Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab
Illinois Informatics and School of Information Sciences
Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab

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Final Project – Programmable Keypad – Mohammed Faiz Patangia

For my Final Project, I worked on making a programmable keypad. I idea behind this keypad is that it could be used for multiple purposes, like data entry, coding, gaming, etc. To build it, I needed several tools and materials, like Adafruit Its Bitsy, sottering tools, wood, wires, mechanical switched, keycaps, etc. Through out the project, I was following the guideline from the instructables website. The first step of the process was to sketch different designs for keypad; I sketched many different shapes for the keypad, like square, rectangular, circular, etc. I decided to move forward with the square design, because it was easier to interact with. Then, I build a press fit box, and laser cut it. After fitting the mechanical keys in the top portion of the box, I had to sotter them with the Itsy Bitsy. Sottering was the most challenging part of the entire assignment, because it was my first time doing it. In beginning, it did not work well, but with some help, I was able to sotter the keys with one another. 

First Sottering

After that, I connected Its Bitsy to the keys. Again, it was challenging because the Itsy Bitsy was very small, its ports were very tiny; I had to be very careful in Sottering, so that I don’t damage it. 

Connecting keys with Itsy Bitsy

Wired all the keys

After wiring all the keys, I had to do the coding part of the keypad, which was very straightforward, and went very smoothly. After coding part, I just had to assemble all the parts, and also attach Itsy Bitsy into the box. Sottering took me most of the time, but it was interesting to learn a new skill. The final product looked like this:

Final Product

As I mentioned earlier, this is a multi purpose keypad, and it could be used in many different ways. For my final product, I coded it in a way that first three keys were cut, copy, and paste, and the second set of three keys were select left, select up, and select right, and the third set of three keys were undo, select down, and delete. It turned out really well, and it was as I wanted it to be. I am proud of the entire product, and specifically how convenient it could be for the users. For instance, this keypad, the way I programmed it, was doing performing cut, copy, and paste commands with just one keys, while in the standard keyboard, users have to press two keys. It was also great that how it could be used in different platforms like gaming, data entry, etc. The final product turned to be great, and I was happy with it. Below is the video of the final product:

My first learning goal, was to push my creativity in designing the keypad, and do something innovative and helpful. I believe in most of the way, I have met my first learning goal. I tried to push my creativity in designing and coding aspect of the product. In the beginning, I had many different design ideas and sketches for the product. I designed it in shape of gaming joystick, two handed gaming controller, circular shaped keyboard, etc. I chose the square design because it could easier to use, and users are already comfortable using something like this. Also, the idea was that it could be used in different platforms, so if I could have chose the design for gaming, then it would not work in data entry or coding. Because of that, I moved forward with the square design. I also programmed it in way that it could be useful in entering commands, like copy, paste, etc. In the intractable’s tutorial, it was used for typing numbers. My goal was to make it very convenient for the users. This could also be very helpful because of its convenience and usability. This could also used by the elderly people, who have trouble pressing the combination of keys. I believe that the final outcome was innovative. In future, I plan to make it more innovative, by adding some extra features.

My second learning goal was to learn and do Sottering. Through out the project, I sottered a lot. In the beginning, it was a bit challenging, but, later, I got comfortable with it. I enjoyed the learning process. I had nine keys in the keypad, and each key had two terminals in it. So, I had to sotter eighteen times on the keys. I had two to sotter on ten ports of the Itsy Bitsy, so, in total, I sottered at least twenty eight times, through the project. I met my goal of learning to sotter, through sottering to create a final product. I am happy with the final product, because it would very useful to anyone, in daily lives, and it is also very convenient to use.

Through out the course assignments, I have learned many useful skills, techniques, and tools. One of the most useful things that I have learned is the usefulness of prototyping. In most of the assignments, I created many different prototypes for the final product. I learned that how much prototypes can be useful in understanding the design of the final product, and ways to make necessary changes in design. Another important skill that I learned was design thinking. In most of the assignments, we had to come up something different or new, and coming up with something like that required a lot of thinking, creativity, and ideas. The entire process helped me strengthen my design thinking skills. With the help of all the assignments and process, I have become comfortable with coming up with something new. I also loved making things and designing stuff. The process was time consuming, but, most of the times, I was satisfied with the end result. I have definitely developed confidence as a maker and a thinker. It would be very helpful in future projects and goals.

