About

Hello! My name is Alejandra, and I majored in Architecture in San Francisco University of Quito. I have lived in many countries during my childhood because of my father's job (Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, Colombia), so I have had the luck of being acquainted with many different people and cultures. I enjoy designing and creating objects, especially those that may help me make my life more efficient. I am very interested in sustainability and the environment and did my thesis in sustainable modular architecture.

Follow my progress as I learn and study the FabAcademy 2019 course, complete the assignments and accomplish the final project.

About FabLab ZOI

Directly from FabLab ZOI website:

"FabLab ZOI es un laboratorio de investigación y desarrollo tecnológico que promueve ciencia, diseño y arte como centro del desarrollo humano para mejorar la calidad de vida en Latinoamérica. Nace en 2014 en la ciudad de Quito y ha generado proyectos de impacto en Ecuador y Latinoamérica enfocados en la inclusión y democratización de conocimientos y tecnologías emergentes. Somos parte de FabLab Network, red global de laboratorios que promueven la educación de calidad de manera distribuida y el empoderamiento tecnológico. Donde se generan programas educativos liderados por los intelectuales más destacados del mundo en diferentes áreas del conocimiento. Aquí se puede hacer realidad cualquier idea."

About FabAcademy

Directly from FabAcademy website:

"The Fab Academy is a fast paced, hands-on learning experience where students learn rapid-prototyping by planning and executing a new project each week, resulting in a personal portfolio of technical accomplishments.

It offers a distributed rather than distance educational model, students learn in local workgroups, with peers, mentors, and machines, which are then connected globally by content sharing and video for interactive classes.

Fab Academy runs in more than 70 Fab Labs, for more than 250 students per year in the largest campus of the world. Fab Academy Program is part of the Academany, the Academy of Almost Anything."

Fab Academy
Student Agreement

The Fab Academy is responsible for:

  • Teaching principles and practices of digital fabrication
  • Arranging lectures, recitations, meetings, and events for the class
  • Evaluating and providing feedback on student work
  • Offering clear standards for completing assignments
  • Certifying and archiving student progress
  • Supervising class preparation
  • Reviewing prospective students, instructors, and labs
  • Providing central staff and infrastructure for students, instructors, and labs
  • Fund-raising for costs not covered by student tuition
  • Managing and reporting on the program's finances, results, and impacts
  • Publicizing the program
  • Promoting a respectful environment free of harassment and discrimination

I am a Fab Academy student, responsible for:

  • Attending class lectures and participating in reviews
  • Developing and documenting projects assigned to introduce and demonstrate skills
  • Honestly reporting on my work
  • Working safely
  • Leaving workspaces in the same (or better) condition than I found them
  • Participating in the upkeep of my lab
  • Ensuring that my tuition to cover local and central class costs is covered
  • Promoting a respectful environment free of harassment and discrimination
Signed by committing this file in my repository,

Alejandra Loaiza

Assignments

Weeks

Weekly Topics

✔=Finished — =Not started yet ✘=Unfinished

  1. Principles and Practices
  2. Project Management
  3. Computer-Aided Design
  4. Computer-Controlled Cutting✔✘
  5. Electronics Production
  6. 3D Scanning and Printing
  7. Electronics Design✘✔
  8. Computer-Controlled Machining✔✘
  9. Embedded Programming✘✔
  10. Moulding and Casting✘✔
  11. Input Devices-
  12. Output Devices-
  13. Applications and Implications
  14. Embedded Networking and Communications-
  15. Mechanical Design-
  16. Machine Design-
  17. Interface and Application Programming-
  18. Wildcard Week-
  19. Invention, Intellectual Property and Business Models-
  20. Project Development -

1. ✔ Principles and practices

January 16-22

Contents

Back to Assignments

Thought Process

Our first assignment was to plan and sketch a potential final project.

I arrived to class with no idea of a project, even though I knew that was a major part of the FabAcademy course. However, I did have two clear objectives in mind about what I wanted my project to be about:

  1. First, I wanted the project to somehow be good for the environment. I believe that that should be one of our most important goals as a society nowadays, given the rapid decline of the worlds condition.
  2. Second, I want the project to incorporate modularity. My thesis incorporated modularity, and I believe it is an excellent way to approach a variety of projects as allows for variability and ins more flexible towards unforeseeable changes. This would also allow the project to be expanded in the future without much problem, therefore, I would be creating and object per se but rather a fabric or matt which could be used to create a variety of objects serving a large amount of functions.

I wanted to have a lot of information before deciding upon any project. Therefore, I searched projects that had been done before on fab academy, researched new inventions that had been made, and problems that could be solved by the invention of objects. With this information, I arrived upon some options for my project. For each option, I explain the why, and the pros and cons of each idea. All this was to better weigh out each idea and decide upon a project that could be possible and I would be interested in.

Top

Ideas

The first option I considered was either a self-heating mug, of a spoon like device that would maintain a beverage hot.
Why? Because my coffee was cooling too quickly, and it seemed like an object I needed.
Pros- It would seem to be a very possible and not that complicated project with the skills we would learn. Would include sensors and integration and may become a commercial object.
Cons- Does not align with the objectives I had in mind

Then there was the idea of a wand-like printing machine for students. It would be a device that I could pass on top of a page and it would print whatever I set it to
Why? So that students wouldn’t have to go to a printing machine or printing place, they could just pass this object on top of a notebook or a piece of paper regardless the size and it would print out things almost immediately. It would be portable, and they could carry it with them
Pros- seems like and interesting project and would be very useful
Cons- also sounds like a complicated process and I have no knowledge of whether the printing technology could be shrunk down in a portable object.

Another idea was that of a heating/massaging scarf. While working on a computer with poor posture, it is very common to have back and neck aches. This object was intended to alleviate those problems.
Why? help with back and neck pain
Pros- sounds like an interesting object and does not seem to have too complicated technology. Would probably be marketable.
Cons- does not align to the objectives I had in mind

As a fourth idea I proposed a food digestor-cycler to turn scraps of food into fertilizer.
Why? To change waste into something useful and help the planet
Pros- does align to one of the objectives I had in mind (good for the environment)
Cons- the composting process involves many things and would probably turn into something complicated. Also, there are many objects on amazon that already offer thins functionality, therefore it may be redundant.

My fifth idea was some sort of tracking sticker technology that would incorporate virtual reality through a smartphone. There would be these stickers with small chips integrated in them that would track the location of objects, which I would be able to see through a virtual reality app in my phone
Why? To not lose objects again
Pros- sounds like something that would be very helpful and useful
Cons- involves a lot of technology of which I have no knowledge of, so it would probably be something very complicated.

Finally, the last idea that I had would be some sort of machine that would turn wooden scraps into new, useful pieces of wood by first turning the scraps into dust, then creating a mix with that dust that would then be flattened out and dried into a new, solid piece of wood.
Why? Recycling materials would help avoid waste
Pros- would be very helpful for the environment
Cons- has a whole lot of processes behind it, is probably more than one machine. Might have to be a very big machine to do all this.

That was my initial thought process behind deciding what final project I would like to do. However, none of these ideas aligned with both objectives I had in mind, so I continued researching and came upon:

-This amazing structure-

PhD researcher Robert Kovacs and his team from the Human Computer Interaction Lab at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam had developed a SketchUp plugin that made the creation of these structures easy. You can read more about this here, and see the original article from archdaily where I got the idea here. Also, click here for the trussfab manual.

Top

Defining my project

I had found a starting point for my final project. That structure caught my attention. Its structure has that which I was seeking for my project- both modularity and environmental friendliness, as it is reusing plastic bottles. The modularity in it allows an infinity of configurations, for which I could find many functions.

The shape itself I could configure to be a dome, or some sort of hut- refuge system. It enables the creation of a structure that could be both strong but cheap, so it could help provide a solution for the immigrant crisis we are now living in Ecuador, where Venezuelans fleeing their country have nowhere to be and many can be seen living on the streets or in tents until they find a place to stay. Therefore, a structure could be made that could help these people.

Something sort of like this:

This is an image to illustrate the idea, taken from this source

As I mentioned, the possibilities are endless. I want to create something that can be a shelter, but the same modules can also be used to create a sculpture, a pavilion, a table, chairs… many many things. By inserting different sensors into these modules or creating modules that can be combined with the others, a solar panel sensor could be incorporated which would charge a battery which will later be used to turn on a lightbulb at night. There could also be some sort of air filter process so that it could be placed as a sculpture somewhere in the city that could also help clean the air. It could be purely aesthetic, incorporating a series of lights that change colors and light up according to sensors that sense the movement of people around it, in case it was a pavilion. These are only a few of the possibilities of this project.

In shape, the way that is project works is using bottles as beams, joining two bottles through their bottoms to create a beam. These beams are in turn connected through joints to create a structure. The joints must be analyzed to either be laser cut or 3D printed in order to have the correct angles and be able to create the right shapes for the structure to work and for something interesting to be formed.

Top

Experimentation

As part of the investigations of possible shapes of the project, I experimented with a dome-like structure which I had designed during my first year of architecture. It was during a model-making class, in which we were experimenting with reciprocal frame structures (self-supporting). I used a combination of a basic structure with the da Vinci bridge which would create a dome. Click the button to access the file.

Reciprocal Frame Structure Plan

I created a general sketch in cad, then created the pieces and laser cut them in order to test it out.

It worked well, however the cuts on the pieces were too deep, which in turn made the dome flatten out and not be as concave as I would have liked. This could be fixed by reducing the depth of the cuts, and by tweaking with this measure, I could adjust dome to have a different height.

Top

Conclusions

This week was all about searching for an idea for my final project. I am happy with the idea I have right now, with this recycled bottle beam system, and I hope to be able to develop this idea further during the following weeks.

These are my initial musings.

During the next weeks I will continue working on this idea to refine it and focus it better.

Go on to see how this project progresses during the second week

Top

Summarized and Specific:

Learning outcomes:

Communicate an initial project proposal

My project proposal is to create a modular structure through 3d modeled joints and empty plastic bottles, embedded with sensors and technology so that it can have a variety of functions such as filtering air and incorporating lights.

Have you:

Sketched your final project idea/s?
Described what it will do and who will use it

It can fulfill a variety of functions, such as being a shelter, a pavilion, a sculpture, or anything else that can be created with these modules.

If it where a shelter, it can help refugees or homeless. If it were a pavilion, it would be for people to walk through it and around it. If it were a sculpture, it will be for people to see and probably interact with it.

Top

Back to Assignments

2. ✔ Project management

January 23-29

Contents

Back to Assignments

Creating my site

This week’s assignment was to build a personal site describing me and my final project and upload it to the class archive. We are using GitLab to host our sites.

First, in order to be able to create a site (or modify and existing template) I needed to understand HTML and CSS, or markdown. I chose to learn HTML through Codecademy and managed to get more than halfway through their HTML introductory free course. I plan to finish it, and learn CSS, but for now, what I learned was enough to create my site.

I checked the website HTML5 UP and found a template I really liked, called Dimension, which I chose to use as the base for my site. The entirety of the code of the website (all the assignments, final projects, etc.) is in one html document, so I am using a lot of whitespace in order for everything to stay organized and legible.

I started tweaking the template, changing images, changing the buttons and the characteristics of the paragraphs until I liked how it turned out. I worked on it locally in my computer until I was satisfied with it, before pushing it unto GitLab.

In order to clone the repository into my computer, I downloaded and used Git Bash terminal. First I started playing around with the files, deleting and then adding the original files just to see how everything worked. I got a lot of error messages by doing this, where the commits failed when I deleted certain important files.

Also, I started playing around with the merge command, and noticed that if I changed something in the cloud and then differently in my computer and pulled or tried to merge the files the one that would predominate was the one in the cloud, and it would overwrite the changes I had done in my computer (cloned repository). I had a few errors with this, and eventually decided to not do any changes directly on the cloud.

After fixing what I had done, I decided to upload my site, erasing the template site that was up. It worked well, and I soon got the hang of the pull, merge, add, commit, and push commands on git. Everything was going as expected, and the site was up and running.

There are still quite a few things that I want to change on it, or add to it, but for now it is good.

Top

Steps for uploading

First, I cloned the repository from GIT into a folder in my computer. Personally, I prefer to not work on that folder directly, so as to avoid making mistakes on it, and have a copy of that folder in which I do all changes to the index file, check that it is done correctly, and then copy It to the Git repository clone folder and then add, commit, and push the changes onto the cloud. That way, I double check everything is working well before uploading, given that with GIT version control it is really hard to erase the history of any mistake made.

Top

Student Agreement Uploading

Also, I signed and uploaded the student agreement to my site. It was in markdown, so first I changed it into the same format in HTML, added it as a page in my website, and created the link in my about page.

Click here to see the student agreement.

