Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab

Author Archive

Final Project Fall 2019

This assignment was somewhat ambitious. Not as ambitious as the sewing project, but very similar. My biggest challenge was I could not get the 3-D printer to print the flower Taurus constellation so that I could make a mold of it. My first print failed as did my second and third attempts. The second attempt, I was able to see why it did not work. It was too many loops and the loops were not connecting to the bed of the machine. It was just clumpy globs of plastic. I discussed this problem with Maxx and we attempted to tweak the design via photoshop (I had initially used Inkscape and then, transferred it to TinkerCad).  Maxx showed me how to tweak my original silhouette via Adobe Photoshop. Yet, when I reprinted it, it still failed in the print. Consequently, I did not try again, but I did think about trying to use the silly putty and molding the shape from my bare hands, but I did not have the time to do so.   

My next challenge was I did not make a good mold for the rings. I had made an open-face mold initially, and the rings were misshapen. After talking to Duncan, I had partially done the molds correctly as the silicone molds had enveloped the 3-D printed rings completely. However, the silicone molds were not used, because they had not cured properly and were both “juicy” and hard, at the same time.  The silly putty-esque mold that I had covered the rings with were too hard to remove the models from that I decided to make them open-faced. When I attempted to make two open-face molds, they did not sit together on top of each other as they should. They just fell off, so I tried to remedy the situation, but should have made entirely new molds, instead of trying to connect two separate molds.  

My learning goal was to learn how to use Epoxy resin as it was an entirely unknown medium. As I had mentioned in my proposal, I have made jewelry before, both wire-wrapped and using melted silver. I enjoyed those forays and wanted to try something new.  

Epoxy resin was a learning curve as I was not sure how it worked. I did watch a few YouTube videos and I read the instructions from the box very carefully. My first examples were really bendy when I pulled them from the molds and I was concerned that I had not gotten the ratios right. It looks like I pulled them too soon and that’s why they were very flexible.  

As for reaching the targets I set for myself, I definitely did better about coming into the lab more often. I found that for my other assignments that I did not have the time to come in the way the assignments needed me to. This is why I gave myself specific days to come into the lab. It kept me accountable and forced me to go, even when I was tired.   However, I still needed to have longer time to work on projects. Like the previous assignments, I felt rushed and that I did not have the amount of time I needed to complete them. For instance, I was still putting finishing touches Wednesday morning.  
I did iterate and included glass in my project, but I should have requested extra time outside of the normal business hours.  

I believe that I became much more comfortable with the tools and software needed in the class. I am not an expert, but I could work any of these in a pinch. I had used a makerspace before and was very interested in learning more of those skills. Unfortunately, I will never be an electrician as the assignment with the copper tape was completely out of my purview. I could not get it to work, even after following the drawings that were given to me. I feel like my favorite assignment was the sewing section. Although I am not the best, it was the most fun that I had this semester and it might be because it is the most practical of the applications we learned.  

 Overall, I still would not call myself a “maker.” While I enjoyed the assignments and I have definitely have spoken positively about the class to my fellow Library and Information Science graduate students, particularly those who are interested in working with youth and teens,  I personally do not see me doing some of these items in the future. It’s most likely because I struggled with having the time and energy to adequately devote to this class. The open hours conflicted with my availability. No matter how much I enjoy something, if I do not have the time to devote to it, I personally believe that I should not use the terminology.   I believe “Makers” are anyone who has the time to devote to creating any type of product. Anyone can be a maker as long as they dedicate time to creation. I just do not have the leisure time necessary to devote to any product creation.  


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Iteration Project

I decided to re-do the textile assignment for my iteration project. I made the plush owl for the first sewing project. However, I did not really understand how to sew. It was my first sewing project. I also discovered on this project that I did not understand that I needed to combine the different cutouts into one. Therefore, I embroidered a patch that ultimately never made it to my wallet. I received a lot of help from Maxx.the first assignment, with the plush owl.

I had cut out the fabric, but into several different pieces. I ended up having to place those items back and used a giant roll of the shiny, satiny green fabric. I got tripped up a lot on this wallet because I did not really understand the instructions. They were not as well written as the plush owl ones. 

I had to cut out the fabric twice. My first attempt was tripped up by the zipper. I cut the wallet part too much, although in hindsight, I am sure that this could have been salvaged. I just was panicked because I could not come in to finish the sewing until Thursday evening. 

I found the satin to be a much better fabric in terms of hiding how often I poked it with a needle and needed to pull the threads. For instance, when I was trying to put the entire wallet together, I had flipped the sides so that the zipper was on the outside instead of the inside and flipped. 

