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

Author Archive

Final Project

Question 1:

Over the course of the assignments, I managed to learn a lot about visualization and being able to create something that just starts off as an idea in my head. I actually think that this was very useful because it helped me to utilize my creativity and to test myself to see the kinds of things that I can come up with. I also learned that even though something doesn’t originally turn out like planned, it can still come out to be a cool project.

Question 2:

For my final project, I decided to make a fashion piece. While making the project, I ended up having to start over because of a mishap so that was a bit of a challenge. Additionally, there was a technique that I was doing for the first time called screen printing, so my first attempt wasn’t as crisp as my other attempts. Additionally, I had to cut my second shirt down so the edges are a bit more ragged than I had planned. Other than that, I am really proud of my project. I really enjoyed making the embroidery and choosing the gradient colors for the embroidery. I also enjoyed the colors, font, and shapes that I used for the screen printing.

Original embroidery

Final Project!

In progress

In progress

In progress














Question 3:

For this final project I wanted to not only learn more about different tools, but I really wanted to test my creativity ability. For instance, I was really hoping that I would be able to come up with a design that makes sense and that could come together nicely. Since I never designed a shirt before, I was pretty excited for the task. Additionally, one of my goals was to be able to be knowledgeable in different techniques to make an appealing shirt. For example, one of the programs that I used for my embroidery was PEDesign. After this project, I ended up feeling pretty comfortable with the program and I was able to pull images from the internet and turn them into a nice embroidery. I also learned how to do a gradient pattern thanks to a classmate and so it was fun to try different gradient patterns on the different images. Additionally, I enjoyed using Inkscape as well to change the images when I needed to. For instance, I combined 2 different images of a crown and a lion head to make the center piece. I also edited the sun so that it was be empty in the middle.

Another technique I learned about included screen printing. For instance, I used the vinyl sticker as my cut out so I ended up using Inkscape and Silhouette to cut out my font and shapes. After using the vinyl cutter, I then had to learn how to properly screen print. At first I thought it would be challenging, but after the first try, it ended up not being too bad. During my later tries, I learned to press the fabric paint harder down as I was doing the printing. I also learned to make sure that there was tape absolutely everywhere that I didn’t want paint. I lastly learned to be extremely gentle when removing the screen so that the paint looks a lot cleaner on the shirt.

One technique that I unfortunately didn’t have enough time to accomplish was having LEDs incorporated on my shirt. I managed to sew one on there, but my battery was drained by that point and I was unable to get more on there. If I had more time to do the project, that is something that I would have really liked to use.

Question Four:

After taking this class, I think that we should all consider ourselves makers. I say this because we all used different skills and tools in order to create brand new existing projects. Additionally, I think that Papert’s quote is a pretty good one as it is a lot easier to understand something when you are working with it up close and personal. For instance, I learned a lot more about the machines and the computer programs when I explored them myself as opposed to watching someone else use them. Overall, I think that hands on learning is definitely a great way to explore and understand a concept.

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Iteration Project

For the iteration project, I decided to build off of our sticker assignment. For instance for my sticker project, I made a girl who had on sunglasses. After looking at it again, I realized how cool it would look in a more 3D version. Because of this I decided to use the laser printer to cut out acrylic pieces so that I could put them together. I then stacked the acrylic together to make a nice piece. Also I used the stickers to add a little more detail to my 3D sticker design to hopefully make the design pop more. Lastly I decided to use an LED because I thought it would compliment the clear piece well and cast a glow behind it. 

When you look at my piece, You can see that it actually has 3 layers of acrylic. My base piece consist of a clear piece of acrylic where I cut out the whole head shape of the piece. I additionally rastored on the original details of her face so that we could see it and also so that I could have an outline for my other acrylic pieces. I then cut out a piece of black acrylic that I could use for her hair. I then decided to attach it behind the clear piece instead of on top because I thought it looked way better. I then cut out pieces of blue acrylic to use for her glasses and mouth. I ended up really liking it because I think it added more dimensions to the piece and it added a pop of color. 

