Shadow Patterns

Mounting motors! – something I failed doing a few weeks ago. What was I thinking attaching the motor to the white plastic lid … It flew off.

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MOUNTING MOTORS PROJECT

–> EARLY DEVELOPMENT

My first instinct was to go to the junk shelf to find what was destined to be mine. I found a functioning turntable, what a perfect object for a motor perfect! I tried taking it apart to see the mechanics inside. However, when I opened it up I was overwhelmed by all the components. After some time of trying to rewire it, I put it back in the junk shelf.

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–> SHADOW PATTERNS

Since faith wasn’t going to decide for me, I went back to my interest, optical illusions. I saw a motor sculpture project online where multiple sheets of perforated metals were used to create / animate various patterns according to their rotations.

This reminded me of when I looked through my window, through the wire windows against the sun (in Thailand wire windows are used to filter insects). I wanted to recreate the sculpture based on the experience, as well as recreate that experience in the form of a sculpture.

Wire windows

Related image

Design

Materials

  • x2 Stepper motors – very slow drive
  • x2 Patterned acrylic sheetsI tried sourcing available materials but perforated metals were both too expensive and difficult to work with. Also, it would give a negative pattern effects ( holes will be dark). So I went with acrylic.Image result for perforated metal sheet
  • x2 Cork base
  • x2 Standing sticks (acrylic)
  • x4 Screws
  • x2 Arduino and jump wires
  • x2 Power supply
  • x1 Super glue (for acrylic)

Prototyping

  • TEST PATTERN
  • TEST MATERIALMVIMG_20181013_214435.jpgline_1539789653095.jpg

Process

Spray glue is better

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Always use callipers

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Test them holes

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Finished work

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OTHER NOTES ON FAB

Generally I feel a lot more confident in making things and trying different materials and tools. This class has been one of the most fun classes and closest to my interests for me. I am inspired by a lot of examples given in class and on the blog and I hope to reach that point in craftsmanship and precision in the future!

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Flower Vase (Material Combination)

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Inspired by the flower pattern itself, I made a flower vase using cork (yoga block), pvc pipe and laser cut cardboard.

The design was inspired by a sculpture which mimics fibonacci patterns in nature. Reference: http://beyond123.com/pa/helicone.html

Steps:

  1. Cork cutting and drilling – the cork cuts very well on the band saw
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  2. PVC pipe cutting – miter saw
  3. Laser cut cardboard (this took a few experiments to get the sizes right as per usual)
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Finished piece

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ALTOIDS MONSTER – THE SLOT MACHINE!

Ideally this week we should take our existing project and polish its finish i.e. make a project enclosure. However, I do not have a project to enclose! As a result, I embarked on an exploration of my long time curious topic ‘persistence of vision’. There are many ways to illustrate the concept of persistence of vision but I chose the spirographs as the content. Why? Because they’re fun! Everybody can participate! And they have an algorithmic pattern which animate seamlessly regardless of the strobe light (as long as the pattern matches the light frequency).
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BUT! The project required a lot of precision and testing so I had to save it for another time!
I then took a look around me and found empty Altoid tins and those became my focus.
ALTOIDS MONSTER – THE SLOT MACHINE!
If you get rainbows, you get free Altoids!
The original design (VERTICAL)
I started drilling and attaching components only to find that my breadboard cannot fit as the switches took up too much space.
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The later design (HORIZONTAL)
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I used the drill press to make the holes for the switches and the nibbling tool to cut the side for the power cable. Having an enclosed box makes it very easy put everything together (it just fits!).
My key learnings.
  1. The big drill bits can bend the tins
  2. The bid drill bits leave a lot of scraps on the surface
  3. Stick the wiring to the lid! Otherwise the wire will come off
  4. The object itself contains a lot of equity i.e. personality – using something familiar to people can make the thing itself more friendly
  5. Keeping some original parts make the object more familiar – i kept the inside paper of the Altoids

 

LASER CUT EVERYTHING (NOT)

