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

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Final Project

Question 1.

I made an art mobile that can be used to lit the room and showcase my photos. I often light my room at night only with Christmas lights and I wanted to make something that incorporates Christmas lights and decoration. I wanted to make something that is artistically aesthetic and also display my photos. I’m really proud of the photography/photoshop skills that I developed for my project. This is some skills that I can use it after this class for various occasions. I’m proud of my cloud room decoration overall. It looks artistic and useful in terms of displaying my photos. A major challenge I faced was the Arduino part of the project that I was initially going to include. I wanted to make the photos drip down out of the “cloud” (paper lanterns), but I couldn’t figure out a way to make that happen. Since this piece of decoration is meant to be hanging from the ceiling, it was strong enough to support multiple Arduinos inside the “clouds”. 

I hot glued pieces of cotton onto the paper lanterns. This process took a while because I wanted to make fluffy clouds that look realistic.

This is the inkspace design for the acrylic stars I made

This is my final product. I wish my blue lighting got delivered on time. I also I could showcase this during the final presentation in a dark room so I can show the full effect.

Before the photoshop

After the photoshop

Question 2.

Learning Goal 1: I want to use Arduino to display my photos more emotionally appealing by making the photos draping down in a timed matter. 

My number one learning goal was to use Arduino. It’s something that I didn’t really enjoy using back when we learned how to make pom bots. I wanted to challenge myself by using Arduino. I thought it would add a cool effect to my project too. However, it was difficult to make it happen. The first problem was that the Arduino motors weren’t moving in a way I wanted. I imagined my photos all folded into one and drapes down out of the “cloud”. Especially the LED lights being inside, it was not only fire hazard to multiple cords inside, but the clouds also weren’t’ strong enough to have something inside. I didn’t want to take a risk of ruining my whole project by using the Arduino. I talked to my classmates after I finished making it. They suggested some potential ideas on how to use Arduino. It’s something I never thought of and I will definitely consider using them in the future. I failed to meet this goal. I learned that sometimes it’s the solutions to your problems are much closer than you think. I could have talked to my classmates in the beginning process about my challenge. I think the key part of being a maker in the makerspace community is utilizing all your resources. This is the most precious thing I learned. I had a great chance to talk to my classmates. 


Learning Goal 2: I will spread out my tasks throughout the week to prevent myself from procrastinating. 

Most of my projects were done last minute because it was difficult for me to come to the fab lab in the evening during weekdays due to my other commitments. However, I knew I didn’t want to push my final project to the last minute. I set tasks for each week so I don’t do everything at once. Since I had to learn how to take photos with a DSLR camera, I watched tutorial videos every night in the first week. I had to ask my friends who are experts in photography in my own time to learn all the little things (aperture, shutter speed, appropriate light settings, etc). It rained so many days so I had to really look out for good weather to take pictures. I think I succeed in not doing everything last minute. I had all my photos taken and photoshopped done in advance. However, I had to make my clouds a little late because all the materials came late. I didn’t’ want to work on my project on the day of the presentation. I had to come in for a final touch. Due to this, I didn’t fully meet my goal number 2. 

Learning Goal 3: I want to push myself to make something that can make me happy even if I fail because I learned so much from the production of it.

I wanted to challenge myself from using tools that I’m not really good at. However, I also didn’t want to push myself to do something that I wouldn’t enjoy. They are so contradicting to each other that I had to do something that met two goals in the middle which was using the tool that I’m still comfortable at using but not really an expert at. I was very bummed after giving up on using Arduino. I decided to use laser cutting. I wasn’t really confident at doing the laser cutting. I got a new idea at the last minute to add shiny stars to make the clouds look more like hanging in the sky. So I designed the shiny stars and laser cut using the universal. It was my first time that I did the whole process without any problems. I felt like I can even help other people who don’t know how to use it. It was an amazing feeling. I’m actually really happy with my shining stars (mirror acrylic) because it adds so many artistic values to my final piece. 

