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

Isaac Iyengar- 3D Printed Capo

For this project I chose the prompt that had us make a part we needed. I made a guitar capo, which is a small tool that pushes down all the strings at a particular fret. This allows you to play a guitar in a different key, while using the same fingerings for chords without the capo. 

Essentially a capo is a clamp that can fit on a guitar. Normally these cost around $10+, so I figured 3D printing this part would be a cheaper option.

Below is an example of a standard capo:

Image result for Capo

Below is my first iteration of the capo. I modeled it after the above image. While I got the shape and dimensions correct, this design wouldn’t have been functional since it needs to be two separate pieces with a spring in between to allow the clamping functionality.

I wanted to avoid using a spring and instead wanted to see if a design that was a single piece was possible. Most 3D printed clamps I had seen involved using a screw, however this would be no different than using a spring. 

This led to the design below which was made using OnShape, an online CAD software that allows functionality similar to Fusion 360, but free. I sketched out a design that took the clamp and shape of my previous design, and used a spiral design that could coil to allow flexibility. 


Below is the Extruded and Filleted 3D Model of the final design. In the process of designing this capo tried to develop better CAD practices mainly using constraints such as dimensions and tangent tools to produce a more accurate result. The use of tangent allows for connected curves to be much smoother. 

In terms of the design I think this design allows future improvements, such as the addition of a case for guitar picks (often misplaced), and potentially personalization. Personally the design reminded me of the Leaf Village symbol from the show Naruto, so I’ll play around with the CAD more to resemble that while still having the clamp functionality. I’m not a huge fan of the way 3D printed text looks, so instead may make a sticker or paint it. One thing to note this design was made for my guitar which has a slightly larger fretboard, so this design may not work as well for smaller guitars. 

Below are three viewpoints of the piece.


Final Product:

I don’t want the plastic hitting the strings directly as this may produce a buzzing sound on the side that touches the string, and scratch the wood finish on the side that touches the neck of the guitar. To solve this I will add some foam tape to the portions that are in direct contact with the guitar. The print itself turned out very nicely and is able to function as a clamp on the guitar strings, however it needs to press on the strings with more force. The addition of foam or hard rubber to the clamp portion will solve this issue. The print took 1 Hr 30 Min to complete, including a raft. There were no issues with the print, my one worry was the lack of support for the curved clamp, but I chose an appropriate angle of incline, such that the printer had no issues with it. 

I have noticed the hinge isn’t able to retain its original shape after multiple uses. Potentially need to increase the infill of the print to fix this. 

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3D Printed Jewelry Tree

For this project we were prompted to sketch out ideas for four different prompts: a new take on dishware, a cultural item with a personal flair, a 3D version of a work of art, and an original item that we need in everyday life. My sketches for these prompts included utensils and a cup for your enemy (looks like they work but they don’t), a fan that looks like piano keys, a 3D version of Hokusai’s Great Wave, and a jewelry tree.

Then for the two required 3D designs I chose to create the piano fan and the jewelry tree. I constructed both designs in Autodesk TinkerCAD, whose interface I found easier to work with than Autodesk Meshmixer or other programs. Additionally it’s online, so there’s no need to worry about transferring files when working on different machines. The fan surprisingly took quite a bit of time to make, but only because I didn’t realize you can move objects vertically until much later. Just the process of learning a new program I guess.

As you can tell, if I were to actually build this in real life I would need to make the individual slats much thinner, but for the sake of ease of working with them in the software I left them at that width. A small hole was bored through where all the slats connect to put them all together with a string tassel. 




After finishing this design, I then chose to create a jewelry tree for my final project; I’ve always needed somewhere to store my earrings instead of just throwing all of them into a metal box. I got to work breaking up my design into the circular base, the “trunk”/base, the branches, and the leaves. In the process of figuring out how to create the unique leaf shapes, I learned from other creators’ videos that you can use shapes as holes to refine/smooth out existing shapes, e.g. using an elliptical cylinder to clean up the leaf edge. Here’s the final design for all of the tree’s components. Looking back I’m really not sure why I printed all the leaves out separately instead of already connected to the branches, as this ended up being a little cumbersome to work with later, but overall I think this design was simple and elegant enough. 