Top

Images

To add images, I still have not used a dedicated program to modify them to reduce their size, I have only used the snip tool from windows with which I create a smaller version of the original image that has a small size. I downloaded ImageMagick and understand how to use it, but since the snipping tool gives me small sized images already, I did not see the need to shrink them further. I also tried shrinking them in Photoshop, but did not manage to reduce their size considerably. However, I will look further into it and will try other programs probably during next week.

-edit

I tried again both photoshop (lowering the resolution and image quality) and Image Magick (resizing) and decided once again to stay with windows snipping tool. I will probably continue with this tool, as it lowers the size of an image, but I find it easier to visualize and control the quality.

Top

Project Management

I have not gotten around to investigating on the project management programs that were recommended, but I plan on doing that soon. Meanwhile, in my FabLab we have a calendar with the weeks specified, so I made a plan of what I should do each week in order to work on my project, and what I would do for each assignment.

--- edit 6 February 2019
Checked various project management tools. Until now, I like trello very much and will use it, if not for fabacademy, certainly for organizing my personal projects. ---

Top

Git Tutorial

As part of this week’s assignment, we were required to work through a git tutorial. For this, worked on the 4 tutorials that are on the main git webpage, frim this link.

The first tutorial explained what version control is, and it helped me understand what exactly git was, and why it is so important on collaborative projects. It talked about the process of creating, saving, editing, and then saving again, which is the part where version control becomes so important. Being able to check what changed, who changed it and why they changed it helps a lot in collaborative projects.

The following tutorial explained what GIT was, how it works (it is locally enabled), it talked about history control and how to merge the work of people when they work parallelly.

The one after that explained how to start a new project with git, to configure username and email, and gave us the main commands, such as add, commit, merge.

The last tutorial explained some important points of git, such as being a tool which worked as a journal, not a backup, and it being able to copy content as opposed to files.

I found the tutorials very enlightening, and I understood much better what git was and how it worked.

Top

Version Control Protocols

Other options of version control are Mercurial and Bitkeeper , apart from the one that I am using (GIT).

Some commands that I use for GIT:

Clone: copy a repository on the web to my computer.
Pull: retrieve the remote files into my own repository, checking to see if there have been any changes, and if there have then giving you the option to merge.
Merge: update files by mixing the edits I have made with the edits other people have made.
Push: to send the changes and commits that I have made to the files in my personal computer to the remote repository.

Top

Test Project in GIT

As requested, I also created a new project in my cloud on git. I found this to be very easy and now understand better how GIT works.

Top

SSH Key

Although we didn’t use an SSH key with gitbash when we pushed our repo, we were asked to generate one. Therefore, I followed the following steps:

  1. Checked to see if there was an existing one in my computer. There wasn’t.
  2. Generate one, by using the code ssh-keygen -t rsa -C "[email protected]" -b 4096 in gitbash.
  3. Hit enter to save the key in the suggested path
  4. Create a password (or hit enter to not create a password). It is generally recommended to use a password.
  5. Copy public SSH key to the clipboard using the code cat ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub | clip
  6. Add the public SSH key to Gitlab
  7. Test it by running ssh -T [email protected]
  8. Get a Welcome to GitLab message confirming that it is working.

These steps were done following this help article.

According to this page the SSH key is a way to handle authentication when using the command line. When using git bash, we were prompted for our username and password (for our gitlab account), so we didn’t use the SSH key authentication process.

Top

Conclusions

I enjoyed this week’s assignment, as I had never understood how websites worked, let alone create one. I liked the availability of templates and enjoyed learning how to modify them and start working on them. Also, I found GIT to be an amazing tool for cloning a repository and adding changes to a remote repository.

Top

Edits

Problem with LFS

---------25 February

My 3rd week assignment is lacking the original design files. This is not a mistake or out of laziness, it is because each file is very heavy (over 10mb) therefore I do not want to upload it to my site as the size will increase very fast, and not following the mb/student/week to do the gb/lab/total.

I tried the LFS file system, managed to upload it and add the files and everything, but from what I understand that helps lower the size when versioning the files, not uploading the files. Meanwhile, I have added two files, the GIMP and the the MyPaint (total 15mb), which doubled the size of my repository. This is not good, and I need to find a new way to add these files so that my repo size does not continue to increase exponentially.

Top

Summarized and Specific:

Instructions:

  • Build a personal site describing you and your final project.
  • Upload it to the class archive.
  • Work through a git tutorial.

Learning outcomes:

  • Explore and use website development tools
  • Identify and utilize version control protocols

Have you?

  • Made a website and described how you did it
  • Introduced yourself
  • Documented steps for uploading files to archive
  • Pushed to the class archive
  • Signed and uploaded Student Agreement

Back to Assignments

3. Computer Aided design

January 30- February 5

Contents

Back to Assignments

Introduction

As a starting point for this week, we have to download and try as many programs as we can. As Neil said, the goal of this week is to use the programs, not master them. Having a background in architecture, I have experience in photoshop and Illustrator (2D); sketchup, rhino, grasshopper, and AutoCAD (3D), so I will document my experience with the other programs that I have not used.

First, I downloaded many programs. Here is the list of programs I want to try, and some of which I already know:

  • In 2d raster
    • Gimp and mypaint (try)
    • Photoshop (know) and image magick (know sort of, tried last week)
  • 2D vector
    • Inkscape, FreeCad (try)
    • Illustrator (know)
  • 3D design
    • Blender, freecad, solidworks, onshape, fuscion, xdesign, antimony, grabcad viewer (try)
    • Sketchup, rhino, grasshopper, Autocad (know)
  • Game engine
    • Unreal (try)
  • Simulation
    • Fusion 360
  • Audio, video
    • Open shot video editor
    • Audacity

Top

Reviewing Programs

GIMP

It all started well with gimp. I started with a blank canvas and added a few images from the internet into it. The tool icons seemed to be straightforward and similar to what I have used in photoshop. However, at first, I didn’t understand how to use the different selection tools with the move tool to move only the selection. Had to cut and then paste in order to be able to move things. I still don’t know how to do it any other way. The measure tool seems interesting, but not very useful for me. I don’t really understand how to use the move tool. The shear tool seems pretty interesting, as does the handle tool. I hadn’t used those before. I don’t really understand the difference between perspective and transform. Cage transform also seems to do interesting things to the image. I liked the ease of the gradient tool. The pencils and brush tools and calligraphy tools were nice, and it was really nice that they worked with the touchscreen of my computer. Most times I have problems in photoshop and illustrator on getting them to register input from the touchscreen. The clone and heal tools seemed very similar also, but they were working very well. I did not understand the clone with perspective tool, but that was probably because the image was completely transformed already. Dodge and burn tools also worked the same as I remembered from photoshop. I dislike that I must click directly on the image that is on a layer to move that layer, since some images can be blurry or with transparency so it would be complicated. I prefer the way this works in photoshop where you must click on the layer in order to move that. Making and deleting layers and layer groups also seemed to be easy. I do not understand why the program automatically created new tabs though… or perhaps that is something that I am unknowingly doing. I like the interface of the program, where I have layers on one side and tools and options on the other. The rulers that surround the image are also a nice addition. I liked the whole array of options for saving the image, and all the possible file types to which I could save.

Overall, I liked the program and the options it gives, although because of the selection moving thing and because I am more accustomed to other commands, I prefer photoshop.

Gimp file

Top

MyPaint

The program seems very nice and the interface looks simple, at least in comparison to gimp. It started with this every nice paper texture background, and it also works well with my touchscreen. I like how the lines created look very natural and hand-drawn. I love all the brush options that there are. Even just making squiggles already looks like a work of art. There are so many brush options…. i thought I had gone through all of them, but it turns out I hadn’t seen the arrow on top which means there are dozens more.

I found the tool options panel, it had just been hidden. It is a nice addition to have that turned on, in order to modify size and color and everything. I like the way the color palette is displayed, as it seems it can be configured to only display the colors I want it to. That looks like it could be helpful when creating a drawing.

The tool to draw straight and curved lines is also nice. I like how the program has an information line at the bottom that lets you know which keys to press to get different results and give you information. The bucket tool is also very nice and easy to use. There is also the layer option which is good. I like the way the you move around the canvas, it feels a lot like AutoCAD (using the scroll wheel to zoom). I also like the way the canvas is (or seems to be) infinite, and how you can tweak this using the image frame. Also, the option to draw symmetrically is a very nice addition. The options to move the canvas around, rotate it and mirror it are also good. It exports images in a lot of formats.

MyPaint file

Overall it is a very nice program, and I really like the types of lines that can be drawn with it. I will probably use it again as it has different functionalities than the one I normally use for raster 2d (photoshop).Overall it is a very nice program, and I really like the types of lines that can be drawn with it. I will probably use it again as it has different functionalities than the one I normally use for raster 2d (photoshop).

Top

IMAGE MAGICK

I downloaded this program last week, to reduce the size of my files. Although it did work, I preferred to use a different program instead. You can read about that here.

This time, I wanted to see al the tools and things it can do, so I started experimenting with the options it has. The flip and flop options were good, the crop option was predictable, but the chop option was really fun. It’s the first time I have ever seen that option. I don’t really see the functionality of it, but it is very nice. The shear option is also good. The roll option is nice, and could probably be helpful to verify if patterns or textures are seamless. I don’t understand what the trim edges option does.

Overall, I think it’s a good program to do basic things to images. The option to save to many image formats is also very good.

Top


That’s it for 2d raster software. My program of choice is still Photoshop, but MyPaint seems very nice to create images that look hand drawn.

Starting on 2d vector software:

Inkspace

As an initial impression, Inkspace has a nice interface with plenty of working space and a nice array of tools on both sides of the screen. It is nice to have the color palette at the bottom of the screen. This program seems to work very similarly to illustrator, with options to select and move paths individually. I like the path tools, especially the calligraphy one. It seems to be harder to set the colors, especially changing the fill and stroke settings from the paths. Also, the perspective tool has a nice functionality and is interesting to use.

Overall, I prefer Adobe Illustrator for vector drawing for design projects.

FREECAD

Starting out with freecad, I decided to use a sample architecture model. This let me see how the tools work on a model without having to create the model myself. I did not like the way the orbit tool works in comparison to other programs that I have used, such as sketchup and revit, as these allow you to orbit the model without losing the orientation (z vector stays the same) of it, or allow you to go back to this easily. However, I did like that this orbit tool gives you the option of making the model continue rotating after you are done clicking it, whish is good to analyze it better. I like how freecad gives you information about each element and allows you to change it in properties, but I did not like that it isn’t easy to configure commands to use with it, like I can in AutoCAD. I’m sure that there is an easier way to use it, but until now I find the buttons and controls hard to find, and messy in comparison to what I am used to in cad. Also, I miss the command line that I have seen in other programs, which gives you more information about certain tools. I like the constraint options that are given between lines, that seems to be very useful when creating objects.

Overall, I like the constraint options in FreeCad, but for line vector drawing, in both 2d and 3d I prefer AutoCAD, at least until I learn how to use this program better.

BLENDER

From the beginning, I like the way blender works. It is easy to understand how to move objects, pan and orbit. Also, the orbit tool by default keeps the Z vector vertical, so it is how I am accustomed. I also like the different options that are given, such as painting objects. There is also the tool for inserting objects, which seemed to be easy, as well as modifying the inserted objects to change their size and dimensions. However, while playing around with the program soon I started to have trouble with the panels and gave up on it.

Overall, I think it is a very interesting program, I’ve heard that it is very good for creating renders, and I would like to learn how to use it better.

--edit
An architect friend from my university was teaching me a little of how to use blender for rendering. Now I am really interested in learning how to use it better, seeing all the characteristics and the amazing effects that can be achieved with this program. Also, my friend told me that there are more tutorials and forums regarding this program, as it is open source, therefore it is easier to learn. --

AUDACITY

I tried out audacity as I was told it was going to be very important to edit audio for the videos in the final project. I opened the program and first imported two Adele songs and started playing around with the effects and the tools. I liked that it seemed easy to use and has nice effects. Also, I like the option of being able to load many different tracks.

OPEN SHOT

I have used a few programs for editing videos before, such as Windows Movie Maker, Apple’s iMovie, and Camtasia Studio. All of these have had a similar interface, therefore I understood quickly how Openshot worked. So far, from what I tried it worked well and it was easy to use. I like that there are 5 track options, because that gives you a lot of flexibility.

For animated texts, I like that there is the option to create lots of interesting texts effects by using Blender, just by adjusting the path to the blender executable. However, it does take a while to render the title, although it is worth it for the effects.

FUSION 360

I like Fusion’s interface. It reminds me of SketchUp interface as it has drawings of what each tool does. Also, when I first opened the software it gave me the option of watching different tutorials to understand how to use the software properly. I tried a few options for creating an object and then making holes in this object, changing the initial sketch and watching the subsequent object change as well. I like the options that fusion has and the very friendly interface. I also tried to use the simulation option but with few results, I’ll have to watch a few tutorials to understand how that works. Overall, I did like the software a lot and it seems to be friendly enough to learn the basics quickly.