Question 3

I think I have never felt this insecure as a student in a class before INFO 490. I was the slowest learner in my lab section. I always asked the most number of questions. I was the last one to understand the same tasks in my class. I felt like my project was never as cool as another person’s. It was a constant feeling of failure and insecurity. It took me a while to tell myself that I’m good at certain things. I think I have really cool ideas. I may be a slow learner to learn how to use tools to make my imagination come true. But I had the creativity and also desire to create something original. This class taught me how everything we make in this class can’t be compared to each other. There is no such thing as “mine is cooler than yours”. I definitely felt sad when the Professor asked why I didn’t execute certain things. He didn’t know as an audience that I already have attempted to make those but I just failed to execute them. It was a very meaningful learning experience for me to understand the interaction and the silent communication that happens between the artist and the audience. I don’t think I’m an expert at any tools we learned in this class. I still have more experience with the tools we have used. However, I think I learned what makerspace community is. I can’t thank enough people who never got annoyed from me asking so many questions and were always willing to help me even if they were busy. 

Question 4

Although I was never happy about anything I made for this class, I feel proud as I’m writing this post. I didn’t even know that I was going to be doing all this when I registered for this class. I’m proud of being an original maker. That means, I always challenged myself to be original with my creativity. This is why I consider myself a maker. I created something out of my imagination. I’m not sure if I will put myself to create something tangible like the stuff we make in the fab lab. I will definitely use the skills I learned in everyday life. I think even my cooking skills make me a maker. I’m writing this blog as a person who has basic skills. However, I’m definitely more curious and passionate about creating something after this class. I think I have tough love for this class because there were definitely moments where I felt like a failure. I felt uncomfortable and intimidated to ask questions from time to time. However, I made good friends from this class and met so many good people!! I honestly wish I had more chance to be friends with my classmates. They are so freaking cool. I hope I remember to utilize my resources and ask as many questions as needed in many situations so I can execute my imagination fully and challenge myself.

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Iteration Project

Two projects that I was most excited about were also two projects that didn’t go well. They are laser cutting and stickers. I wanted to iterate laser cutting and add a new feature that I have not added before which is the photos. I wanted to make an acrylic photo frame for a collage of photos. Something that I can display and use it every day. 

This is the initial design of my project. The symbol that represents each picture is engraved (rastered) on the acrylic piece that covers the photo.

I first made a main piece of the acrylic panel using the inkspace. I had to get a 12in by 6 in clear acrylic.  I wanted to make a bigger frame but that would have costed a little more. First, I made different sizes of rectangles and squares for the pictures.

I had to make sure the size of the shapes for resizing my photos for corresponding sizes. 

I then had to save the shapes for the wood panel on the right position so my back wooden panel has the right texts on the correct position not covering the picture frames. 

I made the same shapes so I can attach to the original clear pieces so we can easily pick up the pieces to see the photos. This time, I added the symbols to raster on the acrylic. It was difficult to find acrylic scraps that are not aggressive colors and has enough spaces for my shapes. I had to run back and forth a lot to laser cut.

The rastor is kind of hard to see because the colors of the acrylic were not bold enough. I didn’t have a choice to pick other colors so that was a bummer.

This is how it looks like with the pieces in.

I used the poster printer to print all the photos. For some reason, it took me longer than I expected. I had to upload my photos from my iPhone to google drive. Download them and resize all of them to match my shapes. Then, I put them in one file and print them which the printer gave me a little hard time. It was hard to figure out things by myself but it felt good when I got them all printed. The photos are blurry because I had to resize them so small.

this is what it looks like when the photos are in the shapes and the puzzle pieces are covering. 

I combined two shapes so I can pick them up easily. As you can see in the above picture, the shapes are peaking out. 


Overall Thought…

It turned out pretty well. Not as good as how I designed which would have taken too much time (this already took me almost 10 hours). I definitely feel more confident about laser cutting. Thanks to my classmates and people at the fab lab for helping me. It was so stressful as usual. But I’m excited to give this as a gift to my boyfriend. I hope my time and effort were worth it. 

I wanted to make holes to screw all the panels together but I ‘m too scared of shattering my acrylic pieces. For now, they are taped down. I will look for ways to put them together more neatly. I’m glad that I developed my laser cutting and inkspace skills through this project. I felt like I’m not confident enough in any of the materials/programs we have used so far prior to this project. However, now I think I can make more stuff using these materials/machines/programs. 