I exported the design to an STL file and loaded it onto a Flash Forge. The whole set of components took an hour to print, and most of the parts turned out ok. However, about 40 minutes in, unfortunately the base trunk warped and popped straight off the platform, perhaps because the cylindrical shape was more susceptible to bending. I had to go back in TinkerCAD to create a rectangular prism base and print that, which took another 15 minutes.

Luckily the parts printed pretty cleanly and didn’t break as I was concerned for. Once I got everything I just needed to assemble it, which just took some good old super glue and patience. 




Here’s the final result:

The final product turned out a bit smaller than I had anticipated because I overestimated the size of the printing bed. I realized I should’ve put in two holes instead of one for the leaves (as earrings come in pairs.. forgot to consider that), and I would like to make a bigger base so I can put hold other jewelry inside it. Additionally I should’ve printed four branches instead of three, but I didn’t anticipate having to print a four-sided rectangular base. Overall though I’m pleasantly content with the result, and look forward to using this practically. 

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3d print assignment

3d models

I created a geometric 3d model of a toothbrush holder first. 

I created an Indian Om symbol with leaves to represent nature.

I scanned myslef and converted that to a 3d model. 



Final Project

I created a toothbrush holder for my final project. I created a smiley face on tinkercad with cylinders. I had to import an svg of a semicircle to create the smile on the face. Then I imported an svg of petals to create a flower around the smiley face which I thought could also be close to the rays of the sun. 


I really enjoyed building the toothbrush holder. It’s something I needed. I created a smiley face to indicate positivity and because it’s easy to correlate teeth with a smile. And I went with a flower because it reflects something in nature. The overall process was fun. Initially I had a more geometric figure that I wanted to use for my toothbrush holder but I decided to build something entirely different later on. 

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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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3d Printing and Scanning

This week we worked on 3d modeling and 3d scanning. For my project this week, I wanted to make a cable holder that would organize some of my cables since I sometimes have trouble located my chargers.

These were the different sketches that I did for the four prompts:

For the utensils, I decided to make a utensil that would be compact, so I made a utensil that holds each fork, knife, and spoon that would act similarly to a swiss army knife. For the culture background, I decided to do farming since my ancestors did a lot of farming and add electronics to it to more match my current major. For my art piece I created a scene based on Starry Night by Van-Gogh. This was just 3d renditions of the buildings with the mountain as well. For the final sketch, I wanted to make a cable holder since I don’t have the best cable management for my chargers. As a result, I decided I would like a holder that would be tailored to each individual cable. This was the idea that I decided to 3d print.

These two are the 3d models I created for the compact utensil and the cable holder:


For this one I attempted to use meshmixer to get more of a spoon shape, but the model didn’t have enough edges near the spoon to be able to form it into the shape that I liked, so as a result, I left it as what is in the model.

Cable Holder:

For the cable holder I made two separate models: one that held my laptop charger and another that held my PS vita charger. I ended up printing both of these and attaching them together.

This was the final product of the cable holder. Essentially, I made it so that I could attach new holders for individual cables if I needed more. Right now it holds my laptop charges and it allows me to always know where to find the cables when I need them. There are some alterations that I would make if I were to remake the parts. I originally had something on the side to wrap the cord around, but it was too small to be usable. I would make the overall holder taller and larger in order to wrap the cord around it.

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3D printing

These are the four sketches of my prompt. For the 3d model I used tinkercad which is useful for building very basic blocks, and forming very basic components/ideas.

For the utencil, I decided I would utilize the spoon’s bigger design so it spoons the fork. This allows for efficiency of design in that the fork can just fit into the spoon one does not have to allocate more space for the fork.

For the cultural art alteration, I decided to have a model of a man doing samul nori a korean tradittional percussion play. This is what the performers look like. I actually used to learn the instruments and have performed samul nori during my time in Korea.The prototype would have my face for the 3d model. A picture of me in 2005 learning the janggu, is shown below. I am right behind instructor with blue lips as I was eating a blue lollipop before the picture.

Image result for samul nori

For the alteration of a famous 3D model, I had the idea of using the bold and brash painting from spongebob and somehow putting another character’s face.