This course was very useful in making me think, from a different perspective. Through out the course, I learned a lot, and it would help me in future goals. I consider myself as a maker. I have learned so many different making skills and techniques, and also learned to apply those is real life projects. In the beginning, I thought that making is straightforward. However, through this class, I learned that it is not very easy, and it requires a lot of planning, thinking, iterations, time, etc., to finalize a product. To create something, it requires a lot of effort and commitment. I think that I am a maker, and anyone who is able to come up with an idea and implement it should be considered as the maker. I agree with the quotation of Papert that it is very important for any type of learning to be personally meaningful. If someone is attached to something, then learning about that is fun and interesting. I think all the assignments were in some ways hands-on and personally meaningful, which made the class, a great learning experience.

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Makeathon Reflection – Mohammed Faiz Patangia

Participating in the Make-a-thon was a great experience, and it was fun to work on a product that would help someone. The name of my team was 3D-Balance, and we worked on creating a product that would provide additional balance to the people. We had a mentor, Jenna, who has a prosthetic leg, and because of that it is very difficult for her stand on that prosthetic leg. Prosthetic leg is not strong enough to handle wait of her body, and she also has trouble balancing herself through that leg. Also, because of that problem, she has trouble doing yoga. In yoga, balancing the body is a huge part, and because of prosthetic leg she was not able to do that. We worked on solving that problem.

For our first prototype, we designed a prosthetic leg that would provide some extra balance. The base of that redesigned prosthetic was circular and there would be a rod from that base, which would get attached to the upper part of the prosthetic. This entire product would provide additional balance, because of circular base, and to would not allow the user to have lateral motion, which would prevent user from loosing balance or falling. 

First Prototype

The problem with this prototype was that there would not be anything that would allow the user from restricting the motion. Even if there would be a slight fluctuation in the movement, the user may fall in backward or forward direction. The rod may be all the way in horizontal direction, because there is nothing that is stopping it, and user may fall. We though that we need something that would restrict the movement of the rod, and do that so that the user can control it.

For the second prototype, we worked on something that would restrict the movement of the rod. There was a lot of thought process that went into this, because the task was very challenging; we were thinking about adding the control without any electronics into the product. For this prototype, we had many different ideas and approaches, but at the end, we settled on one design. 

Different Designs

Prototype 2

In this prototype, we added some extra hinges that would get attached to the rode. We used parallelogram logic to design this prototype. This design would allow the rod to move in forward and backward direction. We added two supports to the bottom two parts of the parallelogram structure. The two supports would be made of flexible material, and the they would bend as the rod moves, and they would allow the rod to be back at the initial position; they would work like springs. The base would be the same bas from the first prototype. This design would restrict the movement of the rod, and it would prevent the user from falling. The problem with this design was that it was difficult to create the flexible material. We also started to think in a different direction. We thought that the person, with a prosthetic leg, already has a prosthetic leg, and we may not need to give them entire new leg, but just some supports to it. With prototype 2, they would need to carry the entire thing around every time, while going to gym, doing yoga, etc. For the third prototype, we thought about developing a product that would be an attachments to the existing prosthetic. 

For prototype 3, we designed a product that would attach to the prosthetic, like a sandal. We thought that if it would have a tripod kind of structure then it would give more balancing support to the leg. Our idea was that he could also this product for the elderly people, who have problem balancing themselves, most of the times in bathroom. Instead of 3D printing the design, we laser cut the wood, and then added belts to create a sandal like a structure. We also added some material at the bottom so that it creates more friction with the floor. The idea was to apply compliant mechanics to the product, so that the entire attachment could fold and unfold, when the user needs extra support. 