UNREAL

I tried the software Unreal Engine, mostly because it was mentioned during class and I thought it sounded very interesting. It’s a very large software as it weighs around 6 gb. It has a lot of options and functions, and I liked how there is the play mode option so you can walk around the area as if you were a character in the game. I don’t think it will help me very much in creating project models, but it looks very interesting in rendering and creating landscapes.

Top

Modeling my possible final project

As a final project, my intention is to create a geodesic dome using recycled bottles and 3d printed joints as the vertices. In order to do this, first I had to understand the shape and be able to calculate the angles and lengths of the beams.

In order to do that, first I used rhino (specifically a plugin in rhino that has many polyhedron volumes) to visualize different types of geodesic shapes. I used the icosahedron as a basis, and then saw the different types of icosahedrons that were available in this plugin.

Seeing as I found these shapes particularly interesting and I wanted to understand them better, I did a little bit of research and this is the information that I found:

  • An icosahedron is a polyhedron with 20 faces, and its name comes from ancient Greek meaning “twenty” (eikosi) and “seat” (hedra). -Reference
  • A polyhedron is a solid in three dimensions with flat polygonal faces, strait edges, and sharp corners. Its name also comes from the Greek meaning “many” (poly) and “seat” (hedra). -Reference
  • Geodesic refers to the shortest possible line between two points in a sphere or another curved surface. -Reference
  • A geodesic dome is a hemispherical structure based on a geodesic polyhedron which, because it is based in triangular elements, is structurally rigid and can support a lot of weight. -Reference

Also, I found a lot of very interesting information about the benefits of geodesic domes in Buckminster Fuller Institute webpage (Fuller was awarded the US patent for geodesic domes, and is the one credited for popularizing this type of structure)

  • As it has the least surface area in relation to the contained volume, less building materials are needed
  • The reduced exposed surface also decreases exposure to heat in summer and cold in winter.
  • Air and energy can circulate without obstacles.

At first I found it very difficult to understand these shapes, something that was definitely needed in order to deconstruct it and be able to make out the pieces. Therefore, I exported the shapes and imported them into SketchUp (a program I am more familiarized with) and then began “painting” the faces in order to understand the logic behind them.

Geodesic Icosahedron (obj)

After experimenting with different lengths for the beams and seeing the height of the resulting shape, I decided upon a specific one for my final project. It is the Geodesic Icosahedron (pattern 2 in the rhino plugin), and it has 42 vertices and 80 faces. Upon deconstructing the figure into pieces (as I will have to do for the final project) I discovered it has two types of vertices; 12 vertices where 5 beams meet, and 30 vertices where 6 beams meet. Also, there are two types of beams, 60 beams that connect vertices type 1 (pentagonal) with vertices type 2 (hexagonal), and 60 beams that connect vertices type 2 with other vertices type 2.

That was the modeling and analyzing the shape for my final project using CAD. Go to the week 4 assignment to see how I turned this shape into the pieces needed in order to lasercut and test the shape.

Top

Overall Evaluation

As most of the programs that I tried work for different things, it is hard to compare them. However, in the following table there is a general overview of my thoughts of each program, with four main criteria that I believe to be important:

  • Availability: refers to whether the program is freely available or is paid, or if there is a way to acquire a free license. In my opinion, it is better to use free open source programs, as there is a wider range of users and therefore there are normally many more forums discussing the program and many more updates that consider changes that users have asked for.
  • Interface: How friendly is the interface for the user, and how much it helps you understand the program if you haven’t used it before.
  • Learning Curve: how hard it is to understand how to use the program well. While it is logical that programs with more functions and that can do a variety of things have a steeper learning curve, it is better if it is easier to learn it.
  • Variety of options: this refers not only to how many different things a program can do ( as is the case with fusion 360) but also how many options a program has for doing one specific thing (such as brushes for MyPaint).
  • Will use again: there are many programs that, while I may like and find helpful, I may not use again as I am more familiarized with another program that does something similar.

I omitted a general score for the programs as that would imply that they are somehow competing, which isn’t the case as each program does something different.

Top

Conclusion

This week was very good as it allowed us to try out many, many different programs without having the pressure of having to master them. I enjoyed trying out the different 3D modeling programs, especially the rendering aspect of blender. However, having a background in architecture and having used many CAD programs before, although I did like some of the new programs, I will continue using the ones I am more familiar with (AutoCAD, Sketchup, Photoshop, Illustrator) for most of the assignments as it will allow me to work faster.

Top

Files

MyPaint test (ora)

Gimp test (xcf)

Geodesic Icosahedron (obj)

Top

Summarized and Specific:

Instructions:

  • Model (raster, vector, 2D, 3D, render, animate, simulate, ...) a possible final project, and post it on your class page.

Learning outcomes:

  • Evaluate and select 2D and 3D software
  • Demonstrate and describe processes used in modelling with 2D and 3D software

Have you?

Top

Back to Assignments

4. Computer Controlled Cutting

February 6-12

Contents

Back to Assignments

Introduction

Top

GROUP ASSIGNMENT

In Fablab ZOI, there are three students who are working in person in the fablab: Jorge, Danny and me.

For this group assignment, we divided the laser cutter tasks between us, so I did the drawing and lasercutting of acrylic in order to find the KERF of the machine we use at the lab (Kerf being the “width” of the laser, so to speak). In order to do this, I made an array of squares with a square inside, and changed the settings in the program so each pair of squares would be cut with a different speed and power.

For the first row, the power remained constant while the speed changed in steps of 10. For the second row, the speed remained constant while the power changed, again in steps of 10. The center square is the one with the speed and power settings that our lab suggested (speed 30, power 60) for this material at this thickness.

While I was doing this, my lab mates were working on the parametric design of the “combs” which will vary thickness in order to establish the proper measure for creating joints.

After doing the tests, we found the best power and speed for cutting acrylic 2mm thick. From the test we also found the kerf for the parameters which best cut the acrylic without burning it.

In the computer, I had designed squares that were 2cm wide with a 1cm square right in the center of them. Therefore, the edge of the resulting square should be 0.5cm wide and the inner square should be 1cm. however, while measuring it, we noticed that the inner square was not 1cm, but .98cm, which indicated that the laser had cut 0.01 cm more on each side, resulting in the laser kerf (or the thickness of the laser so to speak) being 0.02cm wide.

This also correlated with the findings of my friends with the comb. They had done various widths for the holes of the comb, around 1.9mm, 2mm, 2.1mm, 2.2mm and so on. *

Also, before this we had done some experiments with the laser cutter, cutting and engraving textures, as well as understanding how the laser works and the order that had to be followed to turn it on and off, as well as the different parts of the machine. There I did a few tests on different materials with some designs.

For these designs the software that I used was Illustrator to create the design (or in the case of the 3d ring design, to make a mask of an image), then exported it in dxf to cad, fixed the size and some of the lines, and then passed it to RDWorks software to prepare it for the lasercutter, with different layers to cut, engrave, or scan.

Sunflower dwg

The order in which the laser cutter is used:

  1. First turn on the chiller. It is what makes sure the machine doesn’t overheat, so it is important to always have it on. You can even leave it on for a while after the machine is off to allow it to cool completely
  2. Now turn on a big switch (in this particular laser cutter, a blue switch) without which you can’t turn on the the machie, the air pump and the extractor
  3. Now, turn on the switches at the side of the machine, which turn on the air pump and the extractor. Some machines have all this integrated, this particular one doesn’t.
  4. Now turn on the machine itself, for which you have to turn the safety knob to the open positon.
  5. After all of this, you can load the file which is in .rd format, either by plugging it in through a usb, by plugging your computer through a usb, or by connecting to the wireless network of the lasercutter and sending it trough there.
  6. Make sure the distance from the head of the lens and the material is right, otherwise adjust it.
  7. Use the “frame” button on the machine so that you can check that the cutting area fits in the material that has been placed.
  8. Now, finally, turn on the laser and send the file so that the machine cuts it. NEVER leave the laser cutting machine alone, it is very dangerous and something could catch fire or get very damaged.
  9. Allow some time to pass before opening the top of the machine and getting out the material, as the laser has caused smoke and that has to be absorbed by the extractor

Top

T-SHIRT PROJECT

As part of the vinyl cutting assignment, my lab decided to work as a group. We would design stickers for t-shirts, so that we could all have our own fab academy shirts. We decided to keep a few things from the design constant, while varying others. We wanted to create two different vinyl cutouts which we would stamp to a t-shirt, one would be a FabAcademy 2019 cutout and the other would be the FabLab ZOI logo. I vectorized these two cutouts in illustrator taking an image and tracing it with the mask option. Then I exported the resulting vectors into silhouette studio software, as it is the program for the vinyl cutter we have available in the lab, the CAMEO.

After doing a few tests with the strength, passes, and speed, we arrived at the correct parameters for the material we were using.

After that, I sent a test with the FabLab ZOI logo, and it worked very well. I will soon iron it on a surface to verify the usefulness of the material when trying to transfer it to a t-shirt. Click on the button to download the files in dxf and studio3 format.

FabLab ZOI Vector

The process for cutting something on the vinyl cutter is:

  1. Prepare a vector file. I used illustrator for this, and then opened it in the vinyl cutters software by saving it to dxf.
  2. Prepare it in the vinyl cutter software, by specifying the material to be cut (and therefore the speed, force, and number of passes) for the lines. Different materials can be specified for different lines, if so desired.
  3. Load the material onto the machine, with the cutting board/grid underneath. The loading process is similar to that of loading a sheet of paper onto a plotter, in my opinion.
  4. Connect the computer to the machine and send the file.
  5. After the job is done, unload and remove the material.

Top

Calculating my press-fit kit

So, I’ve been postponing doing this kit, mainly because it is mandatory to do it using parametric software (which AutoCAD, my choice of software, isn’t), and also FreeCad scared me a little the last time I tried it. Also, I wanted to create a dome-like figure so that it would also help me get started on my final project, but when I saw the Geodesic Icosahedron figures in rhino (see week 3) I did not know where to start.

I used the figure I had seen last time in Rhino (using the Geodesic Icosahedron pattern 2) of which I had already analyzed the beams and vertices. I knew that to create the pieces I would have to analyze the angles and replicate them using 2D pieces.

It turned out to be a lot harder to check the angles than I had first expected. I searched for a command in Rhino that would let me check the angle between two faces, didn’t find one, and realized that even if I had it was not that angle that I was looking for. After some thought, I redrew the vertices with just the lines, and extended some of the lines so that I would be able to create a triangle, of which it was much easier to verify the angle.

After verifying the angles of the 5-joint vertex, I did the same thing with the 6-joint vertex. For the 5-joint vertex, the angle was 76.28253°, and for the 6 joint one the angle was 72°.

With this, I figured out the pieces needed to create the dome, and noticed that there were just 4 pieces:

  • Vertices
    • 5 joint (pentagon)
    • 6 joint (irregular hexagon)
  • Beams
    • Connecting pentagon to hexagon (76° inclination on one end and 72° on the other) Size=5cm
    • Connecting hexagon to hexagon (72° inclination on both ends) Size=5.7102cm
    • -the angles don’t vary, but the size must be calculated again (proportionally on both beams) if the dome is to change scale.

With this in mind, I began drawing the shapes of the pieces to cut them.

Top

First attempt: FreeCAD

The little experience with freecad that I had, I did not enjoy. I found it to be a complicated and confusing program, despite knowing all the benefits it could bring me. However, in my lab it is highly encouraged – if not mandatory- to use this software, therefore I realized I needed to give it another try. So, I started with a few short tutorials in youtube.

I began modelling the pieces in FreeCAD, with constraints and parameters. I managed to model and parametrize the beams without much trouble after a few attempts, however, the pentagon gave me many problems. Eventually, I decided to change software as I really didn’t understand how to use FreeCAD properly.

Top

Second attempt: AutoCAD

After my frustration with FreeCAD, I used AutoCAD to try and understand the shape better, as I noticed that the beam sizes that I was using did not account for the vertex (pentagon/hexagon) size. After doing some designs of the pieces in cad, I got the final shapes. However, seeing that AutoCAD is not a parametric program, I had to redraw the pieces (using the information acquired) in another software.

Top

Third attempt: Fusion360

Top

Lasercutting and Assembling my Press-fit Kit

After having drawn the pieces, I had to prepare them to be laser cut. The material I chose for this was 3mm MDF, for which I set the power (75) and speed (15) in RDWorks software to generate the code. First I cut just a few pieces in order to make sure that everything fit well together (making sure I had calculated the right dimensions for the kerf) before cutting all 160 pieces.

After the first pieces had been cut, everything seemed to be joining nicely, so I cut the remaining pieces. Joining them turned out to be a harder task than I had thought, because after some beams and vertices had been joined forming triangles, the structure became rigid and it was hard to fit the other pieces. After a few tries, I noticed that I had to first place the pieces very loosely and then tighten the structure evenly. Likewise, when the dome was completed and tightened, if I wanted to remove some parts I had to loosen a whole section in order to not force and break the pieces.