Also for the sticker portion, there was actually a lot more that I wanted to do with the stickers but unfortunately I could not separate the stickers out of their original position. I tried cutting it multiple times under higher settings but I still had no luck. Because of this, my sticker portion isn’t as clean or detailed as I would have wanted it to be. Overall though, I tried to use stickers to add more detail to her glasses and her hair. 

Ultimately, I think that the assignment was fun and I enjoyed seeing a 3D dimension version of my sticker design. If I had to change anything, I would upgrade how the stickers looked on the piece and maybe make the LED light stand out more since I had to press it for it to really work.

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Pom Pom Bot Project

Initial concept/design

For the initial concept and design, we were asked to think about something that can move from point A to B. Initially, I then thought of creating an animal because of how they move but then I decided to do a baby. I initially didn’t attach anything yet because I wanted to see how the motors were going to move on their own. After I managed to do that, I then glued the Pom Poms together. 

Initial construction/prototype

For the initial construction and prototype, I decided to mimic how a baby would look if it crawled on the floor. I then glued multiple little pom poms together to look like a baby in a diaper. After that, I glued the Pom Poms to the motors. For instance, I glued one leg to a motor and then I glued the other leg to another motor. As I was trying to figure out the movements, I had a lot of struggle trying to move it from one point to the other. I also realized that the motors weren’t as stable because there wasn’t anything really holding them steady together. Because of this I changed my design so that I could include Popsicle sticks.

2nd prototype

For my second prototype I was actually inspired from the Popsicle sticks and decided to mimic how a surfer would look on a surf board. Because of this, I attached the two motors together under the Popsicle stick and I attached my figurine to the top of the board so that it looked like it was surfing. Additionally, since the PomPom bot still wasn’t as stable as I wanted it quite yet, I just tried to focus my movements on moving to different points.

 Final pom-pom bot

For my final bot, I used my surfer pom pom bot. To make sure that my surfer was stable, I glued an additional Popsicle stick to the back of it. For my movements, I actually had a couple of them. For my first movement, I had my motors moving together at an extremely fast pace. Because of this, the surfer bot almost appeared to be vibrating across the desk. Unfortunately I missed the recording of this, but I eventually used another movement. For my final movement, my surfer moved at a much slower pace and sort of glided across the desk. (Might need a gmail account to view)

Overall, the project could be a little challenging when it comes to trying to make the bot move from one point to the other, but it eventually worked out a few times. If I had to change something, I would probably use glue to secure my motors to my Popsicle sticks because tape wasn’t as effective. Additionally, I probably would have added some blue pompoms or feathers so that it really looked like it was surfing, but I was unfortunately pressed for time. Other than that, it was very easy to understand how to work the Arduino and using the Pom Poms were fun.


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Arduino Project

For this project, we were able to use the Arduino kits. I thought that using Arduino was really great and it was pretty easy to understand. I previously have never used Arduino so at first it seemed challenging but it was actually very quick to learn. 

For my Arduino, I was inspired to use something that was more visual and had an obvious outcome. I wanted it to be more visual because I think that it is obviously a great way to see change. As you can see in the pictures, I had a color changing LED light that would change depending on how the code was set up. I decided to use a slightly more in depth code by having the LED slowing light up, stay lit for a certain amount of time, and then slowing dim. It would then switch to another color and do the same thing. My two colors were Red and Green. It was fun to mess around with the program and change some of the speeds of the LEDs.

Furthermore, for my story board, the changing and dimming LEDs reminded me a lot about Traffic lights. More specifically, it really reminded me of how convenient it could be to compare two different outcomes such as how the Traffic lights tell you stop and go. Instead of a Traffic light though, my storyboard included a device that takes in information and then its lights determine whether something is a good idea or not. 

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Soft Circuit project

For this project, we were able to combine a couple of cool aspects. For one, we were able to learn how to sew and then we were able to incorporate LED lights. In particular, for my project I was inspired by the Champions League. Since my favorite team is Chelsea and they are participating in it, I decided to design their logo.

