Week 8: Last week of Fablab

This week was unfortunately the last week we got to spend learning at the Fablab. However, we got to finally finish our light sensors, which turned out super cool. I started the day learning about cutting designs out of wood using lasers. We used this really cool software that allowed us to transfer pictures from the internet onto the pdf we were creating. Frist we created the specifications of the kind of box we would like. Then, we were taught how to insert holes into the design that would house the light sensor, LEDs, and Arduino board. We accomplished this using a vector cut, which is where the laser cuts all the way through the board. Next, we found pictures that we liked and downloaded them, then pasted them on the computer. Finally, we were ready to print. The designs we put on the boxes were printed onto the wood by using a raster cut, which involves the laser going over the area we were printing on very rapidly and only cutting off a small portion of the wood. This allowed us to make cool designs. Below I included a picture of the printer in action.


If you would like to see a video of an entire print, I provided a good one of a pretty cool wood design here.

After we finished making our boxes, it was time to finally put the whole thing together. While a little confusing and frustrating at first, I finally got all the pieces together and the result was actually really cool.


It was really cool to be able to learn so many cool technical skills over the past three weeks, and these skills will prove handy later down the road not only in finishing our semester project, but in future classes and possibly in my job down the road. Learning skills like these can help me turn my ideas into real products that I could sell. With tools like these the possibilities are endless.

Now that I now these skills, I can turn my full attention to my semester project. Our team has decided on building a simple, cheap aquaponics system that allows college students to both help the environment and help release stress. The skills I learned at the Fablab will definitely come in handy with building this in the upcoming weeks. While I enjoyed the Fablab, I am excited to get back in the MakerLab after Spring Break and get back to learning about 3D printing.


Leave a Reply