Also, I experimented with other shapes (as the press fit kit had to be able to join in different ways).

Top

Conclusion

Top

Summarized and Specific:

Laser Cutter

Instructions:

  • Group assignment
    • ✔ Characterize your lasercutter, making lasercutter test part(s), making test part(s) that vary cutting settings and dimensions.
  • Individual assignments
    • ✔ Cut something on the vinylcutter
    • ✘ Design, lasercut, and document a parametric press-fit construction kit, which can be assembled in multiple ways. Account for the lasercutter kerf.

Learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrate and describe parametric 2D modelling processes
  • Identify and explain processes involved in using the laser cutter.
  • Develop (), evaluate () and construct () the final prototype

Have you?

  • Explained how you parametrically designed your files
  • Shown how you made your press-fit kit
  • Included your design files () and photos () of your finished project

Vinyl Cutting

Instructions:

There is no specific project that is focused on this very useful tool. There are a range of ways you might utilise it throughout the programme, or your local instructor may set a specific project. You might make:

  • stickers
  • flexible circuit boards
  • a textured surface/relief pattern
  • screenprint resists/stencils

Ensure that you have used it in some way during this time and met the objectives below.

Learning outcomes

  • Identify and explain processes involved in using this machine.
  • Design and create the final object

Have you?

  • Explained how you drew your files?
  • Shown how you made your vinyl project?
  • Included your design files and photos of your finished project?

Top

Back to Assignments

5. Electronics production

February 13-19

Contents

Back to Assignments

Introduction

This week, the assignment is to duplicate an existing PCB, changing very few things, in order to understand the process behind making one. We must do the whole process: understanding how to pass from the design in the computer to the g-code to mill it using the CNC, then solder the components, and then program it. What we do not need to understand yet, however, is how the design is made, or specifically what the code should do or how to do it. This week is just about creating a PCB that actually works.

Top

MAKING A PCB

As the starting point for this week, we are going to mill a PCB. In order to do this, and in order to understand it, Roberto was teaching us how mods works, and how to use it to get the g-code from a 1000dpi png by establishing parameters for the toolpath.

The parameters we will use are:

  • Tool diameter 1/64 for tracing, 1/32 for cutting (around 0.4mm and 0.8mm respectively)
  • Cut depth for tracing 0.5 and for cutting 0.8 (with max depth 2.8)
  • Offset number for tracing 3 and for cutting 1
  • Offset stepover 0.5

The design rules and recommendations for PCBs can be found in this link from the University of Sevilla, (this link was also taken from Alex’s page).

After that, we downloaded Alex’s PCB and modified it a little bit (nothing from the circuits, just the text and layout in order to make it our own) and prepared the outline and the trace. For this, I used photoshop, although I had some trouble as when I tried to open the original file and modify it, the program didn’t allow me to create any more layers. I wanted to use layers in photoshop in order to make sure that the outline and the trace went well together, as I modified the size of the board.

After trying it out a little bit, I embedded both files into a new file, and that way was able to work in layers. I added my name at the side, changed the outline just a little bit, and then saved the files in 1000 dpi and loaded them into the mods G-code mill 2d png program.

When using the CNC machine, we tried out different PCB mills which had just arrived. The one that the lab had used before (that is 60°) worked amazingly well and had great resolution when doing the test file. The new mill (30° point) was very good, however we still have to test out the distances and configurations for which this mill would work optimally, as the result was still not as good as the other one and it seemed to be cutting in too much of the material.

We use these v mills (as opposed to the flat ended ones that are the recommended ones) because the others are very hard to acquire in Ecuador. However, a new shipment to our fab lab in a few weeks will probably bring some.

Also, here are some drawings trying to understand what happens when there is a difference in the size of the mills configured in mods and the actual size of the mills used to cut. Apparently, the size we configured in mods for the g-code was a little smaller than the actual size of the mill we were using, so the paths turned out a little thinner than we expected.

Finally, we used the CNC to cut out our PCBs, and I really liked the result of mine. Roberto and Alex taught us about the process and the steps that should be taken in order to use the CNC. They are as follows:

  1. Verify that you have the appropriate clothing and are following all safety measures for using the CNC; not long and dangly clothing, no loose hair, closed toe shoes. Use the safety glasses and ear muffs.
  2. Turn on the breaker-switch thing beside the machine. This turns on the refrigeration system of the machine.
  3. Turn on the computer.
  4. Open the program on the computer (this should be done before turning on the machine, as the machine may move if you turn it on before opening the program)
  5. Now turn on the machine
  6. In the program, turn off the emergency button, and then turn on the machine via the program.
  7. Configure point 0(origin)in the machine (x,y,z)
  8. Open the leveling program, insert your g-code and then save the file with the leveling intro.
  9. Place the magnetic electric sensor on the copper-faced material (the material should already be placed, with double faced tape so that it doesn’t move).
  10. Start the code on the machine step by step
  11. After the first 3 steps have been done, start the code (as opposed to step by step)
  12. After it is done, remove the sensor
  13. Start the rest of the code step by step (until the mill starts rotating as fast as it should)
  14. After that is done, start the rest of the code
  15. Do not leave the machine unattended until it is finished
  16. After it is done, move the head of the machine so you can remove the PCB (carefully so that it doesn’t bend) and happily appreciate your work.

Top

First approach at soldering

We had the rest of the afternoon after having made the png and the g-code for milling the PCBs. As the CNC machine was in another office, we decided that the remaining 2 hours we were going to start learning how to solder. Roberto and David were teaching us first the theory and then the practice of soldering, and telling us about all the necessary precautions. We used a few old PCBs and where soldering and de-soldering components on to it. They say it takes a lot a practice, and it sure looks like it as the components are so tiny and hard to work with.

The hardest part was trying to solder each of the legs (?) of the components, as it had to be done individually but the drops of tin were very large.

It was a very good practice, an I think it was very helpful to do this before actually trying to start soldering our own PCBs, as it gave us room to make mistakes and try again without damaging our boards.

Top

Satshakit

Another of the exercises we were told to work on for this week was to make a Satshakit. I still don’t know exactly how that works, but I will soon read up on that. For now, we downloaded the files that Daniele Ingrassia loaded on this page and after verifying they were 1000dpis we loaded them on the mods program and got the g-code.

I prepared the g-code files and saved them, however, we first must finish the first PCBs before making the sashakit, therefore this exercise may be completed later.

Top

Soldering my PCB

The soldering process was harder than I had imagined. First, we laid out the components in order following the list on Alex’s page. Once that had been done, we followed the instructions and tried to make sense of the circuits on the page to see where each component should go. Luckily, Alex was more than happy to help us, otherwise that seemed like a really hard puzzle.

I started soldering the components one by one and had many problems such as the tin running around and messing up the paths, the components not wanting to stay in the place, and the microprocessor refusing to line up agreeably. However, after a little more than an hour of trying to make all the components stay in their place, they did and I had my very own PCB which may (or may not) work. Problem: part of the copper in on of the paths peeled off. Solution: Alex helped me, by teaching me how to use a tiny piece of copper to connect it using tin, and created a sort of bridge which helped solve the problem.

The materials (components) used (taken from Alex’s PCB page):

  • 1 x ATtiny45 or ATtiny85
  • 2 x 1 kΩ resistors
  • 2 x 499Ω resistors
  • 2 x 49Ω resistors (this one is actually 49.9 Ω)
  • 2 x 3.3v Zener diodes
  • 1 x red LED
  • 1 x green LED
  • 1 x 100nF capacitor
  • 1 x pins of 2x3 pins

The way they were soldered is according to this diagram:

and this circuit:

The diagram was sent to us by Alex, and the circuit image was taken from his page. I understand very little of how this works… but hopefully during the next weeks I will understand better.

Now onto the next steps: verifying that everything is connected right and seeing if it works!

Top

Using the electric current meter to verify the connections

After having soldered everything, it was time to make sure that everything was soldered correctly. I started checking the circuits, and by Roberto’s recommendation followed the diagram of the circuit and started painting (in photoshop) over the circuits that where working correctly, to not get confused. By doing this, I noticed that some of the circuits that led to the microprocessor weren’t attached properly, so I fixed them, which wasn’t that difficult.

However, the problem began when I checked the circuits leading to the micro usb adapter. That was one big headache, as some of the circuits seemed to be right at the bottom of the USB but when checking to the top part of the “leg” of it, there was no connection. Trying to remedy that, I added more tin, which proved to be a very bad decision as that made all the legs stick together in one big mess. There was nothing left to do but de-solder it and try soldering it again, and it was even more complicated this time considering that some of the copper of the circuits peeled off. However, with a lot of patience and by making tiny bridges with copper wire, everything seems to be properly connected now, as verified by the electric current meter.

The next step: programming the board.

Top

Programming the board

Now on to the final test: programming the board.

We used Alex’s board which was already configured and had the same design as ours to program our boards.

However, before doing all of this, we had to download and install some files in our computers, and change some settings. His was done following Alex’s guide which in turn was done following this guide.

The steps are as follows:

  • Install Git (to use git bash, which is probably already installed by now, as it is the tool we use to sync repositories for the webpage)
  • Install the Atmel GNU Toolchain
  • Install GNU Make
  • Install avrdude
  • Install the Driver*

Then, inside start menu > control panel > system > advanced system settings > advanced tab > environment variables > edit the PATH variable, both in the user variables and in the system variables.

Add the following variables (paths) :

C:\Program Files\avr8-gnu-toolchain\bin
C:\Program Files (x86)\GnuWin32\bin
C:\Program Files\avrdude

*Then, I installed the driver, which was done using a file that Alex sent us.

Then, I did a check through git bash to verify that everything was working accordingly, by entering the following codes.

For make enter:

make -v

You should see

GNU Make 3.81
Copyright (C) 2006 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

For avr-gcc enter:

avr-gcc --version

You should see:

avr-gcc.exe (AVR_8_bit_GNU_Toolchain_3.5.4_1709) 4.9.2

For avrdude enter:

avrdude -c usbtiny -p t45

You should see:

avrdude.exe: initialization failed, rc=-1

If instead you see:

avrdude.exe: Error: Could not find USBtiny device (0x1781/0xc9f)

when the usb programmer is connected, check the usb driver installation.

Any major differences to the above codes and responses indicate problems, and you must check the environment variable settings.

If everything seems ok until now, you can follow the next steps, when your board is connected to the programmer board and the programmer board connected via cable to the computer.

Write the following code to start:

avrdude -c usbtiny -p t45

If everything is right in your board, the connections, the programmer board, and the code, something along the following lines should appear:

Avrdude.exe: AVR device initialized and ready to accept instructions

and more…

If you get this far, give yourself a great pat on the back because the board, the code, and the programmer seem to be working properly!

In my case, it took a long time to be able to do this. The first mistakes were that I couldn’t find where to download the files, so that took excessively long. Then, when finally downloaded, the environment variables (and therefore checking in git bash) didn’t work, as I had only changed the paths in user variables and not in system variables as well. Then, when connecting my board to the programmer board, it refused to recognize it, as there was a connection problem somewhere in it and I had no idea where. After checking it, de soldering and then soldering some things again, we found a connectivity problem between the microusb port and the rest of the board, so we removed some of the surrounding copper and then, finally, it recognized it and worked.

So, once that is all set and ready, enter the following commands and let them run in order (as long as everything seems to be working correctly):

make clean
make flash
make fuses
make rstdisbl

If everything has worked correctly up until then, congratulations, as you have your very own programming board!

My board worked well and accepted all the instructions. Both lights flashed on it as the information was being transferred. All was going well and worked. Of course, until it just stopped working, and that was it.

As in, it simply didn’t recognize it anymore (because of the make rstdisbl command), but it wasn’t recognized as a usb tiny device. That was very disappointing.

However, seeing as the assignment was done, and the board was programmed, and it worked properly (almost), it was a good assignment.

But that did leave me questioning what exactly it was that didn’t allow it to be recognized as a device. Was it the lack of changing the makefile from usbtiny to usbasp? Was the driver we used not appropriate for this type of programmer?

Alex tells us that it was probably the last command, the “make rstdisbl” as this command is apparently not compatible in some way to this circuit board (which he designed). I tried desoldering the microprocessor and soldering a different one, but that didn’t do the trick, as apparently the other one had been programmed in the same manner.

All that is left to do is to create another PCB (probably with a design that is easier to solder), and try the same process again, being more careful with the coding steps. However, for the time being, I will work on catching up with the previous assignments (especially the parametric modeling) which I have yet to do.

Top

Conclusions

Overall, I enjoyed this assignment more than the others, as it was something practical which I had never done before, or even imagined that I could do. I was extremely happy at being able to create a PCB and have it work, even momentarily. The next time I do this though, I will make sure that the paths on the board are thicker, as I had a lot of trouble because of the path being too thin. I would also probably prefer to take off the remaining unused copper off the board, as to avoid connections that shouldn’t be there. Also, I still have to figure out what made the board fail at the last moment.

