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

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Hummingbird sticker logo

I like hummingbirds. They are my favorite birds.  I thought about using the bull/hummingbird hybrid (the griffin) as an item of this multi-layer sticker, but ultimately, I decided to only keep the hummingbird. The overall concept was a starburst. A multilayered spiral design.  

This is one of 74 nearby galaxies whose stellar nurseries were recently observed by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, or ALMA, in an astronomical census called Physics at High Angular resolution in Nearby GalaxieS (PHANGS). So far, around 100 000 of these stellar nurseries have been imaged in over 750 hours of observation. ALMA’s remarkable sensitivity provides data at high enough resolution to study these regions in detail, and shows that some are bursting with new stars, while others evolve more gradually. This anticipated diversity in the process of how stars form was the motivation behind this enormous effort. There have long been theories that aimed to explain how and why these differences might occur, some involving the characteristics of the home galaxy itself — properties such as size, age, and internal dynamics — but our lack of high-resolution data had been an obstacle to testing them. The vast quantity and variety of data yielded by PHANGS are already helping astronomers to understand more, even though the census is only a third complete. The project aims to observe a total of about 300 000 stellar nurseries and by the end it should significantly advance our understanding of how a galaxy’s properties influence the way in which it forms new stars.


So I started with a star that I took the nodes and changed the shape, stretching it inward and then away.  Next, I put several spirals on top. Unfortunately, the system crashed and although, it stated that it had saved a copy, I could not seem to locate where the copy ended up. When I went to open the Inskape .svg file with the same title, it was just the silhouettes from earlier, when we practiced multilayers in class.  

Therefore, I ended up scraping the spirals. Additionally, when I attempted to recreate my original star, I ended up with a different version. 

 I had a star, a flower, hummingbirds, and text. I choose yellow, purple, black, green, orange, salmon (peach), and white. The star was orange. The flower was purple, salmon, and yellow. The hummingbirds were green; lastly, the text was originally black, but was changed to white.   

My original concept was going to have black and white lines with just the hummingbird wings. The lines would be flowing from the wings as if there was a giant paint splatter that spread and then tapered to dry up.  However, that was in the original concept that I lost. I kept the black and white theme fill motif and I incorporated it with the star and not the wings. Obviously, it did not show the gradation on the vinyl. I am sure that if I had decided to ungroup and break away each individual scanned unit of the silhouette, I could have recreated this. However, I knew that I would mostly likely get to frustrated with my lack of technical know-how and the lack of time to make a more complex sticker, so I decided to refine the concept for a simpler design.  

The elements of my sticker

 Hence, I broke away the flower so that I could make each individual aspect a different color. The larger pieces split the way it should. The pink squiggly lines were a different story. I had to cut around the vinyl so that I could hand move each line. As a result, the lines did not follow the layout that I had online and are now randomly, but beautifully displayed.  

Finally, I wanted to include part of my alma mater’s motto, “Vox Clamantis in Deserto.” Earlier today, I had met someone from my alma mater. As I was thinking of logos, particularly those of clothing companies, I wanted to have text. Since my alma mater was on my mind, I wanted to honor it. I shortened the phrase to “Vox Clamantis.”  

However, this was the hardest aspect of the sticker as I had to make adjustments and re-print when I saw the initial product. When I first printed the words out, it was too small on the black. I had cut them out, but I could not get the individual letters to separate from the vinyl backing. I tried to reuse the black vinyl, but unfortunately, only the “Vox” showed through. I should have flipped the vinyl so that I would have had more black space. In my head, I thought it would be horizontal. It ended up cutting vertically.  

I still wanted the “Vox,” so I tried again. I enlarged the letters, but in the end, it was still too small. The individual letters would not peel away from the back and it was quite frustrating because I could not separate the letters. I was able to get Vox to come a loose, but not the clamantis.  

Overall, this was much easier to work with, much less complex than the laser cutter. I absolutely had the tools and knowledge I needed. I had a small moment of frustration, but I was able to leave with a final project that looked nice.  

Most importantly, if I could do this again, I would make all the images larger. My hummingbirds are quite small, practically invisible to the eye. The words and the squiggles of the flower would also have to be enlarged to make it easier to remove from the backing and to minimize damage from constant handling.  

Secondly, I transposed my sticker, so I started with the back details first. Maxx had to help me with preserving the final product, because any other way would have obscured my small hummingbird details. That being said, this was, as of right now, the most fun, least frustrating project. I do feel that I have improved from last week’s unfamiliarity with the Inkscape program, which helped to make last week’s project span two days.  

the final product

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Simone Stone Nametag


 My name-tag was inspired by my current masters degree and my previous studies in film. I wanted my name-tag to incorporate elements that were important to me. I am a Librarian Studies graduate student and like many librarians, love to read/like books. Additionally, I was a Film and Television Producing student many moons ago and I still love films. I was also excited to have a chance to work with Inskcape again. I have used Inskcape before to make a magnet for a 3D printer at my former job, but I am not terribly knowledgeable about laser cutters or the Inkscape program. 

I knew that I wanted to have a project that was layered, similar to Professor Emilie’s acrylic design. The original concept was to do the name-tag on acrylic. The wood was meant to be a prototype as I was told that if the wood did not look good, then the acrylic would not either. However, after spending an additional two hours after class on Thursday, trying to make the name-tag feasible, I decided to stick with wood, primarily out of frustration.

My first attempt- the reel was in two pieces

Note the charring in the wood

 The reason my original project did not work was that I had too many nodes. Consequently, when the laser printer followed the nodes, it had to go over the same spots multiple times, which increased the pieces breaking apart and getting damaged. The raster was perfect, but the items were still attached to the original wood. Thus, we re-vectored it and ultimately, it was too much for the pieces to handle. 

As a result, I tried to keep the calligraphy aspect, but I realized that for letters like “m” and “n,” there were still too many lines and thus, I would run into the same issues. Therefore, I got rid of the lines in the “s” and the “i” and changed the latter half of my name to simple text to not spend hours trying to get rid of extra lines. I was kind of sad about that because I really liked the calligraphy aspect as I wanted to give the appearance of having written the words by hand.

Then, I decided to switch book images. My original had lots of lines, like the calligraphy name, and to simplify everything, I found a simpler silhouette.

On Tuesday, I decided to come during open hours and see if my tweaks worked. I had to reset the parameters, like making sure the lines were still 0.001 inches, the fill colors were red 255, etc.  Luckily, I realized that my .pdf file was not correct and I was able to correct it before going to the laser and printing it out. 

This is to show how many Inkscape projects I had before I completed the assignment

Overall, I still need to improve my Inkscape skills. Although, I thought I had removed the lines that would cause issues, I was assisted by the lab technician with removing others to ensure that my name-tag would not char the way that it did last time. While I got to do some of this removal, he ended up doing a lot of it for me because I was not competent and I was very slow. 

If I had more time, I would have done my name differently, made it larger so that the letters would be less likely to fall apart. When I printed with the laser, it destroyed the cut-out letters, so I decided to use the name from the leftover wood. To help with this, the lab technician suggested that I draw a rectangle to give the illusion of a name-tag backing. 

The finished product is a hot-glued amalgamation of several pieces. I spent time trying to decide if the reel should go over the book and not the letters. In the end, I decided that I liked the idea of having the film reel near the letter, “s,” and draped over the book and the name portion. 

Moreover, I am glad that it turned out well. I received a lot of help and this was quite daunting. I had never used a laser cutter. The first time I used the machine, I was constantly getting Maxx or Duncan to help as I worried that the fire was too high and that I was in danger of burning down the lab. I may decided to incorporate this in my final project. 

The wood

Finished product

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