NOTE: You were right Ben, I hadn’t posted it. Sorry!

For this assignment I decided to make an enclosure out of an Altoids can. While I thought all of the examples shown in class were really cool (it’s incredibly satisfying to make stuff that perfectly fits other stuff), I had never worked with tin material before and wanted to try it out.

It didn’t go so well……

I reused a button from the first flashlight assignment and therefore used the same spade bit as the diameter is exactly the same as the button. However, even though I was going as slowly if not slower than with the acrylic, the tin kept breaking so the drill would get stuck on it. The end result has very messy borders which drives me crazy. The button manages to hide it a little but I think there has to be a better way to work with this material - right?

Even though it wasn’t a success, I’m still happy I got to compare similar processes with two different materials as I am starting to understand the properties of each which will allow me to make wiser but faster decisions when picking materials for future projects.


After the enclosures class and this one, I have found I am very intimidated when it comes to building robots/mechanics. I have a project I would like to work on during the break that involves one and I also want to practice and learn how to the mechanics works, the order and type of shafts and gears, but I don’t feel confident designing one on my own. So I followed this tutorial to build my first one -


I got some 6 mm plywood from Blick to cut all the parts.


Then I cut the parts using the laser cutter.

Then moved on to assembling the parts…

…and mounted the servos.

I also worked on my enclosure assignment on this too -

I haven’t programmed it yet so all the parts are fastened with screws so that I can access the components later. 6mm plywood is what I needed to mount the servos because of it’s depth, however it wasn’t what I needed for the rest of the body so some parts didn’t fit as perfect as they should, but I could still make it work.

Here is the final, but lifeless, robot.


For this week’s assignment, due to some lack in planning, I had to troubleshoot with some materials I had available. I had a 3x24” sheet of Cherry Basswood leftover from earlier in the semester and found some metal earring hooks or as they are called in the box, “ear wires” - so I decided to make earrings.

Being quite stressed out over finals, I wanted to make something mindlessly fun so I drew some breakfast characters on Illustrator and used the laser cutter to cut them. During our laser cutter assignment I didn’t have a chance to etch/engrave so I was excited to try it out.



I can safely say my love affair with the laser cutter was brief. When I first thought of the idea of making a backgammon board I could clearly picture how it was all going to unfold in my head. It seemed pretty straight forward. Then one of the laser cutters broke. And the other two were quite coveted. And the laser was burning my acrylic. And it was not cutting all the way through even after 5 passes, or it kept cutting one side but not the other.

What I first thought would be a process that was fairly controllable became quite the opposite. The guideline settings for frequency, speed and power under the material and thickness I was using kept creating small but terrifying fires and the more I adjusted them, the longer the material took to cut.

Eventually, after some burnt acrylic and some miscalculations on my part, I got my first attempt at creating a backgammon board done.

First thing I did (after deciding to create the backgammon board) was go to Canal Plastics and chose my color combinations.


Then I created my cutting files on Illustrator and moved on to the laser cutter. I ended up using the 75 Watts mainly because of the size of both my art boards and acrylic sheets. It didn’t fit in the 51 and 60.

Screen Shot 2018-11-15 at 1.45.24 AM.png

What I struggled with the most, aside from the complications with the laser cutter, was working with the material I chose and keeping it clean. I did not think the acrylic glue would show as much as it did.



For this assignment what I initially wanted to make was wood panels for painting which all included a 45 degree angle corner that needed to fit perfectly. Because our class had already been warned on the challenges of creating a perfect fitting angle, I decided to look for something on a smaller scale. My intention was to start practicing getting angles as exact as possible, know first hand the difficulties that come with it and also start getting familiarized with tools in the shop.

When looking around for ideas I found this picture and decided to try making it using only the saws and sander.


I went to Midtown Lumber and got a 24” x 24” panel of Chinese Birch Plywood and drew 4” hexagons separated by 0.25” each.


I used the band saw to cut down the pieces to smaller sizes but felt more comfortable using the jigsaw to cut it down to the outlined shape.


I used the sander to even out all the angles and corners and understood the difficulties in getting an angle straight. Even if the edges are perfect you also need to look at getting it perfectly even vertically as well which I found to be the hardest.


Because the coasters were meant to be displayed side by side, every little discrepancy showed.



 For our first fabrication assignment we needed to build a flashlight following these parameters: that it is portable, battery powered and creates light.

First step and challenge was to go find something in the junk shelf that I would use. I was determined to make what I found work in an attempt to be more resourceful. I found a small acrylic box that I thought would be cool to use. Inspired by the works of Tom Sachs and the acrylic work by Jeff Koons I decided to build a small, clean, yet efficient piece that held its appeal in showing its inner workings, not hiding any of the cracks or imperfections.


The main thing I struggled with was opening a hole in the already build acrylic box. Most of the advice I got was to cut a new one as it was likely to break using the drill press and I wasn’t encouraged to use the drill. Being hell bent on using the box (….) I decided to go ahead and use the drill (too afraid to use the drill press at this moment) and it worked! I drilled a small hole first using one of the standard bits and then cut the bigger hole using a spade bit. It was all done veryyyyyy slowly. It is in my nature not to follow advice but I did cut an extra box just in case it broke and I’m glad I did because now I know how to use the laser cutter.

In regards to things that went wrong and what I would do differently -

I fused one too many jumbo LED lights, still not sure why.

I had imagined way more wires when I first thought of this than the ones I actually needed but even though it doesn’t look exactly the way I thought, I still like the concept and achieved what I was going for.

I should’ve used a switch and not a button. This is more of a morse code flashlight at the moment.