Final Product

Increasing friction of the base


Participating in make-a-thon was a great experience, and I learned through the process and peers. It was also great that we came up something useful, and something that would help others. I enjoyed the entire experience.

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Pom-Pom Bot Assignment – Mohammed Faiz Patangia

For this assignment, we had to create a pom-pom bot using Arduino and servo motors. The process was simple, but a bit challenging. This was my second time working with Arduinos, and the process went pretty smoothly, and I did not encounter a lot of difficulties. The coding part of the assignment was straightforward, and there was little to no complexity to it. The most important part was to create model of the robot, so that it can move without any difficulties. 

Initial Concept/Design:

The first part of this assignment was to come up with a concept of pom-pom bot. Initially, I thought about creating a spider, which would have six legs. I watched couple of videos on how spider walks; it helped me get a clear idea on how to design the robot. It was interesting to see that spider move its all the legs independently, and without a lot of coordination.

Sketch for Spider

To create a spider bot, its legs should move differently from the movements of other legs. I thought that the it would be bit challenging to create that, because it would need about six servo motors to create something like that.

I moved on from spider, and decided to make an ant like bot. The process was less complex than spider, because there was good coordination between the legs.

Sketch for Ant

The sketch gave me a clear idea of constructing the body of the bot. 

Initial Prototype:

My first prototype was basically creating a basic structure of concept that I had in mind. It took me two servo motors and few pop-sticks to construct it. Balancing the bot was a big part, because it would fall without the fall. Also the part in which motors where getting rotated, which was not what I thought of. I also had to figure correct speed and maximum and minimum angle of the servos. 

Second Prototype:

For the second prototype, I tried to get rid of the problem in first prototype. I attached additional pop sticks, so that it can balance itself. I also attached two pop sticks in the middle of the bot, so that it does not fall. I also changed the speed and angle of the servo, so that it can move from one position to another. After making those changes, it worked well.

Final Pom-Pom Bot:

After getting done with the second prototype, the bot walked the way I wanted it to walk. So, for the final prototype, I focused on creating body of the bot and also trying different speeds and angles of the servo. One problem that I struggled with was that I did not note down the values for which the bot walked. So, after changes the values, I loosed the delay and position values of servo. The final bot was not able to walk like second prototype. However, the final product turned out well, and I was happy with the result.


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Arduino Intro Assignment – Mohammed Faiz Patangia

For this assignment, we had to work with an Arduino. I was very excited for this assignment because it was my first time working with Arduinos. This assignment was very interesting, and I had a good time creating circuits, with Arduino in it. In the class, we worked on two to three different examples. In all the examples, understanding and changing the code was not at all challenging for me. Sometimes, I faced bit of a challenge in creating circuits and understanding the entire resistor logic in the circuit. However, the entire process went smoothly.

Example from Class

From the exercises that we did in class, the one exercise that made LED fade, based on the touch pressure, was very cool. It was very fun to change lines of code and see how the entire behavior of the LED changes.

For the second part of assignment, I created a circuit, whose input was a photo-resistor and output was an LED. The central idea of this project was that the brightness of LED will increase as the darkness in the room increases. If there is more darkness, the LED will be more bright. To create this circuit, I used a photoresistor, a LED, an Arduino, one 320 ohm resistor, one 10k ohm resistor, a breadboard, and few wires.

The entire circuit

With more darkness, the LED was more bright


The entire process was pretty straightforward. Since, there were may options available for input and output, I was a bit confused on what to chose. In the beginning, I chose photoresistor, and constructed the activity based on that.

For the storyboard, I designed it to give an idea on how it will help people, who may not be able to walk, turn on the light.


Overall, the entire assignment was very interesting and a good learning activity. I enjoyed the process.

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Textiles Assignment – Mohammed Faiz Patangia

This assignment was a very good experience for me. I never did sewing or embroidery before this assignment. It consisted of three parts:

  • Simple Drawstring Pouch
  • Multicolor Patch
  • Custom Sewn & Embroidered Piece

Because it was my first time doing something on the sewing machine, the first part of the assignment was very interesting and fun. It was also not very difficult. I started by choosing two different fabrics, and then just following the steps, mentioned in the presentation. Since, there was a description for all the steps the process became very less challenging. I wanted to use different fabrics for inside and outside of the pouch.