I do enjoy the sewing. I just need to remember that the template needs to be taped together before I cut the material. Also, I was missing the interfacing. I think it would have helped it not be as lopsided in the end, but I really think I did not a bad job.

Trying to get the folds right by using the template.

This section was the hardest. I had messed up the mountain folds three or four times and had to constantly pull the thread out. I got turned around and kept using the wrong sides to make the folds.

 I lost my contrast band when I sewed the item together. I managed to keep it when I temporarily hand-stitched it, but with the machine, I ended up sewing it all together. 

Temporarily hand-stitched to pIMG_5201 IMG_5199resent in class. 



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Pom Bot Walker

Started drawing in classPlanned diagram after class

I am not a computer science major and this is pretty much Greek. I knew that I wanted to make a monster that moved his head and wobbled at the same time. I did a google search for codes that could help me do this. I found a book called, “The Best of Make: Vol 2,” which had a whole chapter dedicated to servomotors. The book listed a few codes and I copied them with the intention of combining the different items into one giant code. However, I made a few errors. 

One, I did not differentiate between servos. I wrote myservo and servoPan, but I did not specify which servo was meant to be servoPan in the upper portions of the code. 

Ultimately, when I attempted to run the code, it did not work. I kept getting various error messages. I ended up deleting portions of the code after trying to troubleshoot by using the FAQs. Then, I reached out to Duncan as I could not understand, after doing research, what was wrong. It ended up being an issue with the void setup and void loop. 

Here are the codes I tried to use. The first one is using the Best of Make.

// Servo – Version: 1.1.5 #include <Servo.h> Servo myservo; // create servo object to control a servo

Servo servoPan; // servo to pan

void setup() { myservo.attach(10); // attaches the servo on pin 9 to the servo object

servoPan.attach(9); //pan servo is on pin 9

servoPan.write(90); // home both servos to center

myservo.attach(9); // servo is on pin 9

myservo.write(90); // set servo to 90 degree position

pinMode(servoPin; OUTPUT); }

void loop() {

for(pos = 90; pos >= 0; pos -= 2){ // goes from 0 degrees to 180 degrees // in steps of 2 degree

myservo.write(pos); // tell servo to go to position in variable ‘pos’

delay(20); // waits 15ms for the servo to reach the position }

for(pos = 90; pos >= 0; pos -= 2){ // goes from 0 degrees to 180 degrees

servoPan.write(pan); //move pan servo

myservo.write(servoPin, HIGH); // tell servo to go to position in variable ‘pos’

delay(15); // waits 15ms for the servo to reach the position

myservo.write(servoPin, LOW); } }

After I was having issues with the code. I decided to try to tweak the code from the Arduino library, the SWEEP and KNOB, and still ran into issues. This is because I was not thinking about the integer numbers. I chose an integer that would ensure that my robot would never run.  I started at 0 and said as long as it was <=90, which zero is, the Arduino would not move because it fulfills the function of the code.

Controlling a servo position using a potentiometer (variable resistor)
by Michal Rinott <>

modified on 8 Nov 2013
by Scott Fitzgerald

#include <Servo.h>

Servo myservo; // create servo object to control a servo

int potpin = 10; // analog pin used to connect the potentiometer
int val; // variable to read the value from the analog pin
int pos = 90; // variable to store the servo position

void setup() {
myservo.attach(9); // attaches the servo on pin 9 to the servo object

void loop() {
val = analogRead(potpin); // reads the value of the potentiometer (value between 0 and 1023)
val = map(val, 0, 1023, 0, 180); // scale it to use it with the servo (value between 0 and 180)
myservo.write(val); // sets the servo position according to the scaled value
delay(15); // waits for the servo to get there

void setup() {
myservo.attach(10); // attaches the servo on pin 9 to the servo object

void loop() {
for (pos = 0; pos <= 90; pos += 3) { // goes from 0 degrees to 180 degrees
// in steps of 3 degree
myservo.write(pos); // tell servo to go to position in variable ‘pos’
delay(20); // waits 15ms for the servo to reach the position
for (pos = 90; pos >= 0; pos -= 1) { // goes from 180 degrees to 0 degrees
myservo.write(pos); // tell servo to go to position in variable ‘pos’
delay(20); // waits 15ms for the servo to reach the position

I used felt, feathers, Popsicle sticks, straws to create my pombot. I had stuffed a few of the pompons inside, but found I needed more because the felt provided no structure and thus, the pombot was too top-heavy. I did not stuff it enough at the end of the day, however, since I still had to hold the bot. 