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LASER CUTTING!
After making 5 of something manually, the idea of laser cutting felt magical. It is fast and precise (somewhat). We were assigned the task of making anything using the laser cutter *with a caution to not be spoiled by it*. Also, to not to do joints.
At the beginning i drafted out a few ideas, coat hanger, toothbrush holder, soap dish, candle holder etc. As I wanted to make so many things, I started thinking about how I can make an adaptable design, similar to last week with the legos – that way I can use it for anything. BUT that is hundreds of joints! I went with it anyway as a challenge to myself.
#1 Attempt
Illustrator draft
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First print
I drafted out these little chips. And tested them in different sizes (stupidly I enlarged the big ones without considering the acrylic’s thickness.
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Major failure, all of them were too big to hold together i.e. too lose.
#2 Attempt
Illustrator draft
I preprinted different sizes to make sure they fit.
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Then I printed all of them.
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Second print
The second print worked! I am happy with how it turned out.

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(I actually tried etching too but ended up taking it out because the final product felt better without)
Key learning:
  • Don’t make joints  – or if you do, test 100 times
  • Lasered acrylic is smelly – leave it in the printer for a while / wash it
  • Hide your acrylic! – mine was taken from the pile, 2 sheets!
  • Try a small design first to see if the setting works! Sometimes the recommended setting is too strong / weak
Other sketches, if only I had more time …
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Building Blocks – Repeatability Study

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Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. 
Make x5 of something is the homework for week 2!
We’re learning about repeatability and how to create a system which can help us achieve quality output in the most efficient way. This includes techniques like using the jig or something as simple as ‘the art of selecting materials’.
When asked to make something repetitive, I immediately thought of the toy I used to love as a child, the Cuboro. However, the system the Cuboro presents is too complexed to be done in a week therefore I had to simplify it. I then came up with the idea of making lego pieces!
This might seem like an easy task but for legos must have perfect cuts to be able to fit into each other.
DESIGN 1: 3-pieces placed on top of each other. 
This had to be adapted because the materials of the given measurements could not be found.
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DESIGN 2: 1-piece with holes at the top and bottom. 
This had to be adapted because it was time consuming and the holes would have been difficult to match.
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DESIGN 3: 1-piece with holes drilled through it. 
This worked best because it minimises the risk of the holes not matching and minimises time (same measurements as above).
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EXTRA EXPERIMENT: spade bit vs. forstner bit.
At first it was about the aesthetics but as I began to work, it was more about the size the bit was creating.
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Through the experiment I found that the forstner bit worked better as the dowel fitted it perfectly.
THE PROCESS. 
THE BODY: 
  1. Experiment with different drilling techniques
  2. Test the gluing with different hole type
  3. Cut the body
  4. Center punch the body
  5. Drill the body
  6. Sand the body

 

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THE DOWEL: 
  1. Measure the dowel
  2. Cut the dowel
KEY LEARNING: Choosing the right material saves a lot of time (measurement wise). A lot of the repeatability comes with the material for my project. However, in the future I must make time to make jigs!
Also, soft wood is much easier to cut!

Key Chain Flashlight

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My apartment corridor is dark! I need one to see the key hole!
Sketch
I wanted something that would fit on my keychain with the other keys so I designed a key flashlight.
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Materials & tools
I tried to use simple materials that I already had on hand.
  1. LED light
  2. Copper wires / tape
  3. IKEA wood piece (chopstick like)
  4. Push switch
  5. Battery
  6. Felt protectors (for furniture)
  7. Scissors

 

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Steps
After sketching out the design, I designed the circuit and followed these steps.
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The final product
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Problems along the way
  • Getting the switch to work was tricky, many trials and errors were involved — next time: study all the materials thoroughly before implementing the design
  • Wiring in a neat way was tricky, I untaped and taped again at least 5 times — next time: design in more detail, where are the wires gonna go exactly
  • In the end I had to use super glue to make sure all the pieces were sturdy — make sure there is a way to lock everything together nicely e.g. using joint techniques
The rough prototype
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