For the 3d printing the parts I need, there are several things I could use, which is a gpu support bracket and a headphone stand. An 3d model of a gpu support bracket that would fit into my PC is shown below. Another style of gpu support bracket I could also make is in the form of a pillar support the gpu, and I would do this by 3d printing a gaming character I like and making the head flat so the GPU could sit on top of it.


I no longer needed the GPU bracket as I was able to resolve the issue of my computer randomly losing signal. Swtiching the ports on the GPU magically fixed all issues. So instead, I decided to make a headphone stand as I have been using my headphones for quite a while now and haven’t brought myself to buy an expensive stand.


The design for the stand.

The finished stand. It weighs 75 grams and I had to scale it down by 50% to print from the fablab.

I unfortunately used the same material for the support structure, resulting in some of the material not coming out properly. I had to sand paper this part in order to make it smooth.



This was the first project that the made me realize the what exactly the articles I read were saying. There are many limitations to 3D printing, and I can understand exactly what the “overhype” for 3d printing is. Although it is useful and helpful for certain uses, it is not a perfect technology and there are many things that can be improved. If had to redo this project, I would definitely try researching the different printers and materials I can use, so I can have the materials coming out properly and in a size that actually is able to hold my headphone.

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3D Printing

In class, we began by being introduced to TinkerCad and MeshMixer and were asked to create a fortress and a person that would be in that fortress.

This was what I came up with.

Then I exported the creature into MeshMixer and played around with it from there, learning how to use the tools properly.

That was what I came up with, very funky but I thought it was interesting to just play with the tools in the software.

Then came my designs.

These were the sketches I had come up with, but I decided to really render only the flatware design and a piece that I needed.

This was the final rendering of my flatware design, which incorporated a lot of the holing tools in Tinkercad. It is a mix of a fork and a chopstick holder with a tong design circle that holds the chopsticks at either end.

From there I decided I create something that my apartment has been missing, and that is definitely a spoon rester. Whenever I make spaghetti I have nowhere to set my spoon down without sauce getting on something else. I think that this is actually an extremely practical use of the 3D printer and that is why I rendered it.

This was the final product, and I am really happy with it because I used the beveling tool on the cylinders on both the inside and outside making it look very sophisticated.

Class October 1st.

In class today we learned how to use the 3d scanners using the program Skanect, and also used the scanners on an iPad as well. 

iPad Scanner:

The details are decent, but the facial features were not as detailed as the Skanect. 

Skanect Scanner:

The Skanect did a better job of scanning facial features as well, and the overall texture around the facial region and the hair. I think the Skanect is a good tool to use for any scans that require more detail. 

Final Iteration of Design

My overall final design came out really nicely and functions exactly as I wanted it to. 

This is the spoon rester in action, holding a spoon I used to mix eggs with. I really like the overall usefulness in this design, it keeps the countertop clean and is washable under the tap right after I am finished. 


I think this project was really smooth from start to finish. The simplicity of the design of this really didn’t give me a lot of trouble in the design process, and printing it was fairly straightforward. The other designs that I made were not going to be that useful and that’s why I chose to print this one. 

What I would do differently

In the future, I would make another design iteration of this that is larger to hold bigger spoons and spatula’s, but the only problem is that the material is not food safe. It was suggested that I could take my design and upload it to a website that makes clay 3D printed objects for a certain price that is food safe.  That would be pretty cool to actually have something that will likely be in my kitchen for a long time and say I actually made that. Definitely something to think about as I move forward in this course.

Heres a link to my actual design

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3D Printing

These are my 4 sketches for each of the prompts. I used Tinker CAD to 3D model them very simply. I really don’t like Tinker CAD because it feels really limiting and I am more used to building parts from sketch planes. For my final 3D model, I will actually use Solidworks because that’s what I’m used to. 

I chose to build out the silverware – the handle atleast – but TinkerCAD is really limiting so I felt like I couldn’t do much with the curves and ergonomics of the handle. 

I also chose to build the elephant earrings. I used the scribble tool for this.

I chose to move forward with the object that I need – which are elephant earrings! I am currently obsessed with all things ethnic and elephant print/patterns on fabrics, upholstery, and ceramics in general. This is what the final 3D model of the elephant looked like. It was relatively straightforward to model since I kept the design flat. I could have surface modeled to add curves to the elephant, but I chose not to (because of time constraints and other priorities).