It was suggested that to get the robot to move the way I wanted, I needed a third servo. When I put the third servo to the pom bot, it would twitch and then, not move. Brandon tried to help me get it going, but we came to conclusion that I fried the motor with three. Therefore, I decided to keep it at two only. 

Ultimately, my pombot does not wobble like I intended. It also pretty much walks by scooting. I thought the head also did not work the way I wanted. However, it does move, but I held it up since my pombot was too top heavy. 

The final code with the three servos, but discovered that three-servos does not work for the robot because the third servo stops working immediately after being plugged. Tried to get the third servo to work by plugging directly into the arduino rather than the breadboard

All of the servos plugged into the breadboard. 


head moving


Servo on the back of the cloth. I moved the servo later because it did not really move the item. 


My servo trying to move across the table, moved the bottom servo to a Popsicle stick on the bottom. I had to hold up the pombot because as aforementioned, it was still too top heavy. 


In conclusion, if I were to do this over again, I would make a shorter monster, one that I did not need to hold. I would also maybe use two Arduinos since three servos was too much to handle. 

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Arduino Part 1



 The original setup, I had both the receiver and the sensor on the board together. I tried to set it up like how the touch sensor was done in class. Note that the light on the Arduino motherboard is on, but not the light for the IR Receiver. 

I used the Instructables to re-design my circuit.











Serial port not recognized. 

IR Remote code, used an Instructable, changed a few items in the code, particularly the threshold and the pin on the motherboard. 

Wanted to see if this temperature code would work with the IR, particularly because I wanted to see if the heat output would be noticeable, but port not available so did not find out. 


This shows the Arduino plug-in at the top. When I was having issues with the board, I read in the tutorial that I needed to download the software for the computer to recognize the board. I did and it shows up as my computer recognizing that the Arduino is plugged in, but not in the web browser. 

 This shows the error message for the Arduino board when I tried to upload the code.

The last attempt with the new IR receiver

I tried to have the computer check the ports. I am guessing that both ports should say true, instead of false and true.


I was interested in using the arduino to potentially see if hair that is being dyed gives off Infrared waves. I wanted to know if the infrared waves would be able to tell someone when they have potentially over-dyed their hair. I did a few google searches to see if this is something that has some scientific basis. I did not find much, but I did find out that the bleach and developer speed up their chemical reactions via heat. Therefore, the warmer the temperature, the faster the dye takes.

I looked around via the Instructables website and I tried several different codes that people shared. I tried to tweak one by removing the IR remote component. I kept receiving error messages and it was most likely due to missing where the brackets should go. I got a lot of “CPU” and “Too many arguments to function” errors. Additionally, I found a code for analog temperature that I thought could be used to reflect the potential heat differential from the hunk of hair I cut from the room temperature. 

Unfortunately, this did not turn out any results. The first time I hooked up the Arduino to my computer, the motherboard lit up, but not the receiver. Additionally, my computer would not recognize the Arduino. I downloaded the file from the website that was supposed to take care of this issue after reading the tutorial. However, the serial port is still not being recognized.  

I tried a different IR receiver, this time with the remote, and the IR receiver turned on, but the serial port is not being recognized and I had turned off my computer to try to eliminate my computer as a source of the error. I am not sure what the error is. 

int sensePin = 13; //This is the Arduino Pin that will read the sensor output
int sensorInput; //The variable we will use to store the sensor input
double temp; //The variable we will use to store temperature in degrees.

void setup() {
// put your setup code here, to run once:
Serial.begin(9600); //Start the Serial Port at 9600 baud (default)

void loop() {
// put your main code here, to run repeatedly:
sensorInput = analogRead(13); //read the analog sensor and store it
temp = (double)sensorInput / 1024; //find percentage of input reading
temp = temp * 5; //multiply by 5V to get voltage
temp = temp – 0.5; //Subtract the offset
temp = temp * 100; //Convert to degrees

Serial.print(“object temperatur: “);

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Sewing Project- Plush Owl

Initially, I chose the Toothless/Light Fury bag as How to Train Your Dragon is my favorite animated movie of all time.  I had picked fabric that had dragon scales. Also, I did not want a felt material because I felt it picks up lint and other dirt. I wanted to include eyelashes (like the ones you see on cars), but I found that we did not carry the materials necessary for this. Lastly, I wanted the bag to be a small, handheld purse. I wanted just Toothless’ head as the body. 