Inside the Pouch

The entire process was straightforward. I just encountered one challenge in finishing this pouch. I made a mistake in sewing the part, where it transitions from one fabric to another fabric, because of which my pouch had a very small hole to insert a string. In an effort to insert the string, I broke a wooden stick inside one of the holes. It was a bit of struggle to remove the broken stick from a small hole. The pouch turned out to be okay, and of great use; since, I am using to store my earphones, phone charger, etc.

For the second part of the assignment, we had to create an embroidery patch, which has at least three colors.  I chose the logo of google for this part. It had at least three colors, and was also not very complicated. First, we had to modify the picture in Inkscape, and then to embroider via PE-design app.

Patch in making

I faced one challenge in making this patch. When I modified the image in Inkscape, it looked fine. However, when I imported that image in PE-Design software, it was around fifteen steps to finish the embroidery. I had some problem in my modified image, because of which I had to modify it again. After the modifications, the number of steps got reduced to five, and it worked perfectly.

For the third part of the assignment, we had to create a sewn and embroidered piece. For this part, I decided to make a astrobunny plushy.

Plushy from the tutorial

Since, this part was longer than the other two, the entire process took me many hours. There was a step by step guide available, which was very helpful in the completion of this project. The first step was to collect different fabrics. I collected many fabrics of different colorS. After getting all the fabrics, with the help of paper layouts, I cut the different fabrics in shape of the main body, face, jetpack, jetpack flames, eyes, mouth, bands, front buttons, and front panels. After having the cutout of fabrics, I decided to work on the embroidery part. For that part, I decided to embroider a rocket on the back of the plushy. In order to embroider the rocket, I faced the similar problem that faced while embroidering google logo. However, it worked fine at the end. 

Embroidered Rocket

The rocket turned out to be okay, but I was happy with the outcome. After embroidering the rocket patch, I decided to arrange different parts on the main fabric.

I started by sewing the face patch on the body, and then eyes and mouth on the face. I wanted to get done with one side of the plushy, and then continue to the next side of it. After sewing all the components of face, I sewed all the bands, buttons, and panel on the front side of the plushy. Later, I sewed all the bands on the back side of the plushy. With the step-wise guide, it was easy follow the steps and keep track of the process.

After that, I sewed the front side of the plushy to the back side of the plushy. After getting done with sewing the body, I made a cut in back side of the body, and turned the right side out. Then, I stuffed the plushy from that cut.

Stuffed the Plushy

After stuffing the plushy, I worked on creating the jetpack. After finishing the jetpack, I hand-sewed the cut at back of the body and attached the jetpack at the back of the plushy. I never hand-sewed before, but it turned out to be fine.

Final Product- Front Side

Final Product- Back Side

The plushy turned out to be good, and I was satisfied with the final product. I learned a lot though this assignment, and I did the stuff, like sewing and embroidery, that I would never have done without this assignment. It ended up taking a lot of more hours than expected, but I learned a lot of new skills. There were many challenges that faced, but every time I overcame them. I never did sewing and embroidery, and because of this assignment, I learned those skills. It was a great experience, and I enjoyed the process.

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3D Printing – Mohammed Faiz Patangia

This week’s assignment was about 3D-printing and scanning. It consists of two parts:

  1. One design using Tinkercad and Meshmixer.
  2. 3D model, which followed the fourth prompt. I created the part that I needed.

For the first part, I created an alien in Tinkercad, and did some modifications to it in Meshmixer.

Alien model in Tinkercad

Modified alien in Meshmixer











The first part was straightforward, because we just had to design a model and not print it.