While designing and embroidering the logo, I had a couple of hiccups. My first one was that when I tried to import the original logo from the internet into PEDesign, it was too complex therefore I couldn’t go that route. Instead, I just imported the one recognizable part that I needed and built the rest of the logo around it myself. Another hiccup that I had was that I used the wrong thread in the machine and ended up having to cut that piece out of my embroidery. I managed to make that work as I decided to put my LED light in that spot. Additionally I didn’t have enough time to do the project all in one sitting, so I had to re figure out the alignments. Other than that my project went along pretty smoothly afterwards. After I sewed on the LED light, it worked and so I finished up the whole bag after that. 

For my bag colors, I couldn’t find the matching gray to the front part of my bag, so I just decided to make the rest of the bag black since black is a great complimentary color. My zipper was also a nice shade of blue and it looked great with the black and gray.

Finished embroidery

Finished LED

Embroidery with LED

Final Bag with LED

Bag in progress

Final bags. One from Lab and the other one is my final bag!

Overall I am happy with the assignment and that I got to make an LED bag with my favorite team on it. If I had to redo the assignment, I would probably have the bag all one color and would make sure to be more careful with my embroidery. 

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3D Project

For this assignment, we learned how to use three different programs to make a 3D model. For my assignment, I was slightly inspired by unofficial and my huge love for wine so I decided to combine a 3D scan of myself with a 3D scan of a wine bottle. I really wanted to do a scan of myself because I thought it would be the most fun thing to scan after our lab. While doing the scan, I raised my arms up and had my hands balled up in a fist. I originally did this because I know hands are hard to scan and I figured that I could edit them in one of the 3D programs. As the project went along, I ended up extending my hands so that a bottle could fit in each hand.

While working on the project, for the most part I had a smooth time operating the equipment. For instance, the Xbox connect was great to use and I had help from a fellow classmate who helped to scan me. Additionally, using Skanect was nice. However, I did have a hiccup because I was unable to load my scans into Sculptris after I repaired them. I ultimately ended up using Blender and I used the decimate tool. After I did this, I was then able to use Sculptris. Sculptris was also a nice program and I was able to make the changes that I wanted. For instance, it really helped to make both of my 3D models cleaner and I was able to combine them. Additionally, using Tinkercad was really nice and the functions made sense. For my Tinkercad design, I created a palace type of structure and I had to combine most of the functions in Tinkercad. I was able to create different work planes so that I could built shapes on top of each other and I was able to cut out holes in my castle. Additionally I had to make sure that the shapes were all sized together and looked like a palace.

Story board assignment

Skanect Program

3D scan of me

3D scan of bottle

Original Sculptris

Final Sculptris

Final 3D

Tinkercad Palace

Furthermore, if I had more time for the 3D project, I might have come up with a different design by putting something more spontaneous in my hands. For instance, I might have put more miniature versions of myself in different poses in the hands. Whether or not it would’ve worked, it still could’ve been fun to try. Overall, I genuinely like wine and so with Unofficial and St Patrick’s Day coming up it felt pretty fitting.

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Project 3- Copper Tape

For this project we had to build a circuit using copper tape. We made three different circuits that were all different. For the first one, it was very simple and had the circuit drawn for us. For the last two, though, we had to design our own circuit. For my first circuit, my quote was “To shine your brightest light is to be who you truly are”. Unfortunately I am not the best at drawing, but I still had a go at it lol. I decided to draw a girl whose inner shine was extremely bright. For the second design, I was extremely inspired by Valentine’s Day. For my design I decided to cut out peanut butter and jelly cut outs using the silhouette cutter. I also cut out a few hearts to add to the design. For the circuit, I made sure that all the negative and positive sides were in the correct spot and I put the battery and switch in a place that would be great to use. For this project, I did have a couple of challenges. At first I didn’t really plan out well where I was going to put my switch but then I managed to switch the placing of my switch and my battery. This worked out better for me. Secondly, I think that my circuit disconnected somewhere because it was working well the first few times and then stopped working. If I had to redo the project, I would be more clean with my design. Also I would most likely try to hide the circuit better and incorporate more designs.