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Arduino bots


I learned how to make two motors work at the same time in class. I also learned how to change the starting position and delay time to make the motors go at a different time or different speed. This is the video of my first prototype going forward. Later, I found a way to make it go straight with two motors which is how I created my bots. 

It was having difficulty going forward because it was heavy and the friction from the desk. I attached a popsicle stick to give a little support. I thought it would make it easier to move forward; however, now that popsicle stick is attached, it was having more frictions. I decided to give more support to the motors so they don’t have to carry way too much weight going forward. This is how I got to make my tarantula. I made some change in my code to make the two motors go at a different time. This way, they could resist frictions and go forward more easily. This is the final product of my Arduino bot. The front two legs of my tarantula have two motors attached and make the bot moves forward. I came to this design after figuring out how to move the front two motors. It doesn’t go straight so it reminded me of insects/animals that don’t move in a straight line. Some of the improvements I made to the first design are changes in code that make two motors work at a different time, perfect delay time and starting positions to make it go forward, perfect distance between two motors so they can resist the frictions, and support system from the popsicle sticks.

It was definitely challenging to make changes in code without help from instructors. However, my classmates who are familiar with coding helped me write codes and understand how to resist the frictions. I was kind of discouraged when it was working and other people were making such cool bots. I felt a little incompetent, but I figured things out myself and created this cute tarantula! It always feels good after I finish my project after having so many emotional obstacles during the process. 

I’m just surprised by how many cool things you can do with Arduino. I hope to learn more skills so I can create more cool stuff with it.


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Arduino Storyboard

This is the first Arduino board I made in class. I feel like resistor didn’t help the brightness to go down. 

I made a motion sensor board using the PIR sensor. I got inspired by the light at home where the light turns on when it senses the motion. It saves energy as I don’t have to leave the light on the whole time. For some reason, I couldn’t get the PIR sensor light up. I couldn’t figure out where I need to fix the problem. 

I ended up using the ultrasonic sensor that was in the box to create what I couldn’t with the PIR sensor. My storyboard illustrates the car motion sensor. The storyline goes: I’m driving my car. A little kid is crossing the road, but I don’t see him. I almost hit the kid. Thank God, I didn’t. I go home and trying to come up with ideas. I finally get an idea to put a motion sensor. The motion sensor detects the distance between the car and the object and alerts when it’s too close to the car. I wanted to make a beeping sound when the distance is too close. However, I couldn’t figure out to make a sound to be part of the loop. I will have to look into more codes and other sensor outputs to make this work. My storyboard includes the happy ending of where I didn’t hit a dog because of my motion sensor. I hope I can make this more advanced and create some toys for my dog. 

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Sewing and Embroidery

  1. Simple Drawstring Pouch (In Class):

This is the drawstring pouch I made in class. I never thought about how these are made before. It was surprisingly simple to make. It definitely helped me prepare for making my final assignment. The hardest part of making this was making neat stitches for where the cloth pieces intersect. 

2. Multicolor Patch (In Class):

I downloaded an image of sushi vector. I did color tracing in Inkspace. I was inspired by cute little sushi stickers I see around. I really like all the colors going well together even with the beige background cloth. I’m so impressed by the work of sewing machine. I was so shocked by how the sewing machine can create the exact pattern that is showing up on my computer screen. 

3. Custom Sewn & Embroidered Piece (Out of Class):


Since my plastic laptop case broke, I wanted to take this opportunity to make a laptop case with a cool embroidery on it. I decided to put something simple but has characteristics. 

This photo displays the process of the Koran flag being embroidered. It took me literally 15 attempts to make this happen. Before this properly worked, I had so many problems: the file not getting properly sent to the machine, upper thread not working, bottom thread not working, etc. It was such a stressful process. 

The machine didn’t embroider the black part correctly which I freaked out because I thought I have to do it again after 15 failures. 

I had to work inside-out putting the zipper and everything together. 

