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

Author Archive

Final Project – BB8

Project Reflection

1) I have learnt that I am much more comfortable with coding now than I used to be before. I am also much more comfortable with asking for help for my projects now: I’ve learnt that there is no shame in wanting to learn more and the staff at the FabLab as well as my peers are very happy to help me with the work! I am also pleasantly surprised that I enjoy circuitry and hardware as much as I did for my assignments. I am also much more confident with using various tools such as Inkscape and TinkerCAD and talking about my projects as well as the helping my peers with suggestions and helpful critiques.

2) I created a BB-8esque robot using everyday and easily available items for my final project. I believe the most challenging part of this project was actually getting the robot to move in the way I wanted it to as well as figuring out the strength of the magnets I used in a way that was beneficial to me.


3) My first learning goal was to explore the capabilities of an Arduino in more depth. I did attempt to learn several newer techniques to successfully use an Arduino in my project, but the cost of all the parts to make the project would have been significant. Therefore, I decided to pivot and use something else to make my project. So even though I didn’t get to work on my learning goal as much as I would have liked, I learnt how to find an alternative method to build my project which I believe is a very important skill.

My other learning goal was to create something complicated so that I could learn how to combine different parts into something more. I believe I did achieve my goal as I was successfully able to build my project and make it work, which I believe is a pretty big achievement.

4) I think people who create things be it professionally or as a hobby, should be called makers. I consider myself a maker since I created various projects using elementary as well as intermediate techniques. I do believe that it is appropriate for people to call themselves makers as they are essentially taking separate objects and using their knowledge to create or make something unique. For me, the hands-on nature of this class made making fun as well as more meaningful. Another aspect about being a maker than I learnt is very important is brainstorming with the community as a whole. Makerspace is a place where you can find people to work with you and help you with your projects. I believe by actually making things, I am more enabled to help other people due to the things that I learnt.

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Iteration Project

For my iteration project, I decided to revisit my initial idea for the vinyl sticker project. I had envisioned making a Yoshi sticker for that but was unsuccessful in that at the time. I grew up playing all sorts of Yoshi and Mario games on my Nintendo and so I thought it would be a great idea to create a sticker for Yoshi! So going back I figured out two aspects I could tweak to make it successful: reduce the number of layers from ~9 to 6 and remove the really thin and delicate alterations from the design as they were not coming out of the cutter unscathed.

This time, even as it worked, I made an error and layered them wrong which resulted in me printing them again and trying to fix the sticker. (I absolutely love Yoshi, and there was no way I was abandoning him again.)  

I managed to get it right this time and successfully made the sticker! Instead of going the originally thought route of creating a Yoshi that looks exactly like the one from the file, I decided to make a pop up style version of the sticker. 

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Arduino Project

For my Arduino Project, I decided that I was going to solve a problem I came across when I was on spring break last week. I went to Florida for break, and after a long day at the amusement parks in unusually cold Orlando weather, I just wanted to dip my feet in a warm tub. But that meant sitting and staring at the tub to fill up to the right level which took forever. So, I decided that I was going to solve a mundane first world problem for my project and use a water sensor that can inform me when the tub is at the level I need. 

I found an online tutorial on tutorials point that explained how I can work with my sensor for my purpose and I followed it to finish the project! I connected the sensor to an Arduino and a breadboard and used an LED that lights up when in contact with water. For practical purposes, I can also switch the led to a buzzer or something that emits sound. 

I enjoyed this project as I haven’t worked with an Arduino since freshman year, and it was nice to have refresher! Plus I always think it’s an achievement when I actually manage to make my code and hardware exist in harmony! 

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Sewing Project

I was super excited about this assignment as I haven’t sewed in a long time! For my first embroidery, I decided to make a Baymax on canvas and although the stitches turned out fine, it turned out way smaller than expected and I realized that even though it looked fine on the screen the hoop is still 4×4 inches and I need to keep that in mind! 

For my final project, I decided to make a print of Hogwarts on my pouch. I love Harry Potter and thought that it would be cool to have some sort of symbol of my love for it on something I made! I thought the scenery would look cool on the pouch and decided to use the contrast in the image to my advantage. I used some sort of wool blend that was stretchy for the embroidery. I had a couple issues modifying the image so that it could be embroidered and I had a lot of help from the TA’s to figure out how to manipulate the image and make the layers and colors more defined in Inkscape and PE Design. After narrowing my design to 9 colors, I finally got around to actually embroidering it and realized that my machine had been misaligned halfway through, however I feel that it turned out okay. However, I was unable to get the LED to work properly as I had not left space in my embroidery for the light to shine through the pouch. 


Overall, I learned that I had underestimated the complicated nature of my embroidery design and the time it would take me to actually put my idea and plan into action, if I had executed my plan in a better way it would have taken me less stress and time than the 12 hours it took me to finish this project! 

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3D Printing Project

This week for my 3D Printing project I decided to work on the third prompt which involved scanning an object and modifying it to make an ornament. I decided to scan an existing ornament that I own which looks like my pet guinea pig, Fudgy.

Fudgy lives in my home, across the world in India and since I was missing her I decided to make something that looked like her. I decided to make plant pot, in the shape of a guinea pig that can hold succulents. 

After I 3D scanned the ornament I used TinkerCad to modify it to have a cavity in the back to hold mini succulents. However, since I could not print a full-size version of the plant potter without going over the free print limit, I made a mini version instead. 

I also made a cat mask in class using Sculptris, sadly I do not have a picture of it. It was very hard to control the image and make it look how I wanted in Sculptris and thus I used TinkerCad for my final project. 

I learned this week that 3D prints fail a lot more than expected and thus it is good to plan early and take into account the extra time that it may take in that case.

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Week 2: Vinyl Stickers

For my first sticker (the griffin): I decided to make an elephant with wings. I love elephants and thought the wings looked super adorable on the silhouette! I also proceeded to lose the griffin within 24 hours of making it, so I was unable to take a picture. 


For my logo sticker, I decided to make an Iron man logo sticker. I love Iron Man and I’m super excited for the upcoming Marvel movies! I made the base for my logo gold and then used transfer tape to transfer the cut silhouette onto the base. 

For my final multi layer sticker, I first decided to create a Yoshi as I used to love Yoshi’s Island as a child and wanted to have sticker of him on my laptop. I made 6 layers and cut them on separate colors. 


However, I ran into problems while removing the sticker as the outline of the sticker wasn’t complete and I was unable to complete it as it was so complicated. I decided to change my final sticker and created the Wonder Woman logo. I love Wonder Woman and she was one of my favorite superheroes growing up, so I decided to make a slightly modified and minimalistic version of the logo for my sticker as it was very difficult to figure out how the black border would be accommodated into my design . I removed the black border and the white stars in the logo and kept three layers in my design: a blue base, red shield as well as the gold W.

I loved working on the stickers and I learnt that I should make sure my outlines are completed no matter how intricate the sticker as I will be unable to layer the sticker otherwise. 

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Project 1: Nametag

I started this assignment with the idea to create a nametag in the shape of an NES controller. I wanted to create a grey outline to the controller and a black body. However, I ran into a couple problems in the execution of this idea.


 After multiple unsuccessful attempts at making the outline and running out of material, I went with just the black body and used the laser cutter to raster the design onto it. 

I think I need to work on time management and start my projects earlier so that I have a backup plan in place and ready to use in case I run into problems again. Even though I am not very happy with the end result, as I feel that it can be improved on in terms of design and material, I learned a lot of new things in the process of completing this project and it was a fun new experience! 

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