Top

Summarized and Specific

Instructions:

  • Group assignment
    • - Characterize the design rules your PCB production process
  • Individual assignment
    • ✔- Make an in-circuit programmer by milling() the PCB, program it(), then optionally, trying other processes.

Learning outcomes

  • Described the process of milling, stuffing, de-bugging and programming
  • Milling
    Stuffing
    De-bugging
    Programming
  • Demonstrate correct workflows () and identify areas for improvement ()if required

Have you?

  • Shown how you made ()and programmed() the board?
  • Explained any problems and how you fixed them
  • Included a ‘hero shot’ of your board

Top

Back to Assignments

6. 3D Scanning and printing

February 20-26

Contents

Back to Assignments

Introduction

This week’s assignment is about creating a 3D model and printing it successfully. The object has to be small (to be printed quickly, seeing as the printing process is very slow), and should be something that could not be created subtractively. Also, as part of the group assignment for the week we had to send some test files to the printer, to see the capabilities and limitations of the printer. Before we started, Roberto gave us some observations:

  • We should consider 3D printing more like 2.5D printing, seeing as everything is printed in layers (2D(x y)) and then the machine rises to print a layer on top of the last (z).
  • 3D printers are slowest when moving on the Z axis, so that is important to consider when sending a printing job.
  • The nozzle size we are using is 0.4mm. This means that the vector lines that are drawn will have a 0.2mm offset on each side. This should be considered if we want to make pieces that will have to fit together.
  • Wall thickness is the “shell” of the object
  • Edge thickness is how pointed the edges of a shape can be (seeing that the material itself generates an offset of 0.2mm while following a vector). Therefore, perfect 90 degree edges cannot be created with the printer we will use.

With that in mind, we start this week’s assignment.

Top

Designing an object in 3D

Part of our assignment was to design an object that could not be made subtractively (for example, by laser or CNC milling). Therefore, what I wanted to do was to create a sort of box with an object inside, so that it was something that would be very hard to create in CNC. I used Rhino to design, which made me remember an exercise I had done once in my Parametric Architecture class, which used grasshopper to create a very interesting shape using Weaverbird (plugin for grasshopper?).

This is the original exercise I did for that class:

Image not found Image not found Image not found

With that in mind, I tried changing the parameters in grasshopper so that the box where this interesting structure generated would be the box with the hole inside which I had designed. That did not work out, so then I “baked” the structure and used MeshBooleanDifference and other Boolean commands to generate all sorts of interesting shapes in the union and intersection of these two shapes.

Image not found Image not found

I finally managed to do what I had wanted, which was to make this structure only exist inside the volume with a hole (a container of sorts) that I had created, however it didn’t look very nice, so I decided to change strategy. I would create this strange structure inside a 5 by 5 by 5 (cm) box, and then I would create the “outline” of the box, and that would be the object.

Image not found Mesh Cube


And so, the model of the object was completed! Time to set it up for the printer.

Top

Preparing the object to be printed in 3D

After finishing the modeling part, I exported it in OBJ format and tried to import it into Ultimaker Cura software which I had just downloaded, but I kept getting a mistake. After trying a few other things unsuccessfully, I found the STL format in which I could also export it (which I hadn’t seen at first) and that had no problem being imported into Cura.

Image not found Image not found

I tweaked the settings just a little, according to what Roberto told us, and then verified that the object was ready to be printed by checking the layers. After checking how it would print with supports, which the software added automatically, I decided it would be better to print it without supports, as they would be very hard and confusing to remove from the interior of the object.

Image not found

The settings used were:

  • Layer height 0.15mm
  • Wall thickness 1mm
  • Top/bottom thickness 1mm
  • Infill density 15% (grid)
  • Printing temperature 200 degrees C
  • Build plate temperature 60 degrees C
  • Print speed 60mm/s
  • No supports
  • Build Plate Adhesion: skirt

Here is the object in layers with supports:

Image not found

And here it is without:

Image not found

After checking the time and verifying the availability of the machine, and taking into account that this is a test, I decided to go for the 3x3x3 object (1.5 hours) as opposed to the 4x4x4 (3 hours) or the 5x5x5 (5 hours), mainly because it took significantly less and I was not sure if the object would print out correctly as I hadn’t added supports.

That was decided, and so the g-code was exported and ready for printing

Top

3D testing

In order to understand the 3D printing design rules (as was the group assignment) we downloaded and tried two 3D printing test objects, the 3D Printing Tolerance Test and the Mini All in One 3D Printer Test. We downloaded the files, placed them in Cura Software to prepare them for printing and exported the g-code.

Image not found Image not found Image not found

The Mini All in One test turned out very well in our printer. I was amazed that the printer was able to create almost horizontal overhangs (even though the quality at that point was deficient). Also, for the overhangs after the 40 degree mark, we lowered the temperature of extrusion by 5 degrees (from 200 to 195 C), which helped a lot for the printing of those parts. The overall result was good.

Image not found Image not found

I learned that the recommended angle for which objects can print without supports is a 45 degree angle. Also, I learned that bridges can be created without supports, although the material may bend and the result may not be as good. I used to think that tis was absolutely impossible, as I thought there always had to be something on top of which the layer could be printed.

The specifications of the printer we are using are:

  • Product name: Maker select 3D Printer V2
  • Model No: 13860
  • Power: 110-220 VAC, -2 amps, 50-60Hz, 250W

We are using 200 degrees for the PLA material we used, which is also known as PLA Pro.

Top

Digital vs Actual

After the test objects were printed, we measured some parts of them to compare the digital objects with the actual object in order to see how accurate the printer was. I measured the “All in 1 printer test”. The results and comparisons are as follows (in mm):

  • Top of “overhang” sign dig:2.5 act:2.6
  • “3D Test” wall dig:3 act:2.9
  • “75 degree” part in overhang thickness dig:3 act:4.5

There were no major differences in the overall digital object with the actual object, with the exception of the overhang parts, were the printing went wrong as it had no supports. Other than that, there is only a tenth of a mm of difference.

Top

3D scanning

For this part of the assignment, we used a Kinect Sensor with a 3D scanning program. The scanning process was easy, and worked well on large surfaces so we decided to scan ourselves. For this, one person had to hold the scanner while another clicked the button on the computer and the person that was being scanned rotated very slowly. The person with the scanner gradually moved it up and down, in order to scan the top half of the person.

Image not found

This process worked very well, and we figured out that the 3D model turned out better when the person being scanned rotated 45 degrees each time, corresponding with the up and down movement of the scanner. Also, the scanning had to start with the person’s back, otherwise the face was scanned twice and resulted in strange shapes. Once one whole turn was completed the program created the model.

Image not found

Then, with the program we were using we applied the “watertight” option, which closed most of the holes left behind by the scanner. After that, we exported the resulting model in OBJ format to be read by most programs.

Image not found

Top

3D printing the object

Seeing as we would have the printer creating our models by the time we left, we (Jorge, Danny and I) decided to put all our files in one printing area and send all three at once.

Image not found

Our first test of that did not work out, as confirmed by Roberto, because of some unexpected printing error which made the machine stop randomly and refuse to continue the printing job. This is when the printer stopped working:

Image not found

This is the code that generated the error:

g-code

I generated the g-code again, verifying the settings (instead of debugging the previous code, as I had no idea what had caused the problem before), and now the printer seemed to have no more trouble with the file.

Image not found

The resulting object turned out well, especially considering that it used no supports. The bottom part has disconnected strands all over, but the top part is better. Surprisingly, the sides are the areas that look cleaner. Also, the horizontal elements are smooth and perfect, but the vertical elements are rough, and the layers are very visible.

Taking into account the complexity of the model I chose, I am very happy with the result. This model could not have made subtractively because of the complexity of the inner model. The external part (the outline of the cube) could probably be done with a 4 axis cnc, however, because of the inner “web” or “skeleton” and the amount of inner elements it has, it would be extremely hard to achieve, as there is no direct line through which the cnc mill could have been inserted to carve the piece.

Image not found Image not found Image not found

One of the problems faced while printing was that, as I didn’t add supports, some parts had no base on which to be printed on top of, which caused the pieces to bend upwards. This, in turn, bumped the machine while it was passing through that spot and de-calibrated, which resulted in uneven printing vertically. This can be seen on the object that my friend printed alongside mine, which would have normally printed perfectly, but because of the de-calibrating caused by my object, the different layers on his are very notorious.

Image not found

Top

Advantages and limitations of 3d printing and scanning technology

Advantages: It’s an additive form of production, which means that it can create objects that CNC milling and Laser cutting can’t produce. It can create very complex objects, and depending on the machine, it can also have very high quality.

Disadvantages: It takes a lot of time and some machines may not be very exact. The size of production is also limited to the size of the machine, so generally the objects have to be small.

Other observations:

  • Material: PLA is preferred over ABS, because ABS can be toxic when heated.
  • Resolution: depends on the machine and the object being printed. Not necessarily the most expensive machines can print the highest resolution objects, although that is generally the rule.
  • Time: printing takes a long time. In my case, a 3x3 cube took more than an hour and a half, and a 5x5 would have taken 5 hours. Also, because it takes a lot of time sometimes you may leave the machine printing all night and wake up to realize that it stopped printing right halfway through.
  • Cost: varies, but machines can be cheap. Filament (the material with which it is printed) comes in a wide variety, so it can also be inexpensive.
  • Overhangs: our machine was able to do up to 80 degree overhangs, although the bottom part of it was very rough (not smooth like in the model)
  • Supports: when printing there must be a base on which to print on top of, so sometimes supports are printed which are not part of the object but help the object print correctly. In the case of the object I printed, I choose not to add the supports as they would have been extremely hard to remove.
  • Angle: can print up to 80 degree angles (vertical) (see overhangs). However, up to 45 degrees could be printed in good quality.
  • Dimensions: are limited to the size of the machine. The one we were using could print in a volume up to 20x20x20.
  • Orientation: the machine prints faster in x and y axis, so it is better to orient the object to be printed in that direction. Time and supports are affected by orientation.
  • Fills: means the fill of the object to be printed (as generally only the shell is solid). Is variable and depending on the fill the object can get more or less resistance. The fill we were using is 15% grid type. There are different types of fills, and different percentages.

Top

Conclusion

3D printing is a great tool to create small objects or parts of an object and has lots of advantages vs CNC milling and Laser Cutting. I enjoyed this exercise as it helped me understand how the printer works, and the possibilities of it. I think it is a great way to create objects, however, because of time, it may be better to create the mold of an object using 3D printing and then use another faster process to create objects.

Top

Summarized and Specific

Instructions

  • Group Assignment
    • - Test the design rules for your printer(s)
  • Individual Assignment
    • ✔ - Design () and 3D print () an object (small, few cm) that could not be made subtractively
    • - 3D scan an object (and optionally print it)

Learning outcomes

  • Identify the advantages and limitations of 3D printing and scanning technology
  • Apply design methods and production processes to show your understanding.

Have you

  • Described what you learned by testing the 3D printers
  • Shown how you designed () and made () your object and explained why it could not be made subtractively ()
  • Scanned an object
  • Outlined problems and how you fixed them
  • Included your design files () and ‘hero shot’ photos of the scan () and the final object()

Top

Back to Assignments

7. Electronics design

February 27 - March 5

Contents

Back to Assignments

Introduction

This week’s assignment (electronic design) follows up on week #5’s assignment (Electronic Production), which means that if something went wrong that week (such as the programmer not working) that doubles up on this week. That is unfortunate, as I will have to find a way to make the programmer work soon or everything will start accumulating.

The part that I am very interested in is finally understanding how PCBs work, now that I know how to fabricate one. For this, our instructor taught us a few basic things on electronic circuits:

  • GND= “ground” current, everything goes back to this
  • VCC= is the part of the circuit that gives the board current
  • Each component needs a different amount of current
  • We will use SPI communication protocol
  • The PCBs we will use should have between 5 and 3 volts
  • Basic connection points to start doing something are MOSI, MISO, SCK, GND, VCC, RST (these have to e connected in order to start communicating with the microprocessor)
  • There are analogous pins and digital pins.
    • Digital signal is like 1 and 0, either there is or there isn’t, it works in absolutes.
    • Analogous signal may vary in intensity (like a curve).

Also, the recommended program for creating PCBs is KiCAD, and then using mods we are going to create the g-code to send to the CNC mill to create the board, after which we will solder the components and (hopefully) everything will be working right and we will be able to program without a problem (again, hopefully). Having a background in architecture, FabAcademy has been the first time that I have ever had any interaction with electronic circuits, so this week should be very interesting.

Having said all that, our assignment this week is to redraw the echo hello-world board and add (at least) a button and a LED. Let’s start.