Next, I wanted to embroider the item using the embroidery machine and the design I chose had a 4 hour rendering time so I could not complete it during the open hours. I also tried to use the technique that Duncan suggested with embroidering both sets of eye (the outer and inner) at the same time. Unfortunately, I forgot to set up in the embroidery software the appropriate settings, which led to the felt material getting eaten up by the machine. 

Subsequently, I tried to work on the strap of the purse and I did not think about the placement and had sewn the zipper for the purse into the strap. I took a seam ripper to the strap to salvage the zipper. I had almost succeeded when I had cut the zipper to the teeth accidentally. 

Unfortunately, I had to re-think this assignment. I realized that the Toothless bag might be a great iteration activity as it is much, much more complicated than I realized for my skill level. As  a result, I revised my assignment and decided to do the OWL Plush instead, due to it’s lower level of difficulty (which was still a learning curve). I went with linen because felt, as aforementioned, attracts a lot of dirt and lint and with my severe allergy/sinus problems, I did not want to make my room more of a germ factory than it already is. 

With this assignment, I realized that I have the dexterity of a toddler. I had a hard time making decent circles and shapes with the chalk on the material that I chose. I think the linen was not heavy and sturdy enough, which would have kept it from moving as much as it did when I tried to trace. Also, I had a hard time making hand stitches that did not pull apart. The original plush is full of small holes from where my thread fell out as I had made knots, but they were too small for the holes. I think that I was not using a small enough needle and the needle’s hole was too large for the thread because it continually un-knotted itself. This was a major source of frustration. They were coming undone even after I had watched a tutorial. However, I found another tutorial that suggested a different method that worked better for me and seems to have kept the stitches intact. 

I decided to re-do this as my hand-stitches were not even and the holes, in my opinion, were distracting. I also did not do well with the  cutting of the material so I have re-drawn these pieces. 

Overall, I made three different attempts. The second attempt would have been better, but when I was trying to trim the excess fabric, I over-cut and ended up with too little of the material to stuff and sew. The final product is okay, but I needed more stuffing to fully round out the linen. I also made too many threads and it looks messy, which was not my intention as the final product was mostly completed on the sewing machine. Nevertheless, I did have to sew the eyes, feet, beak, and wings on by hand. I definitely think my hand-stitching improved. I incorporated the dragon scale fabric into my finished product as I had originally intended to use it for the purse and I felt it would be a cute design element in this piece. In addition, I had cut out the wings before I understood how to flip it inside out. Therefore, the wings are really bulky as they are three pieces of the dragon-scale fabric, instead of the required two,  and thus, they are really thick. 

If I were to do this over again, I would need to figure out a better technique for cutting and sketching the fabric. My cutting skills were very weak and thus, the fabric was not evenly distributed, which is why it is pretty lumpy. This does not look like an owl, but it does look like an Animaniac, specifically Yakko.   I am proud of myself for completing the task, even though I failed several times and my product does not look professional. 

First sewing assignment during class

Deliverable, 10/17
the failed zipper strap sewing activity My hand-stitchingthe original attempt’s front

The back of the second attempt after I had cut too much fabric away.

The front of the owl on the second attemptThe final product, with the open back of the second attempt behind it. 


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3-D Lipstick Holder


Lab, part one Thursday 9/26Thursday 9/26, meshmixersketches


Kerry James Marshall painting that I was interested in using for the third prompt. I wanted to add an apple or a book into the hands of one of the children. I was interested in this painting because it is in a library in Chicago. The library itself is really old and has marble everywhere. The branch reminds me of those banks from the early 1900s that are now converted into schools, office buildings, homes, etc.

Screenshot of my 3-D face model scan. This shows the areas where the scans were missing and could not fill in the shapes. Lab 10/3

I could not figure out how to make a diamond shape (the argyle pattern diamond shape from my drawing) on my own with the tinkercad, but I saw that they had a diamond shape. I was interested in having a diamond shape with two supporting legs, but I went with the option available to me as I was not particularly familiar with how to work the software to accomplish what I wanted in my mind.

I played with the amount of diamonds that I wanted. I made the walls thicker and I agreed to have mini-diamonds.  Mock-up of the spider, cutlery, and the art-deco-esque bookshelf for class on 10/3

Re-design of the shelf with more diamonds

Initially, thought I would have my mini-shelf for my makeup in the designs of the above picture as I wanted something that was flat. Also, I did not originally want a makeup holder. I had wanted a mini book-shelf, but as I thought this over more, I realized that it would require a lot more work to create a mini-bookshelf and more expertise. I mentioned this idea to Duncan and Maxx and they both suggested that it would need to have mixed media as it could not all be made with the 3-D printer. Consequently, I went with an Art-Deco-esque lipstick holder. Also, I tried to play around with different shapes to see what would hold lipstick. I became really interested in using a pyramid shape so that I could stack them, but I worried that the lipsticks would fall off as the base was not particularly wide. Thus, I tried to make the divots wider. However, they did not appear to be the dimensions that I had in my head. Nevertheless, I wanted to make a test print. I decided to see if the divots were big enough with a test print, but I could not print both the pyramid and the diamond shelf. Therefore, I scrapped the idea of trying two different objects.

