— AlexiaKay


For my final project I was inspired by this coin eating robot I found online and wanted to create my own little coin eating monster. I actually though it was going to be simple at first but I was totally WRONG! This was by far one of the most challenging projects I have take on. I first started by laser cutting my pieces in cardboard to create a small prototype and understand how this was going to work. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgUQXgQumng


I then changed the dimensions of my piece and made it a little bit bigger. I had to make a lot of calculations as to where to laser cut the holes for the rod to go in and created proper mounts for my motor by adding two slots on my base for the mounts to sit in.






I tested my dimensions for the mount with cardboard again before laser cutting  wood just to make sure that the motor would fit in perfectly.


After laser cutting all my pieces in wood, I drilled my L brackets in to put the box together. I then used a standoff to create a stronger mount.

I soon realized that because it was really hard to straighten the wire I found on the hardware store it would be really hard to trigger my rod to rotate because it created friction and therefore the height of mount needed to be increased. Also the holes that I made on the laser cutter for my rod to go through were a tinny bit smaller than what they should have been so I drilled in a bigger hole that ended up being a mistake because the hole was just too big to keep the rod stable. After my motor stopped working, I  finally decided to remake the whole box  after my motor stopped working and  because I really felt I could make it much more functional this time. I decided to create the straight rod myself and found a stick on the shop and laser cut this small bridge that would trigger the spindle easily. This is an image of my old rod and the new rod I made out of wood:


This time I decided not to use a standoff because the slots I had created already created a strong mount so ti was unnecessary to also use a standoff. I connected my motor to power but the spindle would still not rotate. In fact, not only it did not rotate but every time the spindle touched the rod it would ruin the spindle from friction and would cause the spindle to stop rotating. I should have used a different motor, one that doesn’t turn that fast but it was already too late to get a new one. I also should have used different material than wood because it was really to heavy and would make it even harder for movement to be generated. After not sleeping for 2 days, I decided to stop working on it and reflect on what I did wrong and how I could keep working on this to make it work.

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I have always wanted to make a zoetrope so I thought it would be a good idea to take advantage of this assignment to create it. I found these three plastic materials on the junk shelf:

  1. A plastic base

2. A plastic plate

3.  A motor

I measured the motor’s diameter with a digital multimeter to make a hole in the center of my plate so the motor can pass through my plate using the drill press.

I then sanded the excess black piece around the motor to make it look smoother.

I bought some foam and laser cut a base to create a softer surface for the motor to “sit” on because it wouldn’t be easy for the fan to spin on the hard base. I used hot glue to stick the motor through the soft base.


I soldered the wires and tested the spinning of the plate.

The spinning was good but I noticed that the fan was getting a little bit stuck on the edges of the plate so I used hot gun to melt the edges.


I designed the strip to be the same length as the circumference of my plate and made my slits the same distance apart as the pictures. I cut the strip and etched my bird animations on an oil board. I used oil board because I really like its color and I  wanted to use something thicker than matboard so that it can be stable.


Here is my final result. A bird animation zoetrope made primarily out of plastic and oil board.

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I found an enclosure on Amazon which was perfect because it had removable metal face and back plates so that I could customize the box easily. I was also interested in working with metal for this project because it’s a material I haven’t worked with much yet. I wanted to make an enclosure for a speaker.

I bought my buttons from Tinkersphere and started making different holes on wood to make sure I had the right drill bits for these specific buttons. It was quite challenging to find the exact size bits for my holes because I also had different buttons. This was my first time using the drill press and I also used a spade bit for my bigger button for the first time.


I learned quickly that because of the rigidity and thinness of this metal pieces, both sides of the plate had to be clamped down to get the perfect hole. One of my holes is a little eaten up because the bit wasn’t tightened very well. I found it tricky to tighten the drill bit well in this machine.


I then etched on the metal which was definitely a step I had to do first because it was really hard to position the etchings right under the holes and find the exact position. So I started by testing with cardboard and matching my metal plate on top of the cardboard after just to make sure the position is correct.


I then inserted my buttons. My on/off button had to be glued because my whole ended up being bigger so I used hot glue to fill in the gap between my hole and my button which I felt like was my only choice. If you have any other advice please let me know.



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I was inspired by a personal story that I experienced in the past year in Athens and wanted to bring this story to life. So I made these two characters riding a motorcycle through the city of Athens. I wanted it to look like a set design so I created three layers inside an open box. I found almost all the images online and traced them in illustrator apart from the houses and the mountain which I drew in illustrator myself. What was challenging is getting all the measurements right for creating the box because I had to think of a lot of details and had to go back and change my designs constantly. Laser cutting these images was quite easy. I didn’t have any issues with the laser cutter but I had to change the speed and power because the cardboard settings where not cutting the cardboard as deeply as I wanted. I used hot glue to stick the box together and I could easily fold the box because I designed lines of small squares around the edges in illustrator.

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For this week our assignment was to create multiples of something, 5 or more. From the minute I heard multiples the first thing that came into my mind was this famous Russian toy I had when I was younger called “Babushka”, also known as a nesting doll which is a set of wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside another. I wanted to work with wood and thought about creating wooden jewelry boxes one inside the other where each box would have a quote from a movie and every time you open one box you would see the quote from the other smaller box on the cover and it would be like unraveling a story.

So I started by cutting some wood in the band saw and immediately realized that this was going to be a very challenging to make one box fit inside the other since it’s really hard to even create same sized boxes because it’s really hard to make all the pieces exactly the same size. So I decided to minimize the scope of my project and just make 5 same size jewelry boxes. I wanted to create 45 degree angles to put all the pieces together like a puzzle but because the pieces were very small it was really hard to do this on the Miter Saw and very dangerous. Therefore, I just made all equal sides and decided to just stick them together.


I started cutting on the Miter multiples of sheets of wood together but they were not straight at all so then I decided to redo them and use the band saw for more accuracy.

I started putting the pieces together depending on which pieces were more equal. This was really frustrating because I had to go back and re-cut a lot of them and sanded them so they can all be equal.

I sticked everything together with wood glue.

Then I went to the laser cutter to etch the quotes on the boxes. I then drilled the lids. (post to be continued I am having some issues uploading my final images)

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I saw this image from London based Japanese designer Kazuhiro Yamanaka that created an ingenious flat piece of paper that, when rolled up, transforms into a powerful flashlight. A miniature LED light is embedded within a slit and when the paper is rolled up into a cylinder the slit pops out, automatically triggering the LED light source. This is a clever way to always keep a flashlight right on your desk, as long as it doesn’t get lost amongst the other stack of papers on your desk. 



What I also really liked was the cone shape of the flashlight. I really liked the simplicity of it. Also, I I love the fact that the size is big. I believe that a  flashlight shouldn’t be small because you should be able to easily find it when you need it.  It’s more efficient and ergonomic.



I used a tilt ball switch sensor and connected it to the LED and my battery case with conductive tape so that when you tilt the flashlight it lights up. It worked! I then soldered the wires together.


3D Printing

I decided to 3D print my model since I haven’t used the 3D printer for a really long time and wanted to refresh my skills in Rhino. I broke down my 3D model into two parts. One is the main body and the other one is the lid of the flashlight. I did that also so that I can print both parts simultaneously in two different 3D printers to save time.






I am happy with my result although I think that if I had a chance to remake my flashlight I would do a few things differently. For example I would create a bigger surface for my lid and main body part so that I could easily stick some magnet tape on the surface. This way, the user will be able to open the lid and change the battery if needed. Because of the way I designed my models I could only apply some double-sided tape to stick these pieces together which is not reliable.


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