For the second part, I decided to follow the fourth prompt, where we had to create something that we needed. I decided to create a phone holder for this assignment. The central idea was that, while eating it becomes very difficult to use phone, and it is very uncomfortable to look at the screen and operate the phone through touchscreen. I thought about creating a phone stand that would be helpful to me while eating. I would not need to place the phone on the desk or the table. The phone holder in the stand would be rotatable, this would help me in either browsing on social media or watching a movie. The end goal was to create a smart phone stand that would allow me to operate phone without touching the screen. I realized that it would be difficult to implement that because of the time constraint, so I decided to create just a phone holder.

First Prototype

For the first prototype, my goal was to have basic design of the phone holder. This was my first design in the process, and rest of the prototypes would be modifications to this prototype. With this design, I got a general idea about the look of the phone holder. 

For the second prototype, I decided to add a rotation functionality to the case. With the help of that function, user would be able to rotate the phone 360 degrees. 


Second Prototype


This was very important step, because at this step the design for the stand became a bit different. In the first prototype, the entire stand was one piece, but in the second prototype, the entire design consisted of phone stand and phone holder, which would be connected to the stand. 

Second Prototype – 2, with redesigned phone case.

For the third prototype, I worked on adding one more functionality to it. I also worked on increasing the size of the case and stand. For the first and second prototypes, it was not capable of holding the phone because of its size, so I tried to modify it so that it can hold actual phone. I though adding the functionality that would help user move the phone case up and down. 

3rd Prototype, with up/down functionality


Later, I realized that it would become much more complex and a bit difficult to print the third prototype. So, I decided to print the second prototype. Time was also a very important factor in printing. To print the second prototype, which is a smaller version of the actual phone holder, it took four and half hours. I realized that to print the actual, bigger stand, time and cost both would increase. 


4(1/2) Hours to print


Final Print


This assignment was very interesting, and I learned a lot of stuff from it. Building the first prototype was straightforward, but it took me few hours. There were a lot of factors that were very important to consider in the designing process. The alignment was very important, and I also had to consider the balance of the entire stand. My plan was to design the stand such that I don’t need to stick it to the table. Another challenge that I faced in the process was to design the phone case. It was very important to create the case so it fits the phone stand. It took me few hours just to get done with that step. I had make sure that the sphere in the phone stand fits the hollow circular region in the phone case. So, if I would change the size of the circle then, in order to make it fit the case, I would need to change the design of the back part of the case. Because of that problem, it was very difficult to increase the size of prototypes. If I plan to print the bigger version of the phone holder, then I will have to make it from scratch, everything with larger dimensions. The final print was okay. There was a hollow region in the phone case, to hold the phone. To print the case, the top part was facing downwards, and because of that the entire hollow region got filled with the supports, which became nearly impossible to remove. I faced another problem because of which I was not able to insert the hollow part of the case to the stand. The hollow region needed to be larger or adjustable.

Phone case

Phone Holder

Regardless of the outcome, this project allowed me to learn a lot of new stuff, and the entire process was very interesting and enjoyable.

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Paper Circuit Assignment – Mohammed Faiz Patangia

This week’s assignment was to create a copper tape circuit. The entire assignment was fun, but a bit tedious. This assignment consists of three parts:

  • Basic Circuit
  • Picture with LED’s – Quote
  • Paper object – 3 or more LED’s

The first circuit was pretty straightforward. I had to build a basic circuit. The process was smooth and it worked well.

The basic circuit with switch

The second part of the assignment was to pick a quote and make a circuit based on it. My goal for picking up a quote was to pick a short, but effective quote. The quote that I picked was “It’s the kind of kiss that inspires stars to climb into the sky and light up the world.” My idea for building the circuit was that there would be a switch, which would light up three stars in the sky. The three stars would would represent lightning up the world.

“It’s the kind of kiss that inspires stars to climb into the sky and light up the world.”
― Tahereh Mafi 

For the final part, I decided to build a bat origami. I started from making a prototype on plane paper. I though about how the circuit should be arranged on a very compact paper.

First Prototype

Before implementing the actual circuit, I drew different circuits. It helped me in making the process smoother.

Circuit Drawings.

After drawing the circuits, I drew the same circuit on the origami. It gave me the idea of organizing the circuit on the bat. My plan was to have four LED’s, two of red color and two of orange. The first two red LED’s will be at the position of eyes, and they would be connected in series. Those two LED’s will have a parallel connections with the other two orange LED’s.

