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

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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