Top

Using (and understanding) KiCAD

First, we downloaded the recommended software (KiCAD) to design the PCB. The program was very heavy (1GB) and took a long time to download, and when it finally downloaded, we got an error that stated that the installer file was corrupt so it couldn’t install. We tried a few steps to fix this (which didn’t work), and so we downloaded an older version of KiCAD which was smaller (300mb) and installed without a problem.

Image not found Image not found

We imported the FabAcademy library of components and started replicating the Echo Hello-world board in the schematic. Loading the components was no problem, and the interface was very nice also. Everything seemed to be going well until we checked for errors and many of the wires, we thought were connected were wrong. We continuously tried to fix them, but when we fixed one another error popped up. This kept on going maddeningly for almost an hour, until we realized that it could be a bug of the program or something, and seeing as it wouldn’t let us continue, we decided to change programs.

Top

Designing PCB’s in Eagle

The program we decided to use after KiCAD didn’t work was Eagle. The interface was not as friendly as KiCAD, but on the up side, in the schematic the wires were much easier to attach and remained attached even if we moved the component (which didn’t happen in KiCAD). We redid the schematic we had done on the other program, and then moved on to the footprint of the board.

The workflow used to design a circuit board is:

  1. Add the components
  2. Create the connections between components
  3. Name the wires (so that everything connects where it should)
  4. Check for errors (if none, move on to the next step)
  5. Go to the footprint of the board
  6. Space components out, trying to “untangle” the wires as much as possible
  7. Create the routes
  8. Check for errors in design (if none, move on to the next step)
  9. Turn off layers, so that only the “top” layer is visible
  10. Export with at least 1000dpi to prepare the gcode with mods
Image not found Image not found Image not found

At first I was excited to try to route the board… that was until I realized how complicated it was to be able to make all the traces get to where they are supposed to without crossing all over. It took a very long time, and Alex eventually had to help us out by giving us some tips on how to start creating the connections.

Image not found

After all the connections were done, I decided to add another 3 point pin and also change the shape of the board. Having understood how to make the connections, I spaced out the components horizontally until they were occupying a 10x2cm area, as I had decided that my board would also double as a ruler.

Image not found Image not found

After turning off all layers except for the “top” layer in eagle, I exported the traces as an image in 1000dpi and placed that in photoshop, where I added a few designs and the lines for it to become a ruler. With that done, I was ready to prepare the file for milling.

Board Schematic

Top

Milling my PCB

I arranged the board and created the outline, and finally I placed the images in mods so that I could export the G-code. For this, the parameters I used were (in mm):

  • 0.35 tool
  • 0.1 cut depth
  • 0.1 max depth
  • 3 offset
  • 240 cut speed
  • 120 plunge speed

All other parameters were the default ones in the g-code milling mods program

Image not found Image not found

Milling and cutting the board was done without any problem. The problem was when I checked the board afterwards, and noticed that the traces were extremely thin. They were so thin that there were parts where the copper was either removed or too thin to allow current to pass, as checked by the multimeter. Therefore, the board had to be redone, with thicker traces. That made sense as in the beginning, having little sense of scale, I used 0.25 mm thick traces in eagle (the recommended thickness being 0.4).

Image not found Image not found

After changing the thickness of the traces in eagle to 0.5mm, and then editing the board in photoshop and recreating the outline, I uploaded the images to mods to create the g-code. I had to change the tool size though, because the spaces between traces were not being recognized with the 0.35 tool, and after checking, they were recognized with the 0.2 tool. Having changed these parameters, I exported the g-code and this time I had no problem with the board connections.

Image not found

Top

Soldering my PCB

The components needed for my PCB are:

  • 1 6mm_Switch
  • 3 Ma03-1 Pin Headers
  • 2 Res-Us1206fab 10k Resistors
  • 1 Cap-Us1206fab 1uf
  • 1 Res-Us1206fab 499ohm Resistor
  • 1 Atmega88-Thin Microprocessor
  • 1 Avrispsmd Conector (2x3)
  • 1 Ftdi-Smd-Header (1x6)
  • 1 Ledfab1206 (Blue)
  • 1 Resonator

I started soldering my pcb, and having had more practice this time the process was a lot faster than before.

My friend Jorge gave me a great tip to solder better, which was to first put a little paste in the board and then add the solder and the tin, as there it is a lot faster and less of a hassle for the tin to stick well to the copper and the components. Using this method I was done soldering in no time, including the microprocessor which had many tiny legs.

After soldering I checked that the components were properly soldered and had good connectivity, and I realized there were a lot of legs of the microprocessor that were not connecting. I fixed them as best as I could, but one of the legs, trying to fix it by pressing it (bad idea), turned backwards into the micro. The good news is that that particular leg didn’t connect to anything, so, seeing as it was not giving me any trouble, I let it be. However, I now know never to try to fix connectivity by pressing on the legs of the micro.

Top

Testing my PCB

After having had to create another programmer (as the other one had stopped working after having programmed it), I connected it to my computer and to the board and…. Nothing. It didn’t recognize the board. I checked the connectivity in the board, found a few places that the connection was kind of weird, fixed it, and tried again and… nothing. It still didn’t recognize it. I went on this loop over and over again a couple of times to see if there was something wrong in the connection and nothing.

Finally, Roberto suggested I check the pathways from the connector to the micro, and make sure everything was going were it was supposed to. Of course, the problem was there.

Image not found

I had been so concerned with the aesthetic design of the board that I never noticed that the RST path didn’t connect to the processor but to the other RST path from the other connector (the 1x6). I suppose that is what happens when I rely too much on the software without really checking the logic of the connections. Luckily, creating the connection using a jumper wire was no too complicated, and after that was soldered (though my board became very fragile) I connected it and it worked!

Finally, the computer recognized it and it was ready to be programmed.

Top

Conclusion

I learned a lot this week. I enjoyed understanding the logic behind PCBs, and how important it is to always double check the connections. Also, no matter how much you design your board to look nice, if it doesn’t work, it is useless. Always make sure the paths between the connectors and the microprocessor are where they are supposed to. But most important of all, it is very important to do -and document- the assignment the week you are supposed to. At the time of writing this, I am finishing week 9 according to schedule, but still have 3 or 4 weeks of catching up on documentation to do, which I really hope to accomplish soon.

Overall, this assignment was a great learning opportunity and I really liked being able to design, understand and create a PCB which is something I always wanted to know more about but wouldn’t have had it not been for FabAcademy.

Top

Files

Board Schematic

Top

✘ ✔

Summarized and Specific

Instructions

  • Group assignment
    • - ✘ Use the test equipment in your lab to observe the operation of a microcontroller circuit board
  • Individual assignment
    • - ✔ Redraw the echo hello-world board, add (at least) a button and LED (with current-limiting resistor) (), check the design rules (?), make it (), test it ().
    • - Extra credit: Simulate its operation. Render it.

Learning outcomes

  • Select and use software for circuit board design
  • Demonstrate workflows used in circuit board design

Have you?

  • Shown your process using words/images/screenshots?
  • Explained problems and how you fixed them, including how you worked with design rules for milling (DRC in EagleCad and KiCad)?
  • Included original design files (Eagle, KiCad, Inkscape, .cad - whatever)?

Top

Back to Assignments

8. Computer controlled machining

March 6 - 12

Contents

Back to Assignments

Introduction

Top

Making something BIG: Modeling

Seeing as I had successfully created the press-fit kit and it worked well in week 4, and it was relating to my final project, I decided to create a dome in large scale. For this, I modified the pieces that I had created for the press-fit kit so that they adjusted well to the new material and scale.

For these new pieces (in comparison to the pieces I had created for the press fit kit) I made the vertice pieces (hexagons and polygons) smaller in proportion than that of the press-fit kit. This was for two reasons: so that the overall structure would be visually lighter, without visual obstruction; and so that it would use up less material (as I had one full size board and many pieces). Also, I made the connecting pieces curvy to establish better the circular shape of the dome.

Image not found

As I was placing the pieces inside the space given, there were too many pieces to be able to create the whole dome with one board. Therefore, I decided to mill only enough pieces to create one pentagon side of the dome. With this, I could verify that the angles and joints worked well on a larger scale and with different material (which they geometrically should), and also I could complete the assignment and not use up too much material.

Image not found

Top

Creating the toolpath in ArtCAM

To open the file in ArtCAM first I exported it in dxf format from AutoCAD (where I was creating the pieces) and imported it into the other software. There, using the toolpath option of 2d profiling, and after establishing the rest of the specifications such as the starting depth, profile side, and material, I created a new tool in accordance with the ones we use in the lab. The one I used for this milling was the 4mm end mill.

Image not found

After creating the tool, I clicked on the “calculate” option, and then checked to make sure that the toolpath was drawn correctly. I had placed the pieces too close together and the tool was not fitting through some of the pieces, so I had to go back and space them out. After re-importing the file and checking the toolpath, everything was working as it should, so I exported the g-code.

However, before milling the pieces I wanted to make sure that I was using the right measures for the cuts where the other pieces would fit together. For this, I used the same “comb” technique we had used last time for the laser cutter, to make the press fit kit. After milling this piece, the proper fit was with 5mm distance, so with that I made sure that the file (of the pieces of the dome I had created before for milling) would fit.

Observation: as the test pieces I had made cut properly (without any bridges or extra supports) I decided to send these pieces (as they were bigger than the test pieces) without any supports either. Alex did recommend we make bridges on the pieces though.

Top

Milling

This was the second assignment in which we used the CNC. The procedure for how to use it is explained in week 5 in the Making a PCB section.

This week’s milling was on a board of plywood, and I chose the 5mm thick board for my project. First, we had to secure the board to the sacrificial board, which we did by using a drill and screws (one in each corner). After doing that and homing the machine on all three axis I sent the file and it started milling. At first everything was working well, up to one of the parts which was near the edge of the board and (since most of the other parts had already been cut) the plywood was a lot less rigid in this part and so the part moved and it cut unevenly. At that point I paused the machine and with Alex’s help we put another screw near the other parts that had yet to be cut, which ensured the stability of the plywood in that area.

After the pieces were cut I removed them, and sandpapered the edges (as they were not smooth) in order to prepare the pieces to be joined.

Top

Joining the pieces

Making the pieces smooth took a long time. However, after that was done, the pieces were ready to be joined. Some of the joints barely fit, so I had to sandpaper the edges a bit more. This was probably because I didn’t create bridges when I created the toolpath, so the pieces may have moved a little, making the cut less than it should have been. Next time, I will definitely send bridges to make the joining process easier. However, after that was done the pieces joined well and the shape worked well. Joining the pieces was easy, and the structure had plenty of give so it was easier to fit the pieces. The last piece was harder, as the rest of the structure was joined so I had to push the structure and try to bend it a little bit in order to fit the last piece.

The result was good. Eventually I will try to cut more pieces to complete the dome, but for now the structure is as expected.

Top

Conclusion

Top

Summarized and Specific

Instructions

  • Group assignment
    • - Test runout, alignment, speeds, feeds, and toolpaths for your machine
  • Individual assignment
    • - Make (design + mill + assemble) something big

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate 2D design development for CNC production-
  • Describe workflows for CNC production-

Have you?

  • Explained how you made your files for machining (2D or 3D)-
  • Shown how you made something BIG (setting up the machine, using fixings, testing joints, adjusting feeds and speeds, depth of cut etc)-
  • Described problems and how you fixed them-
  • Included your design files and ‘hero shot’ photos of final object-

Top

Back to Assignments

9. Embedded programming

March 13 - 19

Contents

Back to Assignments

Introduction

Top

Programming my board

So I started out with my board, having finally made it work. It’s the board that I made in week 7 (electronics design) , and I programmed it using the programmer (that I had to redo) from week 5 (electronics production) . At first I was concerned of connecting it to my computer, seeing as the first programmer I connected and programmed using my computer blocked itself and refused to work after that, which made me have to create another one. However, after connecting everything (the board through the programmer) to my computer, it seemed to have no problem at all.

First, considering we changed the microprocessor from the original echo hello-world board (from a attiny 44 to an atmega88) we had to change the corresponding information and fuses in the programming make file. We used the code given on the FabAcademy page for this assignment, the hello.ftdi.44.echo.interrupt.c.make file, copied and pasted it into a new file in notepad++ and saved it as a .c file. There we changed the every instance of t44 (which was the other microprocessor) with m328p (which is the microprocessor we are using). We got this code by typing

avrdude -c usbtiny -p t

into gitbash, which gave us a list of microprocessors with the corresponding programming codes. Seeing as we are using the ATMEGA328P, the code is m328p.

After having done that change, we had to change the codes on the fuses as well, to program them to work as they are supposed to. For this we went to Engbedded Atmel AVR® Fuse Calculator, selected the micro, and added all the checks for how we wanted the configuration to be, and it gave us the code: 0xF6 for the low fuse. We also changed that in the make file, and then the file was ready.