This shows that the pyramid structure was too big to allow for printing of it and the diamond shelf.

the length of time to make the diamond shelfMy attempted first print

It took several tries for me to get a finished product. I initially could not find my project on the Epique network when I went to the computer to put my file on a hard drive for the printer. This led to several minutes of going back and forth between computers to find out what I was doing wrong with the save process.

Additionally, I had tilted the shelf (to try to create my original idea of it being held up by two support beams) and it was suggested to me to just lay the object flat to eliminate the need for support beams. As a result, when this was changed, for easier printing, it created hassles for several of the prints.

For instance, the picture above shows that the 3-D printer was having a hard time printing the diamonds. The parts were frayed and weren’t melding together. Thus, this print was cancelled. It was decided that a raft would be a way to stabilize this problem. However, the second print had the same issue. When we went back to the original print on the computer, even though the shelf was laid flat, it was still levitating off the print surface, so that is why the diamonds were not stable.  

This took approximately 4.5 hours to print. If I were to do this assignment again, I would get rid of the mini-diamonds or make one or two small ones. I would have three or four large diamonds. Some of my lipsticks were too round to fit into the holes. Overall, I am pleased with the effort. 

Finished product


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Paper Circuits- Phoenix

This week’s lab was very difficult for me. I had stayed extra on Thursday to use the laser cutter for my design. I decided to pay homage to my native city, Atlanta. Atlanta’s symbol is the phoenix to symbolize it’s rebirth after Sherman’s March to the Sea in the Civil War. Atlanta is famous for not having any antebellum symbols, in contrast to Savannah and Charleston, as most of the plantations and other artifacts of that time period was destroyed in the march. Atlanta, like today, was a commercial hub and the biggest commercial hub for the southeast. 


I went on Inskcape and found silhouettes of a phoenix and the skyline. Then, I used the laser cutter to make the paper designs. I used paper scraps for the card. I intitially put the marks in the wrong space so my first card had smaller cuts on the edge because when I had googled how to make a pop-up card, I did not understand that the cuts should be in the center.You can see the marks on the edges that are horizontal, not vertical as they should be.

Additionally, I have no physics, electrical engineering, computer science background so getting the circuitry together was a nightmare. I constantly had to ask for help because although I was googling this, I don’t think I truly understood how it was supposed to work out. I have posted several of the messed up circuits.

Resistor is in the wrong place. Second parallel circuit attempt


My biggest problem was I kept putting the resistor in the wrong place. I also used the wrong resistor. I had wanted to do a series circuit and used the calculator shown during class last lab. I had a 3.2 (blue) and a 2.2 (orange). So if I had done the series, I’d have needed a 10Ω resistor, according to the calculator. However, I decided to do a parallel circuit so the tenΩ made my LED lights too faint. 

I didn’t want the green strips to show and so I tried to cover it with other things, but because I had not realized that my bird was too small, the bulb was not where I wanted it, which was by the eyes. Instead,  the bulb was at the top of the card and nowhere near the eyes. So,  I cut the red paper down and moved it sideways to get the LED near the eyes.

As aforementioned, my first attempt at the card, in addition to the cuts placed in the wrong spot, I had put glue in the wrong spots so the image was stationary and thus, it would never pop-up. 

When I attempted to re-construct the card, I realized very quickly that glue is better than tape, but I don’t own a gluestick. So I used packing tape. I took pictures of the book Max highlighted about how to make pop-ups, but I didn’t really understand the placement of the tabs. Intellectually I know what they look like, but the instructions went over my head. I also discovered that it was hard to make the tabletops at the center of the card stand up straight. 

This project would benefit from more time and trial and error. I should have looked at YouTube vids because I am not a word person and need to actually see things produced. This is definitely the worst project I’ve done. Overall, my card does not work well. I should have sketched this out, but I don’t like sketching. I am not artist in any shape or form. I like to practice through trial and error (I like to wing things). I picked things that I am interested in doing, but this was really out of my wheelhouse. I also don’t own glue and only had tape, which means nothing is securely tied down. I wanted to try to hide the circuitry, but I don’t know how to do this effectively.      

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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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