This week, I combined my fabrication project with my pcomp final.

1st attempt: stepper + spool

The first structure we built is like this. A stand with a spool on top, using stepper to coil the wires up. It did not work though. The wire was too stiff to coil up, and the whole structure is very unstable.

2nd attempt: pulley + servo

Because the first structure was not working very well. We tried a different structure using pulley and servo to just move the alien up and down.


After making this project, I realized how difficult it was to build a mechanical structure, to make things move, especially at a larger scale. Although it was challenging, it was fun when things worked. Maybe I will explore more about mechanics in the future.

I also found that precision matters a lot in mechanical structure. A 4mm or 6mm hub cannot work well on a 5mm shaft. If I added just a little more weight on the other side of pulley, the servo could not handle that weight.

Two materials (a Super Long Straw)

This week, I went to the junk shelf to look for some inspiration. I found a piece of leftover PLA, which I learned that it is a 3D printing material. PLA can also be used to make disposable utensils, and it is biodegradable.

The PLA was originally coiled on a spool. I noticed that this PLA can create some interesting shape when I stretch it. I saw a coke on the table, so I decided to combine the coke with this stretched PLA. I used mostly super glue to stick them to the paper.


Laser Cut

I made two trees from laser cut. I did a paper prototype first. I found paper prototype very useful again because it helps me to visualize my idea. Then, I would be able to know how to draw in my illustrator files.

The main challenge of this work is to figure out the width of the conjunction connecting leave and stem. I did a lot of testing to find the perfect width that is not too loose or tight, which just fits in. Although I used a digital caliper to measure the thickness of the acrylic sheet, it still varied a lot from the measurement. While the thickness measured by caliper is 0.1125in, but the cut I made was 0.149in.

I feel the tress are living together yet they are very sharp to be too close to each other, so I chose to use this cool color mirror effect acrylic to reflect some coldness to the viewer.

Five Same Things

Five same simple mini chairs. Chairs can tell a lot of stories.


I was thinking what object would interest me if there exists five of them. I chose chairs because multiple chairs remind me of musical chairs, and game is always fun. I also like to create mini things. Mini things feel cute to me, and they let us look at the world we live in from another perspective.


- sketch

front and side view of the chair


- paper prototype

I first made a prototype out of Bristol paper. I want to visualize the chair first, so I can have a feeling of the measurement. I also write down the measurement on the paper chair, so it is to see the measurement when I mark the wood later.


- measure and cut

I bought a small sheet of wood and some square wood sticks, I used band saw to cut the wood.

- sand and refine

Because band saw is not accurate, I used fine sand paper to sand the piece mostly at the same length.

- glue together

I used wood glue to piece everything together. I find it difficult to use clamps to hold them. These are the solutions I came up.




After making these tiny chairs, I noticed how hard it is to make a stable chair. If the leg is slightly off, the chair would be wobbly. It is difficult to make exactly identical items.

Also, it is true that I need to buy double amount material. At the first day, I only bought two wood sticks, and I can only made three chairs with those two wood stick. So, I had to pause and get two more sticks the next day.



final work: