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

Author Archive

Copper Tape Project

Patrick Hurtado

Quote Paper Circuit

For my in-class quote paper circuit, I chose the classic quote: “A man, a plan, a canal, Panama”, of which the picture I drew for it was the Panama flag. To activate the flag LEDs, one needs to pinch down on the switch on the top of the flag to complete the circuit.

Quote Side
Panama Flag, with top left blue star and bottom right red star being changed to repectively colored LEDs.

3D Paper Circuit

For my copper circuit implementation, I chose to forgo paper material and chose to go with cardboard for my project. I was never good at origami and don’t have the finger dexterity to work with the fragility of paper. I also wanted to make to make a robot, and cardboard is the most robotic like structure I could use.

Copper Circuit Design

The original design of the robot included two LEDs as the eyes and two LEDs as a form of “fingers” for the robot, much like ET. In order to maintain voltage across the circuit, the eyes were chosen to be yellow, while the fingers would be red. The pairs LEDs are also done in parallel in order to use just one battery to power the entire system.

Design for Copper Circuit.

Robot: The Head

The design for the robot effectively became two parts: one parallel circuit for the head of the robot, and one parallel circuit for the body. The head consists of two yellow LEDs as eyes in parallel, as well as the switch used to turn the robot on and off.

Robot: The Body

The body of the robot takes a more lax form than the head. While the general setup is the same, I chose to make the wires free form, not having them taped down unless necessary. This was to add a more rundown look to the robot. I also wanted the robot to have squiggly arms, and so the wires did that job done well.

Robot: The Hat

The hat of the robot is the switch for the system. When it is inserted, it connected the battery in the head to the rest of the system.

Challenges and Reflections

One of the biggest challenges when working on this project is the wires themselves. Since I wanted them to be freeform, I found difficulty in testing the circuit to make sure everything was connected properly. Ensuring that the robot and hat were able to stand was also an issue.

When reflecting, something I would definitely change is design itself. I would have definitely liked to have taken more time to add more LEDs in the system, as well as design it so the inner wires had a greater effect than they currently do. I also would have added legs of some kind. Ultimately, I am happy with my idea and the execution, particularly with the hat-as-switch mechanism.

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Sticker Project

Patrick Hurtado

Griffin Sticker

For the Griffin Sticker, I chose to a cross between a rabbit and a fish, two animals unlikely to be friends in the wild:

Simple Multi-Layered Sticker

For the simple multi-layered sticker, I chose to do the logo for Raspberry Pi. It’s a relatively simple logo, with three defined colors, so I figured that the sticker would come out nicely:

I chose to use the green as the foundation of the sticker, and have holes throughout all the layers in order for it to come out. The red will predominantly come out in the holes of the top black layer, as shown:

Complex Multi-Layered Sticker

My complex sticker was designed around the theme of Chicago. The colors were derived from the flag of Chicago, with Cloud Gate replacing the red stars and the Sears Tower shooting up from the bottom of the heart.

There are a total of four layers that construct the sticker. From bottom to top:

  1. The blue heart
  2. The white middle stripe
  3. The black Sears Tower
  4. The four red beans

The choice of layers derived from what needed to be aligned and what needed to be on top of another. For example, the Sears Tower needed to be behind the red Beans, and the Beans needed to be on top of the white strip, since they use the white in their design as their “shine”.


Looking back, I wish I factored in needing to center the beans with respect to the rest of the object. Some of the issues with using a red bottom layer, however, was that the Sears Tower needed to be behind the Beans, while still being on top of the stripe. This, however, never ended up being an issue, since the beans were misaligned from the original design to begin with. The Sears Tower itself is also slightly misaligned from the center of the heart, thus leading to a small sliver of blue showing at the bottom of the Tower.

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Nametag Project

Patrick Hurtado

For my nametag project, I definitely wanted something that has a lot of utility; something that can be worn at both a career fair or convention or any social gathering, and still feel appropriate. So I decided to take the conventional “HELLO / my name is” nametag and add my own personality into it.

Ideation Phase

The process began with the idea of modifying the classic nametag sticker into something more interesting and unique, while still keeping its versatile functionality.

Something I thought would be interesting would be add space for a whiteboard. This again, would further the functionality, as the space would allow me to write either “Computer Science 2019” or “#1 Dad” or whatever was appropriate for the occasion, and still be reusable.

Something else I wanted to add was an extension to the nametag, that again would serve a purpose. What I chose to do was create a “Notes” book that attached to the actual nametag with a piece of rope. They would also be bound to each other by rope. In it, I would glue small 2in x 2in post-it notes onto it. This could be used to write my information and give it to a recruiter or any other person of interest, or simply be used for fun.

Construction Phase

Construction phase was oddly difficult. I had a lot of trouble trying to get the laser to correctly cut my pieces, and spent a long time trying to debug my .svg to see why it would not detect certain red linings. I also worried that I made the red holes too close to the outside, meaning the holes would not be closed. In the end, however, I was able to successfully construct the parts together.

The main portion of the nametag
Axillary “Notes” book extention
Final product with cording, post-it notes, and whiteboard attached.


Looking back, I definitely would like to try more interesting things with this project, as well as design it differently. One thing I would change is the knoting and the choice of rope currently used. I would try to learn roping or use metal bands to clasp the notebook together. Something else I would most likely change is the choice of material. Since the marker could smudge onto the wood and stain it, I would choose material that would be less likely to stain. I would also like to choose something more interesting than acrylic for the whiteboard, such as glass. Ultimtately, I am happy with the direction I went with and am content with the final product.

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