I really like the flatness and layers of the earring. And since this is an object that I would like to wear, I treated this 3D print as a test run. The earring back broke off as I was taking the supports off because it was too thin 🙁 

In the future, I would like to use a different resin to 3D print so that I can make the elephant look less “plasticky.” Overall, it was a fun project and I enjoyed the ideation process and seeing the sketch come to reality.  

Also, these are the scans we did in class. 

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Isaac Iyengar – Paper Circuit

For this project I made an Iron Man card that pops up the Iron Man suit from Avengers Endgame. I wanted the popup to appear more flat in design, so this limited it to a few layers, of base maroon, gold, and silver. I wanted the lights to shine through the Ark Reactor Core and the eye slots of the helmet.

For the wiring I broke it into a Blue LED for the core and two white LED’s for the eyes. The white LED’s are in series together, and that Series branch is in Parallel with the Blue LED. Below is a circuit diagram. 

I used scrap pieces of white core cardstock and cut the pieces out in the Epilog laser cutter.

I should’ve drawn out the path by hand of the circuit beforehand to know exactly where pieces should be laid down. I essentially constructed the circuit component by component rather than planning ahead of time. In the future need to plan in order to reduce material usage, and have a smoother debugging process. 

Final Product:



Overall pretty happy with how the Iron Man portion turned out. I wanted to have a quote bubble that also lit up and said “I love you 3000” in reference to Endgame, but didn’t get around to that. I think adding a cardstock backing and a background will make this project solidified. 

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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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Papercraft Stop Light – Seth Sawant


For this week’s topic we were required to create a light-up creation using paper and copper tape circuitry. For our in-class exercise we had to make a something that complemented a quote of our choosing; I chose a quote by Ella Baker which referenced a guiding light so I create a small scene out of paper of a flashlight illuminating a path through a forest, using LEDs to make the flashlight and the X light up.

Moving into the main project, I knew I wanted to move away from the card format and do something more three dimensional. After brainstorming some simple object ideas that could easily incorporate lights into the design, I decided to create a stoplight. I first started by designing the LED circuit that I would need to power the LEDs. I used Ohm’s law to calulate the resistor values that would need to be put in series with each LED to equalize the currents in each branch and keep the current at a safe level, and then used an online circuit designer to verify I didn’t mess up the numbers.

With the electrical design done, I moved to figuring out how to create the body of the stoplight. I initially started with trying to cut out the rectangles by hand with an x-acto knife but quickly realized that the Silhouette would be the perfect tool to cut the nice straight lines I needed. I drew up the design of the box in Inkscape, adding glue tabs and cutouts for the light ports, and after struggling to try to fold the paper into shape, added score lines as well to make the folds easier and cleaner. For the little hoods over each light I just cut small rectangle of paper and formed them around a wooden dowel before glueing it on. I tested how the LEDs looked inside the folded up housing but decided it was too harsh so I added a tissue paper screen across the light openings which made the light much more diffused.

Since I was happy with how my prototype was looking I began constructing the final model. For the body I used some bright stoplight yellow card stock and some small scraps of black paper for the hoods. I ran into some problems initially trying to get the Silhouette to cut the thicker colored paper properly even with the correct material settings, but after experimenting I found that it would cut through using a slightly increased force setting and multiple cut passes. For the circuitry, I attached the battery to the bottom of the stoplight and ran copper tape up the back of the housing. I poked small holes through the back and stuck the LED legs through and taped them down to the copper, and then used a little bit of glue on the inside to keep the beams of light centered on the light ports. I tried to connect the resistors in series to the LED legs with just copper tape, but got frustrated with the poor connection and ended up soldering them together. Finally, I added a yellow piece of card stock to the back to hide the circuits, leaving one leg of the LED not taped down so it could be squeezed like a switch in order to turn the lights on. I think if I had more time it would’ve been cool to incorporate a timer circuit into the design to make the lights blink in sequence by themselves, but also might have taken away from the spirit of paper circuits by adding in a bunch of non flexible components into the mix.


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