in the future.

Continue Reading