18. Wildcard

Individual Assignments

The required in this assignment is to design and produce something with a digital fabrication process that was not covered in another assignment.

After looking at many models for Fablab students, I found the complex ones that I did not realize, and I also found Fatima Jahromi model. I liked it because she used a program that I did not know before, and its idea is beautiful.

Cup Holder using Fusion360

Here is the difference between the first design of the cup holder and the second design. The first design was not successful when I used the “Pepakura Designer 4” program, while the second design was successful, this is what will appear in the next steps for using “Pepakura Designer 4”. The error in the first design is that I had made an “Extrude” for the piece with a slit for the fingers after I made the position of the two cups, and that although I did “Join” with “Combine”, the pieces appeared separately. While the second picture of the cup holder, it appears that the position of the cup and the extension of the finger hole are one piece. Here, I reviewed the second design.

The Second Design Steps
Note: The thickness of the whole model is 1mm, because if the model is thick, “Pepakura” will consider it to be empty from the inside of the thickness.

  • Initially, I made a sketch for the base of the cup holder, which contains two squares for cups, as well as two rectangles to extend the fingers holes.

  • I “Extrude” the whole sketch, and using the “Shell” feature, I vacuumed the model with 1mm thickness. After that I “Extrude” the two rectangles to extend the hole of the fingers from the base to the top, so that it be one piece.

  • To make the finger slot I drew “Slot”>>”Three-Point Arc Slot”, and “cut” it using “Extrude”.

  • Using “Combine” I did “Join” the hole model in one body. This is the final design I used.

Pepakura Designer 4

Pepakura Designer is an application which makes unfolded patterns from 3D data, to download the software click here.

We can’t create models in Pepakura, we create the model in any 3D modeling software, then convert the file to .OBJ or .STL to open it in Pepakura to just create the unfolded shape. I watch Pepakura Designer Tutorial Beginner to help me using the software.

Initially, I tried opening the 3D files that I designed in the previous weeks, but none of them was done due to the curves in shape and angles. For the design to be reasonable, designs must be without curves and fillets.

Here are the simple steps for how to use the software:

  • I Import the “stl.” file with “Auto-detection”. When I want to open the file from the PC, there are four files loaded with the software.

  • After that, a window will appear for you to specify the scale of the model.

  • You will see windows to determine the correct direction of the pattern. Here, I chose “Flip” because when I chose “No Flip”, I cannot adjust the direction of the object.

  • Here is a question to determine the front face of the object, followed by determining the bottom face.

  • When you want to set the size of the paper go to “Setting” >> “Print and Paper”, by default the size set to A4.

  • To unfold the shape, press “unfold”.

    by default, the “Auto” will be checked and if you unchecked and click on “unfold” this window will appear.

  • When the number of folding is large, we may need to number the pieces of the folding to be able to identify them and that from “2D Menu” >> “Show Page Number”.

  • ِAlso we can number on the edges to know where to connect the pieces, “2D Menu” >> “Show Edge ID”. Here 64 will connect to the other 64.

  • In this tape, the first tool enables us to move the folding pieces and rotate them. The third tool enables us to join and disjoin faces of the folding.

    Join Faces
    Disjoin Faces

  • To test the fold and see why the two white squares exist, I reduce the size of the object to fit the A4 size on two pages.

  • I followed the numbering, but the fold was not the 3D model I designed. And it turns out that the two white squares are the holes in the 3D model.

  • When I looked at this part of the design on the Papakura, I thought that the problem here, which is that the part that was not done is because it was not extended to the bottom of the design.

  • I reset the design from Fusion360, and print it.

  • This is the three-dimensional shape produced from the two-dimensional sheets.

  • The registration keycode is required for saving or exporting data. This means that you have not activated your program, “Help” >> “Enter Keycode”.
    Luckily, Fablab has a purchased version.

Laser Cutting Point

  • I determined the length and width of the page (550 * 800), which is the size of the area inside the laser cutter machine, and I also eliminated the white squares that form the holes in the design. I exported the file in “dxf.” and “stl.” format, the accepted by Laser Cutter software.

  • I opened the two files in Inkscape to remove the unwanted files.

  • It is nice that the file in “stl.” and “dxf.” shows that the fold positions are as dashed lines.
    There is also another way to laser cut these folding areas, which is to draw them as normal lines, but with a different color, and a different strength and speed are determined for them, provided that the laser passes through them to engrave without cutting them.

  • To import the file in the Laser Cutter program, I could not open the STL file, but I was able to open the DXF file. By going back to Computer Controlled Cutting week to follow the steps of laser cutting, in which the laser cutting settings have been tested on the durable paper I will use.

It seems that the lines cut at the places of folding appeared in a continuous line.
The problem is that when the file is exported as “dxf.”, it takes the dashed line as a continuous line.

  • The solution is to return to Inkscape, the first step is to take each dashed line and “Modify Path”>>”Convert to Dashes”.

  • The next step is “Break Apart” to separate each part of the line.

  • Returning to the “RDWorks” and importing the file, the lines show us correctly dashed.

  • Here are the settings are taken from Computer Controlled Cutting weekk, at a speed of “600mm/s”, and power of “40%” with “Cut” processing mode.

  • By clicking on “Download”, the file will be sent to the laser cutter machine.

  • I fixed the paper inside the machine using the tape, preferably using the paper tape.

  • This is the machine settings. I specify the height of the laser “z-axis”, as well as make sure that the cut is not out of paper or on the sticker from the “Frame” button. Press the green start button to start cutting.

  • Here and during the cutting, the paper had risen in the lower part, while the upper part remained in place because the laser began to cut from the dashed lines to the continuous lines.
    I should put a double paper tape under the paper to prevent it from rising while cutting.

  • This is the result of laser cutting.


  • I removed the cup holder. It appeared that a piece had come off due to the laser cutter, but I can also dispense this thin tape from this piece.

  • I folded the paper and will use glue to hold and glue them.

    This is what the dash lines cut looks like, and this makes folding easy.

  • This is the result of sticking. I had to use less strong glue in order not to weaken the paper.

Strengthening the Cup Holder

  • These are the tools and materials that I will use to harden the cup holder. The pink solution is “resin”, the transparent is the harder.
    I will mix the two solutions in proportion “99:1” in order, and dye the cup holder with it.

  • I am going to produce 100 grams of the two solutions, 99g from “resin” and 1g from the harder, and mix them well before they solidify, it may take a quarter of an hour to start to harden after mixing.

  • Here I dye the cup holder immediately after mixing, and I put on gloves because the substance is difficult to remove after it gets stuck in the hands.

  • This is the final result of dyeing, and I will wait for it to dry until tomorrow.

  • Because I dyed the base of the cup holder, I used this “Max Mold Release Wax ” to act as a medium between the base of the cup holder and the table to avoid sticking.

    I dyed the wooden piece with the wax using a sponge, on which I will place the cap holder.

Final Result