The next file to get ready is the blink file, that made the led light up. This one we created with Alex’s help, as he was teaching us basics of .c and how to program the board. After checking the schematic to see through which port the led was connected, we created the file and got it ready to be loaded to the board.

First, we configured the board, by running make clean, make flash, and creating the fuses. This all ran successfully. After configuring the board and having created the blink.c file, it was time to upload this to the board. At first, nothing happened, and then I realized that I had forgotten to add a semicolon (;) to the code. Having fixed that, I uploaded it again and it worked without a problem.

Top

The board was blinking successfully, but I wanted it to become a bit more interesting, so I changed the code from the original blink file, by changing the time that the light turned on and the delay using Morse code, in order to have the light blink the letters of my name (Alejandra). Also, so that it was easier to tell when the loop started again, at the beginning before it began blinking the first letter I made it blink repeatedly on and off really fast (100 ms). The code worked well, and I am very happy with the result and with beginning to understand how .c code works.

In the following video you can see the result of the morse code blinking. The video is doubled in speed to make it shorter.

Top

“Hello” file

The next file we tried was the “hello world” file. We got the file from this link (from the FabAcademy page), and I copied the “make” file I had modified before from the blink program. I loaded it into the board, and the light (which had been blinking before) stopped blinking.

The way to test whether this file was working or not is through a communicator module. The one we used at the lab is a FTDI module, which we connected to Alex’s computer (Windows 7). We used the Arduino app to open the communicator port to communicate with the board. The board worked successfully, and echoed what we wrote, letter by letter.

Top

Conclusion

Top

Summarized and Specific

Instructions

  • Group assignment
    • - Compare the performance and development workflows for other architectures
  • Individual assignment
    • - Read a microcontroller data sheet.
    • - Program your board to do something, with as many different programming languages and programming environments as possible.

Learning outcomes

  • Identify relevant information in a microcontroller data sheet.-
  • Implement programming protocols.-

Have you?

  • Documented what you learned from reading a microcontroller datasheet.-
  • What questions do you have? What would you like to learn more about?-
  • Programmed your board-
  • Described the programming process/es you used-
  • Included your code-

Top

Back to Assignments

10. Moulding and casting

March 20-26

Contents

Back to Assignments

Introduction

For this week, we have to make an object through molding and casting. Also, it is a requirement to use the CNC in 3 axes, and it should be a 3-part molding and casting. My initial thoughts on this were to create the joints that I had planned to do for my final project, however, Roberto suggested we do a simple figure to understand how this process works and then after that we could create something more complex. Also, he told us that the molding and casting process was very long, so it would be better to create the model fast to start the process as soon as possible.

With that said, we started the assignment of the week.

Top

Creating the model

With Roberto’s recommendation, I chose to do a shape that I considered easy. I created my signature (the one that is already engraved in my PCB’s) as a standing-up figure. For this I used the same signature I had created before in photoshop, opened it in illustrator to vectorize it, and then passed it to AutoCAD as dwg, changed the lines (splines) into polylines and fixed some errors, scaled it, and then opened it in SketchUp.

In SketchUp I extruded it (1cm the main letter and 0.75cm the others) and created 3mm unions between the letters (so everything would be connected). After having done this, I realized that I would have a problem in some places as the tool we were going to use is 3mm in diameter, which means that it will not be able to get into some of the places of the drawing (acute angles). For this reason, the places where there was going to be the most trouble (on the inside of the letter e and on the inside of the letter g) I decided to leave only a 1mm deep cut, so that I could use a different – thinner- mill to outline those areas.

After having the object modeled, I proceeded to model what should be cut on the wax with the CNC, considering the area needed for all the molds. The first mold would be the wax, then there will be a flexible mold (so I created the rectangle for that), and the final object cast on the flexible mold would be the silhouette of the signature.

Top

Getting the wax ready

In order to create the first mold, first I had to get the wax we were going to mill in ready. For this I had to melt it and place it in a container in which my mold would fit. Seeing as there was no container, and following the maker spirit, I decided to create one - a very simple 3mm mdf box. Though this was not a recommended procedure (as I was told the molten wax would probably flow through the cracks) it was not vetoed, so I decided to try it out.

Initially, my mold was a lot bigger so I reduced the size to the minimum and also decreased the offset of the figure, so the CNC wouldn’t have to be working as long.

The overall shape of the figure was 13cm wide, 14.cm deep and 2cm tall. Therefore, I create the box with these measurements, changing the height to 2.2cm just to be on the safe side.

I used a heat gun and a pot to melt the wax, and then transferred it to the box I had made. It seemed to be working well, the box held up and no wax was spilling from anywhere. I would have needed more wax to fill up the whole box, but as I had made the box 2mm taller than it should have been, there was no problem. Meanwhile, we began setting up the file for CNC milling.

Top

Preparing the toolpath

I had created the model in SketchUp, and needed to save it in a .stl format. However, SketchUp did not give me that option, so I tried opening the .skp file in rhino and wasn’t able to, as the SketchUp version I was working with was too recent for rhino to read. Therefore, I exported it in .obj format into rhino, then into .stl, in order to be able to open it in ArtCAM software. There, as instructed by Roberto, we used the reliefs option in order to place the 3d. Creating the toolpath properly required changing quite a few things in the model, so I had to keep going back and forth between SketchUp, rhino and ArtCAM in order to update the model. I know I could have just modified it directly in rhino, but I am much more comfortable using SketchUp interface.

At last the model and the toolpath were ready. I used a 3mm Ball Nose for roughing (I sent it with the offset option starting from the outside) and finishing (sent in x and y at a 45 degree angle), created the g-codes and moved on to the CNC.

Top

CNC milling

After taking the wax out of the box I had made (by taking down the walls of the box), I placed it on the CNC machine. I had set the toolpath in the offset configuration, starting from the outside, so the first outline showed the complete shape that was going to be carved. It took many tries to get it right inside the wax (which we drilled onto the sacrificial board), and more tries to get the z just right (as the wax thickness was uneven).

When everything seemed to be working right, I sent the file and watched as the CNC milled it. After the first layer was done, I got worried that the thickness of the file (1.6mm deep) was going to be too thick for the wax, as it wasn’t 2cm thick. I measured the wax from one of the parts which had already been milled and noticed that it was way too thin for the file, so I went back, changed the model just a little bit (so instead of 1.6mm it was now 1.2 mm) and sent the file again. Now everything worked fine and the roughing of the model turned out very well. Next I sent the finishing (which was milling with all three axes) and after that was done I removed the wax.

I used an x-acto knife to remove the excess wax that was left in the mold, and to accentuate small parts that were too small for the tool to shape (such as the bottom part of the letter “e”). After making these small modifications, the mold was ready.

Top

Creating the flexible mold

After reading the safety information and taking all necessary precautions (using gloves, mask, safety googles, long sleeved clothing, and creating the mix in a well-ventilated space) we got ready to create the flexible mold on the CNC milled wax.

The mixture we were using required equal parts therefore first we put each part in a separate container to measure and then added the parts to one big container and began mixing. The mixture was done in an 8 shape, so to avoid creating bubbles.

After mixing and setting the mixture inside the mold, I gently shook the mold in order to get the bubbles out. After a few minutes of this, I let the mixture set and left it until the next day to create the mold.

Top

Casting the final object

After waiting a few days to de-mold, the flexible mold was removed without any problem from the wax mold. From there, after reading the safety information and taking the precautions from last time, we began to get the epoxy ingredients ready to create the mix and cast the final object into the flexible molds. Roberto suggested we do a few “simulations” as the mix has a very short usable time. These simulations helped us as it allowed us to make sure we had all the necessary utensils and containers to create the mixes.

We used XTC-3D, which is also used as a brush on coating for 3d printing. With this material I was going to cast my final objects and also create cover for my programmer and the board I had created in Electronic Design week.

We mixed the components and cast the pieces. The mix was usable for much longer than expected, which was great. We had time to cast all the parts, and the mix was more than enough to fill the molds. Now all that was left is to wait for the parts to be properly dried. There were a few visible bubbles, but other than that the mix seemed to have worked well.

Top

Resulting Object

After letting the object cast in the mold for more than a day, most parts were dry. There was a problem (which was seen when the object was drying) which is that when applying the mixture to the mold, I accidently applied a few drops of one of the components (unmixed) to the mold, thinking that it was the mixture. This caused that the object in its majority dried properly, except for the part where the drops had been applied (which luckily was at the back), and it was left as a goey mixture. Other than that, the object turned out very well.

The mold intended the object not to have the back part (which in the photo looks like a splotch of paint) and it would have worked perfectly if I had removed the excess mixture at the back. However, as there was excess mixture and this was a test, I wanted to try and see what would result, and I liked the result very much.

Overall, the three molds worked very well, and if I could change or redo something I would:

  • Make sure the wax is the desired thickness, so that the object could be thicker (as I had to make it thinner to make sure that the wax would suffice).
  • Try to remove the bubbles of the mix for the flexible mold completely (although there were barely any bubbles).
  • Mix the epoxy better, so that it dries well and in the desired time. Do not mistake components for mixture. Do not touch the epoxy with your fingers to see if it has dried, as it probably hasn’t and it will be a gooey mess that is hard to wash off.
  • Go easy on the epoxy in the boards. My PCBs turned out well, but the epoxy layer is way too thick for my liking.

Top

...

Top

Conclusion

Top

Summarized and Specific

Instructions

  • Group assignment
    • - Review the safety data sheets for each of your molding and casting materials
    • - Make and compare test casts with each of them
  • Individual assignment
    • - Design a 3D mould ()around the stock and tooling that you'll be using, machine it (), and use it to cast parts.

Learning outcomes

  • Design appropriate objects within the limitations of 3 axis machining()
  • Demonstrate workflows used in mould design, construction and casting-

Have you?

  • Explained how you designed your 3D mould ()and created your rough and finish toolpaths for machining ()
  • Shown how you made your mould and cast the parts-
  • Described problems and how you fixed them-
  • Included your design files and ‘hero shot’ photos of the mould and the final object-

Top

Back to Assignments

11. Input devices

March 27 - April 2

Contents

Back to Assignments

Introduction

Top

...

Top

Conclusion

Top

Summarized and Specific

() ✘

Instructions

The second half of the Fab Academy programme is designed to build on the previous weeks. You will be synthesising information and implementing skills that you were introduced to in the first half of the programme and encouraged to integrate these into your final project proposal.

  • Group assignment
    • - Measure the analog levels and digital signals in an input device
  • Individual assignment
    • - Measure something: add a sensor to a microcontroller board that you have designed and read it.

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate workflows used in circuit board design and fabrication-
  • Implement and interpret programming protocols-

Have you?

  • Described your design and fabrication process using words/images/screenshots or linked to previous examples.-
  • Explained the programming process/es you used and how the microcontroller datasheet helped you.-
  • Explained problems and how you fixed them-
  • Included original design files and code-

Top

Back to Assignments

12. Output Devices

April 3 - 9

Contents

Back to Assignments

Introduction

This week’s assignment seemed to be a continuation of last week’s, in the sense that (hopefully) I will eventually be able to connect the input board with the output, so when the sensor is activated the output board does something. Considering that, I added the connector for the Wi-Fi module on this one, as I did in the last one, so when I learn how to connect them I will. Other than that, I created the board in pretty much the same way, with the same micro, with the solar panel as well, and added an RGB LED as an output device. I would have liked to use a different output device (as I had already used a light in Electronic Design Week, however, my final project will most likely incorporate RGBs so I preferred to get familiarized with those first before trying something else.

Top

Designing the Board

Following with last week’s assignment, and with the intention of making it connect to the Input board, I left the same 4 pins as last time to allow it to connect to the wifi module (RX, VCC, GND, TX). I used the Atmega326P microprocessor, connected it to the ISP, added a resonator, a solar panel and a current changer (so the solar panel doesn’t fry the micro). As the output device, I added and RGB LED. Having added and connected everything to the schematic, I moved on to the design of the board.

Error

Having had the experience of creating the Input board (which was similar to the Output board) creating the paths for this board wasn’t complicated. After that was done I exported the design in 1000 dpis, added a few things in Photoshop (my signature and an “out” label), and prepared the g-code in mods.

Error

Making the board

Milling the board went well, after having to change the mill a few times as it was not making the paths right. After that, I soldered the board and had no problem (except for the micro; I had to de solder it a few times to get it just right). I checked the connections extensively with the multimeter, and then it was ready to be checked and programmed.

Error Error

Top

Programming the Board

For programming, I searched the web for code in Arduino of how to program de RGB. I found this page which gave an example of programming, so after adapting the code to the corresponding pins, I loaded it into the board (after first having burnt the bootloader), and the board started blinking.

Error

The colors where not the ones that were in the code, as eagle has the LED’s configuration differently than the component we were using (the placement of the R G and B color). However, with a bit of tweaking the colors can be configured without a problem.

Top

Conclusion

This week’s assignment was a welcome opportunity to create another board, as I feel each time it gets easier to design and solder them. Also, it was a nice introduction to programming, as basic as that programming was. I hope to be able to connect the two boards (input and output) soon.

