Final project: Mounting Motors

I used a few servos for my final PComp project, and had to adapt the file from regular tiny micro servos to these larger metal gear servos. I laser cut acrylic and mounted them with screws. Mounted motors with screws. I had trouble mounting the tiny servo and ended up using tape, in the final design that servo won’t be featured. i also used vertical and horizontal standoffs to mount each part to the next.

I decided to use this figure model to “mount” a dc motor. I had a lot of fun playing with this and made it into a terribly edited, terribly documented ballet.

Motor Ballet

Week 4: Enclosures

This week was my biggest struggle/failure week, and I thought it would’ve been my easiest week. The buttons I bought from sparkFun didn’t come in time (failure #1), and then I decided to make a stacked enclosure (failure #2), and then I decided to make a standoff for my arduino (fialure #3).

The arduino standoff failed because the lasercutter couldn’t read my illustrator file (an issue the shop staff had no idea how to fix), so I don’t have much documentation for that. I do have documentation of failure #2 which I will show below.





standoff enclosure that needs some work for my pcomp final

standoff enclosure that needs some work for my pcomp final

Week 5: Materials

This week I struggled to decide materials. I chose to make part of the sculptural element of my pcomp final project. I knew formally what it would look like and how it should function, but didn’t realize how hard the choosing part would be. I needed my sculpture to be transparent, light, and very stretchy, and I needed the “cubes” that went inside of it to be lightweight. After failing with silicone and cardboard, I went with wood and made a sculpture with wire and tricot nylon w/ spandex. You can see further details on my pcomp final here.

Week 3: Lasercut

This week took much longer than expected to learn the ins and outs of the laser cutter, but ended up being really fun and intuitive by the end. I come from a printing background and have worked with digital machines before, and am used to methods for orientation (registration marks/dots) between the illustrator canvas and the machine. On the laser cutter, however, it was a little more loose/free. I used material I found that had already been cut up in the shop to cut my pieces, which became a fun challenge of avoiding what is already cut out and orienting the illustrator file to the actual acrylic I was using.

75 watt lasercutter

75 watt lasercutter

The acrylic I found in the junk bin in the shop was quite thick, warranting a few rounds of cutting. I was more excited about trying to make large and small cuts, rather than trying to make a cohesive piece. Here are some results:

Week 2: Repeatability

Repeating lampshades

This week I struggled to come up with something I wanted to repeat. Everything that I thought of I wanted a computer to do for me, as I often pair generative making with computation. I have a few light bulbs and hanging light cords from my old apartment and have been wanting to arrange the hanging lights nicely in my current place. I decided to make structures to hold them that can function individually or as a set. I also wanted them to be geometric in form so that the cutting process was easier. I also knew that I didn’t want to diffuse the light as I had selected these bulbs originally for their funky look and loved the way they looked when hanging bare.

I had purchased a long strip of wood and found a bunch of free plywood at the shop. I chose to do all the cutting first for each piece, then arrange them piece by piece, rather than assembling one whole lampshade as a model for the rest. I cut with the mitre / chop saw, the band saw, and the scroll saw. The most difficult part of putting them together was using the roto saw to cut a slot in the larger piece for the connecting piece to slide into. I glued all of the pieces together, and drilled the middle piece in from the backside (the 45 degree angle drill jig was not in the shop).


Final pieces:

Further work I would like to do:

Investigate staining the wood and investigate forming a bridge to connect the pieces together to form a “chandelier” of sorts.

Week 1: Flashlight

I STRUGGLED with this project, but also learned a lot about fabrication. The parts I wanted to focus on / got hung up on were all about the final product and making it look nice, rather than building something that worked well. For my next project, I would way rather focus on the sturdiness of the buttons and functionality, and worry about the aesthetics after the piece can withstand more than a bump. Another aspect I struggled with was the materials. All of the online tutorials I looked at showed lightbulbs and other materials I didn’t want to buy. I thought using recycled household materials would be simple, but it ended up getting complicated really fast. Also, I didn’t want to incorporate a breadboard (or any soldering) for this project, and making an LED last on a 9 volt battery without a resistor is QUITE a challenge.





it lights!


acutal footage

of my brain and self esteem after this project