Tag Archives: Making Mindset

Workshops and Busts

This week in class we had a workshop day where we got in our groups and worked on getting a prototype in for our project to begin printing! My group and I got together and we began to finalize some small details on our base design for our pour-over coffee contraption design. We were able to split our design into two parts: the base with funnel part and the water reservoir section. We were able to get two printers running with each of the two parts of the contraption printing. We were able to watch over the prints while in class and as we left the room the last time we saw the prints they were doing well. I was not able to get a look at the prints but cannot wait to see how it came out tomorrow when I visit the lab to get a look at them.

Additionally, I was able to fool around with the scanning technology that I unfortunately missed in the last class and scan a part of me to make a printed bust of myself. I was very impressed with the detail that the scanner was able to get from the scan in order to make a 3D image that resembled me pretty well! I was very impressed and thought it was so cool that I was using the technology that first got me interested in 3D printing in the first place! When I was a freshman here on campus, my best friend (who since then has transferred out) was working on a project for his art class that involved using a Kinect scanner to make a 3D printed bust of himself. So for me to be able to use the technology that got me interested in it in the first place was so satisfying and so much fun!

Shapeways and Shaping The Way to Our Project

We had the privilege of hearing from an employee at Shapeways and even got to get an inside view of the company! While we set up to have a presentation, the employee showed us around the company and the different things they were working on. It was really amazing to see people working with 3D printing in so many ways and different methods of coming up with the same product. She mentioned how there is an efficient way to print multiple projects at the same time using some sort of 3D printing using compression and cohesion of some sort of dust or powder using the Binder Jetting Technology available.

Its great to find out that improvements are still being made within the 3D making industry that can make things more efficient and faster and waste less of our resources that make it more of a possibility for future projects and developments to make use of 3D printing!

After the presentation from Shapeways, we went into our groups to begin the actual specific blueprinting for our project! We began with the base design which we intend to be a sort of 3 part design for the pour over coffee project we are working on that will ease the process of making pour over coffee as well as making it a lot more time efficient. Once we got the base design we started thinking of modifications and improvements for the design that include resizable base legs for different sized cups and mugs as well as screens that we can slide into the design that will help control the speed at which the hot water from the pour-over coffee contraption is falling through to the actual coffee and mug.

After designing our device, we went to discuss with Vishal more specifics including the issue of using hot water with the PLA material we have in class. He gave us the idea of using thin sheets of metal to use inside of the PLA printed structure to withhold the heat of the water. We are planning on meeting with people from the FAB lab to help us with our design as well as with the idea of using the thin metal sheets in our design!

Let there be Light!

This week was our third and final session at the FabLab in which we added conductive thread and LEDs to our embroidery project. I was excited to use conductive thread and review circuits because I have taken an ECE class before and was fascinated by circuits. It’s neat to have my previous knowledge apply in areas I would never expect (ECE knowledge with a creative/ arts project). We started out the class by drawing out designs and figuring out where the conductive negative and positive thread would go into the design. This was important because you could not cross the negative and positive threads and it’s a lot easier to visualize by drawing it out than guessing where the path should go while sewing.

We then sewed the individual sides of the circuit. I did the negative side first and then the positive side. My design halfway through changed as I decided I only wanted to incorporate 1 light in the plane instead of 2 LEDs. One big lesson I learned was that you absolutely cannot have either the positive or negative side touching the other thread. After finishing hand-sewing, I tried to turn on the light and it wasn’t working at all. This was because the negative thread was touching the metal that the negative current goes through at all so the circuit was being shorted. I then hand sewed the negative thread down so that it would not interfere and it worked well!

I had an extra embroidery hoop at my house, so I decided to have this separate from the box we made in previous classes and use it as a small wall hanging. I’m happy with how it turned out and excited about the new skills I gained through this project. Unfortunately, it looks as if the storage on our site is full so I didn’t get to upload a photo but you can imagine it from my previous post!

What’s next?
We are starting to put in more time on our final projects at this point in the class. I went into the FabLab for consulting open hours on Thursday in order to gain more knowledge about the sensors the FabLab has and their experience with hydroponic farming. I talked to Brandon, a sensors expert at the lab who has also made a hydroponics window installation so he helped to clarify many details of the project and I am sure he is going to be a huge resource for us.


Week 5 Reflection

This week in class we had a group of guest speakers from an RSO on campus called Design For America (DFA) come in and lead a workshop that focused a lot on the idea that we have been emphasizing all semester of having a making mindset. In this workshop, we were given multiple situations and issues and then taken through some steps to come with viable solutions based off of a lot of questions we were coming up with that describes the main problem we want to solve. For instance, my team took on a problem that a visually impaired mother had about not being able to see or locate her children at times. We then came up with the question “How can we help visually impaired parents locate their children in groups of many children or unknown locations?” to represent the problem we are trying to solve more specifically to hone in on potential solutions. After coming up with a focus question to base our ideas off, we began to bounce off each teammates ideas until we finally came up with an idea to which we then had to create a mock prototype out of supplies at hand such as play-doh, pipe cleaners, magnets and some others. From this workshop, my team came up with the idea of a sort of locator jewelry that can be worn by the parent that is visually impaired as well as his/her children that can use some sort of magnetic technology or location system that will sort of pull or put pressure in the direction of the child. We also thought of some potential ear buds that can also be synced to the device to offer audio directions to the child as well. We then used pipe cleaners to form a bracelet to be worn by the parent and a necklace for the child to wear and used magnets as a design for the necklace and bracelet as well as for its attractive properties.  Lastly, we coated the magnets in blue play-doh to make them appear like actual jewelry pieces.


This was a very interesting workshop that helped give us an idea of things we can do to help us come up with an idea for our semester project. Focusing more on a problem to solve then branching out to potential solutions we found is very efficient for our team and got us thinking of possible project ideas. It also helped me learn a lot about DFA, which is a very interesting RSO that I wish I would have known about earlier in my college career and cannot wait to hear what great projects they work on in the future.