Top

Summarized and Specific

Instructions

  • Group assignment
    • - Measure the power consumption of an output device
  • Individual assignment
    • - Add an output device to a microcontroller board you've designed and program it to do something

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate workflows used in circuit board design and fabrication-
  • Implement and interpret programming protocols-

Have you?

  • Described your design and fabrication process using words/images/screenshots, or linked to previous examples.-
  • Explained the programming process/es you used and how the microcontroller datasheet helped you.-
  • Outlined problems and how you fixed them-
  • Included original design files and code-

Top

Back to Assignments

13. Applications and implications

10-24 May

Contents

Back to Assignments

Introduction

For this week, it’s all been about planning for our final project. This assignment forces us to specify and really think through what we are going to do, which is a great exercise seeing as we are less than 2 months away from having to present the project. Although there are many things that are yet to be determined, I have tried to be as specific as possible in this assignment, and I will be returning to update it as more things from my project get clarified.

To see the evolution and process of the project, click the following button:

Chronicle

Top

HAVE YOU ANSWERED THESE QUESTIONS?

What will it do?

The “FabDome” (name still in progress) will be a recycled, modular structure that can provide shelter and light (and probably something else- information through interfacing). It can be built in several ways and can be added to others to create a more complex and larger structure. It is also a prototype for a larger geodesic dome.

Top

Who has done what beforehand?

Trussfab was were I got the idea. They are working on building large, complex structures through the use of recycled bottles and 3d printed joints, through a sketchup plugin that develops the joints.

I got the idea of using joints to connect recycled bottles in a beam-like system, and using the triangle figures that make the structure sturdier. However in the strucures created by truss fab, being as complex as they are, each joint is unique and therefore has to be 3d printed individually. By using a geodesic dome shape, the number of different joints is diminished, so it is possible to create them through molding and casting, therefore reducing the time needed. Also, the pavilion created by trussfab shown in this page used the returnable bottles, which are thicker but expensive. My dome will be attempted using normal, non-returnable bottles which should be easier to acquire.

The shape that I am proposing using this structure is a geodesic dome, which was first designed after World War I by engineer Walther Bauersfeld but popularized in the U.S. by architect and inventor Buckminster Fuller. The geodesicdome is based on a regular icosahedron, and the type or geodesic icosahedron that I am using is the variation with 42 vertices.

For and in-depth explanation about geodesic dome benefits, the shape and why I chose it go to Computer Aided Design.

Top

What parts and systems will be made?

The joints (casted) and the PCBs with the sensors and LEDs.

Top

What processes will be used?

3D printing (to check the shape of the joints works), laser cutting (to create the junction between the bottom of the two bottles that form a beam), molding and casting to create the rest of the joints, Soldering and CNC milling for the PCBs.

Top

What tasks need to be completed?

At the time of writing this, the tasks that need to be completed (in no particular order) are:

  • Define which bottles can be used for the dome
  • Define the size of the dome according to the bottles that will be used
  • Create a test join to make sure the bottles link properly to the vertex
  • Design the vertex (joint) (two types)
  • Design/create the junction of the bottles at their base
  • Design/create the PCB that will be contained in the vertex
  • Modify the vertex so that it can house the PCB and see how it will connect to the LEDs contained in the bottles
  • After the joints (are proven to) work, make the mold in order to cast the joints (12 joints type A and 30 type B for a complete sphere- less for the dome)
  • Make the same amount of PCB’s with sensors as joints- many, many PCBs
  • Figure out a way to connect the PCB’s among them so that they can be remotely controlled (to control the lights)
  • Create an interface for controlling the lights.
  • Acquire the amount of recycled bottles of the type needed (some 200 bottles (estimated))

Top

What other questions need to be answered?

  • How to create the interface and connect the PCB’s wirelessly among themselves.
  • Whether the shape will have the size needed with the dimensions of the bottles that will be used (if not, the geometry must be recalculated to use a different geodesic icosahedron)
  • What material is appropriate to create the joints without failing structurally
  • Whether the bottles will be able to hold up the whole structure without failing, and if so, what is the maximum load that they can bear.

Top

What is the schedule?

In an attempt to create an organized schedule to finish everything in a timely matter, I used the website Teamweek (after trying out a few other sites and programs) which deals with project management. This is the result:

The plan is complicated to put in a list, as there are many overlapping segments. Ill transcribe it as best as possible below, in weeks starting from now (18th of April):

  • Week 1 -21 April
    • Design 3D print test joints
    • Design the base joint of bottles
  • Week 2 - 22-28 April
    • Print 3D test joints
    • Laser cut Base of Bottles
    • Design in Fusion 360 using the sizes of the bottles
    • Define number of bottles
    • Bind bottles on base
    • Create test PCB for vertexes
    • Design actual joints
    • Collect bottles
    • Create test PCB for Vertices
  • Week 3 - 29-5 May
    • 3D printing
    • Small Scale testing
    • Collect bottles
    • Create Test PCBs for Vertices
  • Week 4 - 6-12 May
    • Design molds
    • Laser cut all the bases
    • Collect Bottles
    • Mass produce PCB’s for vertices
  • Week 5 - 13-19 May
    • Mill Molds
    • Bind Bottles on Base
    • Mass produce PCB’s for Vertexes
  • Week 6 - 20-29 May
    • Cast joints on molds
    • Create interface for PCB’s
  • Week 7 - 20-16 May
    • Build final structure incorporating PCB’s
    • Create interface for PCB’s
    • Document and finish

Top

How will it be evaluated?

The dome can be evaluated by parts, each part showing appropriate use of each skill:

  • If the structure works, it will show appropriate use of CAD (in 3d modelling) as the geometry will have been solved appropriately, good skills in molding and casting (as that is how the joints will be made), and good use of laser cutting (as that is how the bottoms of the bottles will be joined).
  • If the lights work, it will show good use of CNC milling for the PCB’s, good soldering skills and programming skills, as well as input and output devices (as this is what will make the lights turn on and off)
  • If the PCB’s can connect wirelessly between them, it will show good skills at networking.
  • If all this can be controlled remotely, it will show good skills at interfacing (if it is through some sort of app).

Overall, there are several steps through which the dome can be evaluated (spirals). The main intention is for the structure to work and be aesthetically pleasing (no wires hanging at the vertices).

Top

The answers to these questions will allow you to create your BOM, or Bill Of Materials:

What materials and components will be required?

The dome can be divided into the following parts:

  • Joints- Flexible mold and resin to cast the joints.
  • Beams- Recycled bottles. They have to be a specific size in order for the geometry of the dome to work properly
  • PCBs- As many as there will be joints, as each will have a PCB with a light sensor. Each bottle will have an LED connected to the PCB from the nearest joint, in order to light up depending on the reading of the sensor

Top

Where will they come from?

The PCB’s will be created by me in the lab, the joints will be cast in the lab and the bottles will be obtained from a plastic recycler or through a recycling program from The Coca Cola Company in Quito.

Top

How much will it cost?

As the joints have been calculated geometrically but not designed yet, there is no way to know the volume (or how much material will be used) yet. As soon as this is designed, as well as the components in the PCB, the cost can be determined. Provisionally, the list of the parts for which the costs have to be calculated has been added.

The cost will be:

  • The filament needed for 3d printing two joints -
  • The flexible mold material -
  • The casting material -
  • The PCB material -
  • The components of the PCB -
  • The recycled bottles- $0 (these bottles should be obtained for free or very low cost through recycling programs)
  • Possible “cover” for the dome (to cover the structure so it becomes and actual shelter)

Top

Conclusion

There are many things yet to figure out in the project, although the main idea is clear. If everything goes according to plan, I should have enough time to figure things out and make any adjustments necessary. I am grateful for this week’s assignment, as it helped me develop a plan with plenty of time ahead for the creation of the project. I am now aware of all the things that must be done and the estimated time to do it.

Top

Summarized and Specific

Instructions

Propose a final project that integrates the range of units covered. See Final Project Requirements for a complete list of requirements you must fulfill.

Learning outcomes

  • Define the scope of a project
  • Develop a project plan

Have you answered these questions?

  • What will it do?
  • Who has done what beforehand?
  • What materials and components will be required?
  • Where will they come from?
  • How much will it cost?

The answers to the questions above will allow you to create your BOM, or Bill Of Materials:

  • What parts and systems will be made?
  • What processes will be used?
  • What tasks need to be completed?
  • What other questions need to be answered?
  • What is the schedule?
  • How will it be evaluated?

Top

Back to Assignments

Final Project

To see how the project idea progressed through time, click on Chronicle. To view the analysis and explanation of the outcome, click on Result.


Chronicle Result

Final Project Chronicle

This is the log of my final project, beginning from the first week (brainstorming) up to its final resolution. The final resolution, analysis and information can be found in:

Result

I relate many of the assignments to my final project so, in order to not have to rewrite things, I will add quotes of other weeks when needed.

Contents

Starting Point

- January 22

As detailed in Week 1: Principles and Practices:

"I arrived to class with no idea of a project, even though I knew that was a major part of the FabAcademy course. However, I did have two clear objectives in mind about what I wanted my project to be about:
First, I wanted the project to somehow be good for the environment. I believe that that should be one of our most important goals as a society nowadays, given the rapid decline of the worlds condition.
Second, I want the project to incorporate modularity. My thesis incorporated modularity, and I believe it is an excellent way to approach a variety of projects as allows for variability and ins more flexible towards unforeseeable changes. This would also allow the project to be expanded in the future without much problem, therefore, I would be creating and object per se but rather a fabric or matt which could be used to create a variety of objects serving a large amount of functions."

After juggling quite a few ideas, I came upon one which seemed to be the right one. I saw a structure made out of 3d printed joints and recycled plastic bottles, which was very interesting and did not seem overly complicated to make.

PhD researcher Robert Kovacs and his team from the Human Computer Interaction Lab at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam had developed a SketchUp plugin that made the creation of these structures easy. You can read more about this here, and see the original article from archdaily where I got the idea here. Also, click here for the trussfab manual.

Initially, I wanted to build some sort of modular structure that could be made using as few types of joints as possible, and that could be expandable. For that, one of the first shapes that came to mind was a geodesic dome, which uses the same triangular logic (that helps the structure work properly) and (I thought- wrongly) would have the same size “beams” (which I needed in order to use the same size bottles).

I have not yet defined what I want the structure to do (electronically), but there are many possibilities (lighting, water collection, sensing the weather) that could be applied to this. When I begin learning about what could be done, I will start figuring that out.

Top

...

Top

...

Top

...

Top

Result

Final Project Result

This page will analyze and detail my final project, once it is done. As it is not completed yet, the progress can be seen in:

Chronicle

Contact

Any questions?
Send me a message and I will get back to you as soon as possible!

[email protected]

Elements

Text

This is bold and this is strong. This is italic and this is emphasized. This is superscript text and this is subscript text. This is underlined and this is code: for (;;) { ... }. Finally, this is a link.


Heading Level 2

Heading Level 3

Heading Level 4

Heading Level 5
Heading Level 6

Blockquote

Fringilla nisl. Donec accumsan interdum nisi, quis tincidunt felis sagittis eget tempus euismod. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus vestibulum. Blandit adipiscing eu felis iaculis volutpat ac adipiscing accumsan faucibus. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus lorem ipsum dolor sit amet nullam adipiscing eu felis.

Preformatted

i = 0;

while (!deck.isInOrder()) {
    print 'Iteration ' + i;
    deck.shuffle();
    i++;
}

print 'It took ' + i + ' iterations to sort the deck.';

Lists

Unordered

  • Dolor pulvinar etiam.
  • Sagittis adipiscing.
  • Felis enim feugiat.

Alternate

  • Dolor pulvinar etiam.
  • Sagittis adipiscing.
  • Felis enim feugiat.

Ordered

  1. Dolor pulvinar etiam.
  2. Etiam vel felis viverra.
  3. Felis enim feugiat.
  4. Dolor pulvinar etiam.
  5. Etiam vel felis lorem.
  6. Felis enim et feugiat.

Icons

Actions

Table

Default

Name Description Price
Item One Ante turpis integer aliquet porttitor. 29.99
Item Two Vis ac commodo adipiscing arcu aliquet. 19.99
Item Three Morbi faucibus arcu accumsan lorem. 29.99
Item Four Vitae integer tempus condimentum. 19.99
Item Five Ante turpis integer aliquet porttitor. 29.99
100.00

Alternate

Name Description Price
Item One Ante turpis integer aliquet porttitor. 29.99
Item Two Vis ac commodo adipiscing arcu aliquet. 19.99
Item Three Morbi faucibus arcu accumsan lorem. 29.99
Item Four Vitae integer tempus condimentum. 19.99
Item Five Ante turpis integer aliquet porttitor. 29.99
100.00

Buttons

  • Disabled
  • Disabled

Form