Drawing the circuit

I end up making the circuit on origami, but it ended up not working. After putting many hours, I realized that I made a mistake in connecting two LED’s, which were in series. I had to change my entire circuit because of that mistake. After changing the circuit, there was some other problem, which I was not able to figure out. I think that my circuit was a bit complex.

Second Prototype

The second prototype did not work because of some complex connections. So, I decided to create another circuit with much easier connection, all LED’s connected in series. This design was much smoother than the second one.

Final Origami circuit

My final product worked, and it ended up lighting the all four LED’s. It was a bit surprising to me that they worked without any resistors. I thought that I would need resistors, because of different voltage of LED’s.

The best thing about the final product was that no part of circuit was visible from front. The entire circuit becomes hidden, and end result looks neat.

This assignment was surely a rough ride for me. I think that I made things more complicated. I should have started by designing a simple circuit, which would have made the process simpler. It was a challenge to fit the entire circuit in that triangle, and to think that the copper tapes should not touch one another after folding the origami. It was also a bit difficult to manage the copper tape, because the current was not passing through the adhesive side. Many times the LED’s did not light up because it was connected to the adhesive side of the copper tape. I liked how the LED’s were connected in series, and they were lighted up without any resistor connected. Before beginning the project, I though that it would be straightforward and very easy, because of learning about them in physics classes. However, the implementation was not at all straightforward. However, I was happy with the end result.

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Storyboard – Mohammed Faiz Patangia

My storyboard focused on restaurant table. The table would be connected to the phone, and all the features of the phone will be supported by the smart table. Person would be able be able to order food on restaurant’s website, look at reviews on yelp, use facebook, instagram, etc., and at the end check out. It will have touch functionality. Smart table will make the experience less boring, and the user will be able to play games, look at reviews, check social networking websites, and more.

Storyboard – smart table
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Laser Nametags Project – Mohammed Faiz Patangia


I never did laser printing, so I was very excited to do it for the first time. My goal was to create a name-tag that can be used in career fairs. I wanted it to be a bit different from the existing name tags, and I also wanted it to be simple, but detailed.

Current name-tag

The name-tag that I currently use in the career fair is very simple, consists of my name, my standing, and my major. It does not tell anything more about me. For the new Nametag, I decided to add some more details, so that a recruiter can get a idea about the skills/interests.


I thought about not making it very complicated, and keeping it simple. If I would add a lot of complexity to it, then it would be very difficult for a person to read the most basic information about me, such as name, graduation year, and major. So, I decided to make my basic information as a main focus, and additional information to be the secondary focus.

Initial Design

The first design of the name-tag had just my name, graduating year, and my major. These information was kept as a central focus of the name-tag. Later, I decided to add some of my skills and interests to the name-tag. I pulled out my resume, and picked some skills and interests to place on my name-tag. These are some of the information that I placed on my name-tag:

  • Programming Languages: C++, Python, Java
  • Skills/Interests: Data Structures, UI/UX, HCI, AI, Linux OS, GitHub, etc.
Second Design

This was the second design for name-tag. The left three pictures denote: (from top to bottom) Python, C++, and Java. The picture at the top denote: (from left to right): Data Structures, UX/UI, HCI, and AI. The right three picture denote: (from top to bottom): Linux OS, Design thinking, and GitHub. The bottom most, of course, logo of the university.

After designing the name-tag, I thought about the color of it. I decided to make it classic by going with the black-white combination.

My name-tag in making:

Final Name-tag and Reflection:

Final Nametag

This was my final name-tag. It turned out to be amazing, and I was very happy with the outcome. All images, denoting my skills and interests, were very small, so I thought that the laser would not be able to print it with precision. However, I was amazed by the precision; all printed images were perfect, and showed all small details. I loved the entire experience, from designing the name-tag to printing it. I created a name-tag that was a very mini version of my resume. The end result was great, and all the efforts and hours spent in creating it was worth it.

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