The needle broke in the middle of sewing the zipper. It was kind of scary and I faced another problem. 

I almost gave up after spending 9 hours on this project. However, this very nice staff and other TAs helped me guide through. I could finish with that help. 

This is the final product. It turned out pretty well. It’s not as good as I visioned and the time and efforts I put into. It was such a learning experience. I was never this stressed to do school work. I’m just proud that I didn’t give up and figured out things myself and was not afraid to ask for help. I don’t think I will use a sewing machine for a while because of this traumatic experience. It was pretty cool to find out how you can do so much stuff with the sewing machine. I’m pretty sure I only learned a quarter of its capability. Maybe when I’m more confident and learn more skills, I will create a more advanced piece with the machine. 



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3D Printing/Scanning

This is my idea sheet for this project.
This is my first 3D model I created in class for the castle and the alien. I really like my alien because it’s kind of cute with its ice cream cone sticking into his head.
This is the side of the 3D model of myself scanned. It was kind of cool and sad to find out how hunched I am. It reminded me to have a better posture.
This is before I exported the file and it is showing all the errors with the lines and circles. The different colors indicate different kinds of errors.
This is the model I created for the first prompt. Surprisingly it took me quite a long time to create this as I had to resize and angle all of them to make them look good together when grouped.

First Prompt
I really love cooking. My favorite dish to make is pasta. Sometimes it gets a little crazy making a good al dante pasta dish because you have to watch the noodles and the sauce at the same time. So I created a little concurrent pasta cooker. The left part of this model is the noodle cooker. The light purple cooks the pasta and the lasers in the pot will detect the noodles that are already al dante. To prevent those noodles from getting overcooked, it gets sent to the outer part of the pot which will have the noodles circling around the pot and keep them moist. When all the noodles are cooked, it will go into the swirly pipe and come out of the pipe into the saucepan on the right. the three blue swirly lines are portraying the noodles coming out of the pot. You can cook the sauce in the pot on the right and you will be able to control when to drop the noodles into your saucepan. I’m attaching the image below to show how my noodle cooker looks inside. It was a bit more difficult than I thought to create this model because the pipes were coming in all different angles so to resize and repositioning them took me quite long. I’m very happy about my model because it reflects my imagination pretty well. One downside about this model is that it cost me over $15 to use a water-soluble material and over 9 hours to print them.

Since I have some parts of my model floating in the air, I would need a support system to print them. However, that is what it would have looked like if I printed it with a normal material. The staff at the MakerSpace told me that it will look atrocious if I used the normal material to print it.
This is what it would have looked like if I used the water-soluble material. It would be very easy to remove the support system and have them look cool. However, it would cost me $15 and over 9 hours to print them. I was afraid that I would have to pay multiple times if they didn’t come out right. So I decided to not print them.

Prompt #2

This is the model I created using scanned version of myself and the tower that is in my hometown. Dabo Tower in that picture is a very well-known historic tower in my hometown city called Gyeongju in South Korea. It is a very historic city and there are a lot of towers that monumentalize royal people who have passed away. In Korea, many older generations desire to be buried in town where they were born. Since, Gyeongju is where I was born and share a lot of good memories with my family, I thought about having my afterlife self there. I wanted to change the little heads that are attached to the tower. However, I couldn’t do that because the tower is the model that I downloaded from the website and I couldn’t manipulate elements of the model. I tried to separate the segments but ungrouping was not allowed. The difficult part about building this model was to have both files in certain size in order to export it from the MeshMixer to stl. file where I can import them to TinkerCad. My head attached to the skeleton body resembles many of the historic monuments and towers in that city. I wanted to make a symbolic model that reflects my dream to spend the later life and leaving legacy in my hometown just like how respected Kings are buried in that city.

Prompt #3

This is my model I created using the famous LOVE sculpture. I wanted to recreate the model by making the letter “O” into a heart shape to emphasize its meaning of “love”. I first had to distort my scanned model to make it into a heart shape. I used various type of brushes in the MeshMixer to make it smoother and put some points to go in more. It was kind of difficult to make it into a perfect heart shape because I didn’t want to lose the main shape of myself.