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Project 2- Vinyl Sticker

For this project, we were able to design and make stickers. I thought it was really exciting because we could create anything that we wanted. For the first part of the project, we made griffin stickers. For my griffin sticker, I decided to use a lion and a Pegasus. I chose these two because my favorite animal is a lion and I love Greek mythology, so I decided to use a Pegasus. I really liked the end result and it ironically reminded of an actually Griffin since they both have the body of a lion.

Now for the second and third part of the assignments, we were asked to create a logo decal and multi-layered stickers. Personally, for this part, I was inspired by a couple of different factors. One of my factors included the fact that it is Black History Month, so I decided to create stickers of uplifting black figures. My first couple of stickers included the Black Panther from the Marvel Comic series. I chose to do Black Panther because he is literally one of the greatest superheroes and his suit is insane. He is also the richest super hero in both the Marvel and DC universe! Additionally, the movie is coming out very soon, so I thought this would be the perfect time to make a sticker for it!  For the colors, I really liked how the holographic vinyl looked so I decided to switch it up and use that for my background head. I then used black for the detailed lines. I then ended up using the extra I had to create a more traditional looking Black Panther and added regular gray for the detailed lines. My second sticker was of a black women with a huge afro and a pair of sunglasses. I chose to create this sticker because I was really into her features, especially her hair.  She has huge afro pulled into a ponytail, and I really appreciated the beauty of her big, stunning hair. I additionally liked her lips and liked the care free attitude of her sunglasses. For the colors, I chose red and the holographic vinyl for her glasses and lips because I think those colors stand out the most. I also really enjoyed the look of a gold background.

Afro outline

Black Panther outline

Final Products!

Original design

Having fun at the fab lab

Furthermore, when I was creating the stickers, I definitely had a couple of hiccups. My first issue what that the mat would slide around as the machine was cutting. I was able to fix that though by making sure it was secure as it would lock into place. I also had some issues with cutting out my letters. I suspect it was because of the type of font that I chose and because the letters were tiny. Because of this I wasn’t able to include them in my final product unfortunately. Overall, though, I am very happy with the stickers and can’t wait to use them.

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Project 1- Laser Name tag

For this project, I was really pumped up to see what I could come up with and to carry it out in the Fab lab. After the demo name tags that we did, I really wanted to make something that was slightly more unique to me than compared to the demo tag. For instance, in my demo tag I chose the Avengers symbol because who doesn’t want the chance to be an Avenger! On the other hand, though, I wanted the advanced tag to have a more personal connection. Overall, I had a million ideas in my head but then I finally settled on my vision. For the shape, I decided to use a crown since I love the idea of queens and princesses. I am honestly a huge Disney movie fan and so the idea for the shape was really exciting. Now when it came to putting more shapes on the tag, I knew I wanted it to be a lion. I chose a lion because not only is it my favorite animal, but I am a Leo and our symbol is the lion.

Design in inkscape!

I also included Established in 1996, since that was my birth year. Also choosing a lion went along with my crown, since they are the king of the jungle! For my material, I chose an acrylic piece that was slightly transparent and matte. At first I was going to use a gold material since I was cutting out a crown, but after seeing that piece of acrylic, it stood out way more. I think it stood out to me more because it had a really smooth, almost glass-like look to it that was very elegant.

While working on the project, I had a couple of hiccups. The first one that I had was the font changing after being saved on the PDF.  After asking another classmate, though, they showed me how to fix it. Another one that I had was that my first name-tag actually broke as I tried to take it out of the acrylic material. I decided to have another go at it since I wanted my name tag to be unbroken and a little bigger. Well after discussing my problem, I was able to fix the situation with the help of one of the T.A.’s. I ended up fixing it by cutting the material more efficiently by slowing down the laser. This made it way easier for the piece to fall out.

Using the laser cutter!

Ultimately, it was a great project and if I had to make any changes, I would probably incorporate more elements to my name-tag like another color and layer the materials. I probably could’ve tested a different material to see how the rastoring would have looked like on that one. I still really like my name-tag  and it was really fun to make. I ended up learning a lot about designing and how to use new machines.


Old vs New!

Final Product!

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