Monthly Archives: February 2016

Final Project Proposal

After searching the web and thinking about time limitations for this project, I have decided to make an Iron Man arc reactor for my final project. I originally found this project on Thingiverse, here, but realized there were no instructions for it. So after looking around for a bit I also found instructions on instructables, here, that I can combine with the 3D printing model from Thingiverse.

I am excited to work on this project because it will combine 3D printing, electric circuitry, and arduino coding. I will 3D print the mold for the arc reactor, making the outsides black/grey and the center piece clear to dissolve the light shining through it. I will be wiring LEDs throughout the clear piece and connecting them to each other, a battery, and to an arduino board. I will also be coding in arduino to make the lights shine in different patterns and colors. Luckily I have, almost, mastered 3D printing and will be starting that part of the project soon. I have also had some experience wiring a breadboard in CPSC 305 with some of my friends in the computer science department here at Mary Washington. You can find a review of this class, written by my awesome lab partner Kris, here. I am in the process of learning how to code in arduino through some YouTube videos I found here. I’m only about halfway through watching all of the videos in the series but am sure I will still learn a lot from them.

I am super excited to begin working hands-on with this project. I am a super nerd and love Marvel comics. Iron Man also happens to be my favorite Avenger and I have always wanted to buy some of his light-up gear but I think I will enjoy making one more than buying one. Once I finish mastering 3D printing, I will be moving on to printing the parts for the arc reactor. As Iron Man would say “you gotta run before you can walk”. Wish me luck guys.

Cardboard Robot

For our cardboard project Callie and I decided to make a posable robot out of cardboard. This is a task that seemed easy enough for us to get our feet wet in making but offered enough challenges to push us. This project started off with us drawing out the templates for each body part, pictured below:

Cardboard Robot 11  Cardboard Robot 12

Once we drew the templates we cut them out and traced the shapes onto the cardboard. We then cut out the pieces of cardboard with an exacto knife and scissors and started assembling the robot.

Cardboard Robot 5

In order to assemble the robot, we had to poke holes through the “joints” to insert the dowels that hold him together and make him posable.

Cardboard Robot 2  Cardboard Robot 10

After slowly getting his body put together we just needed the head to finish him up. Unfortunately, because we removed and reattached his body parts a lot while putting him together, we ended up wearing out the holes for the dowels so there wasn’t enough to hold him up. Therefore, he isn’t able to stand well unless he is leaning against something or is positioned perfectly. We decided that since he kept falling down and was clumsy looking we could make him into a gymnast.

Cardboard Robot 8

Obviously he has a lot of talent as a gymnast. We also decided to make him into a toy rag doll by putting a dowel in his claws and posts on the dowel to hold onto and flip him around the bar like a gymnast.

Cardboard Robot 7

So here is our final product. If I could do this project over again, I would use a drill to drill the holes for the “joints” and not wear them out during assembly. I would also cut out the body parts more precisely.

My First Time 3D Printing

After being in this Tinkering, Hacking, and Making class for a couple of weeks I really wanted to dip my toes into 3D printing. I decided to start with something small without overhangs so I didn’t have to use supports. I decided on a Spock-octopus, aka Spocktopus, that I found here on Thingiverse.

Spocktopus Thingiverse

I downloaded the .stl file onto my computer and opened it in Dremel 3D, the software that will take a 3D object and code it to transfer to the Dremel 3D printers we have in our lab for printing. In Dremel 3D I played around with the size of the Spocktopus and the quality of the build. I decided on a size of about an inch tall and a build quality of high. I ended up with a build time of about an hour and a half. I also decided to print it with white filament so I could paint it when it finished printing.

Spocktopus 1

This is at the very beginning of the print. Only his legs have been printed but I was still getting super excited.

Spocktopus 2

Here is a close-up of the print. This was taken about half-way through the print when it started to look like a Spocktopus.

Spocktopus 3

It’s almost done! the Spocktopus has a face and the distinct Vulcan ears that make it special.

Spocktopus 4

It’s done printing! The excitement is over but left in it’s wake is a beautiful, yet not quite finished, Spocktopus! The only thing left to do now is clean up the places that didn’t come out perfect and paint it.

Spocktopus 5

I was going to paint it with acrylic paint but decided against it because I was too lazy to take the time to paint it and let it dry. I also knew that painting it would be a struggle since I don’t exactly have the steadiest hands in the world. I ended up experimenting with Sharpies to “paint” it because I was curious if it would work or not and I REALLY wanted an excuse to use my Sharpies. It turned out well and I love it. Now that it is completely finished, I have a cute Spocktopus that will keep me company. Live long and prosper guys!