This is the scanned version of me that has been shaped into an upside down heart. It’s not perfectly looking like a heart. I cut part of my arms and smoothed them out. I pull the center part to make it look like a heart.


It was very interesting to learn about 3D modeling and scanning. I am glad to know how these things do amazing things and help out a lot of people. I had a very difficult time putting my ideas into actual models. I think it will take me some time to learn how to make my imaginations into an actual thing using the 3D printer. One difficulty I had was the pricing and the timing of the printing. I think in the future, I would have those things in my mind before designing my models so complex. I’m overall happy about how my models look but I wish it didn’t cost me so much time and money to print them out.

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Paper Circuits Assignment

This is the circuit we built in class. It was so cool to build something that has “electricity” on a paper.
This is the “Picture with the 2 LEDs”. I struggled a bit in the beginning to make this card. Unlike the first basic circuit, I have to build a whole new circuit from a scratch and it was difficult to understand where to put LEDs, + and -s. I had a big emotional rollercoaster while making this card because everyone else in my class got the concept so quickly and finished their cards while I took the whole class time to build it. This card would have been cute if all the rain drops had the blue LED lights in them. That would have been a very tricky circuit to build though.

My theme for this project was flower. I thought pop-up and origami go well with the concept of surprise because you don’t know what you will see when you open your pop-up card. My initial design was to add a flower on the card either as an origami or add it on the pop-up card. I planned to have the LED light in the center of the flower. It was a struggle to first figure out where to how to hide the circuits and build the layout. I initially built a series but I learned that my two LEDs take a lot of power; thus, I had to change it to a parallel circuit. Doing this, I finally understand how the circuits work.

This is the sketch of my design. I wanted to create a bouquet. I first wanted to do origami of roses but I realized that would be difficult to pierce through the LEDs and make them stay.
These are my initial series circuits. I practiced before I attach the real circuit to the bouquet.
This is my final product. The switch is attached inside the so if I press the space above the 6th iblue pom, the lights will turn on.

Building circuits were the hardest part of this project. Then, figuring out how to put everything into a bouquet was also another thing that took some time. My original design was more 3D so I’m a little sad that I couldn’t really make it 3D. I got too excited that my circuit was working so I kept trying it on and my top yellow LED died.

When I faced challenge, I asked my classmates and the staff at the fab lab. I was a little bit frustrated when my series circuit wasn’t working. I realized it was because my battery died…I learned a good lesson to try all my battery and LED lights before actually taping them down on my paper.

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My partner and I chose a topic about developing a mobile app for our fab lab. My story line focuses on the motivation for the development of the app and the features that the app offers. My storyboard starts with me going to the fab lab to do the assignment and find the lab to be very very busy. I was a little sad since I walked miles away from my apartment on Saturday. So I decided to make an app that tells you how busy the lab is and which computers/machines are occupied on live. The app also has a tutorial section for each machines/programs. After you create something at the lab, you can upload your product for sales. My last storyboard displays how this app brings cucfablab community together even more.

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Laser Name Tag

My initial design was related to cooking because that is my favorite thing to do. However, I couldn’t come up with a complex design for it so I changed it to my second favorite thing. The inspiration for this assignment was my love for the city of Seattle. Seattle is my favorite city and my dream is to get a job and start the next chapter of my life there after the graduation. I wanted the clean and chic look for this name tag which is why I chose to use the two-tone acrylic and the Universal laser machine.

My project was going okay until I didn’t know which lines to make it vector or not. I got help from Emile on which parts to make it vector. I forgot to make a border on my name tag but my classmate David reminded me. I ran back and forth to make a border and lines on my name tag.

My final product is really sad because most of parts got burned. The reason why I used black and white two-tone acrylic was to emphasize the beautiful Seattle skyline but I failed. I followed the instruction on the material sheet but I should have used the lower power and higher speed. Next time, I should understand the materials better and adjust the power and the speed of the laser. It was exciting at first when I finished my design. However, I was so sad when I was watching the laser burning my name tag. The process of making the design that is inspired by my dream city went well but I could improve on choosing the better material in the future.

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