My Experiences in BUS 358: Innovation, Design, and Prototyping

Archive for the ‘Projects’ Category

Project 8: Final Project, Cupp-Board (Wood)

Final Project
Make something.

Demonstrate the values of the course and incorporate the concepts and technologies that we had learned over the course of the semester.

[Design Process Steps]
DISCOVERY: My intermediate project, the RingyThingy, may have provided you with some insight into who I am – an individual who appreciates the concept that everything has a “place”, and that sometimes, that “place” needs to be well-organized. I enjoy shopping, namely grocery shopping, and I spend hours a month shopping. There is never a time that I go shopping without my cell phone and a coffee (iced, hot, whatever). I can never find a convenient way to hold either of these things since the baskets of shopping carts (all of them) have “slats” that things (phones) can fall through and other things (coffee cups) cannot balance upon easily. I needed a way to keep my phone close at hand (without it falling) and my coffee within reach (and sitting upright).
INTERPRETATION: I should either shop only at Kroger (has cupholders in its smallest carts) OR invent a cupholder for my shopping cart that I can take shopping with me (portable). I looked into pre-existing products on Amazon, and I found a few. All of the online cupholders that I found for purchase were nice, but they were either: metal and only held a cup, needed to be screwed onto a stroller/cart (not portable or convenient), or “ugly.” If I was going to have it my way, I would have to make it myself.
IDEATION: I decided that I would make a cupholder that was portable, stylish, and convenient. Oh, and it had to work. I thought I wanted a 2-cup cupholder, but then I remembered that my phone is also a problem when shopping (and also, I usually go shopping alone, so why did I need 2 cupholders?). I decided I would make a cupholder/phone holder combo that would fit on top of a shopping cart basket (the same cart sizes are used at every store I shop at, luckily) and would be easy to “grab and go.”
EXPERIMENTATION: I researched what types of wood would be easiest to cut into. I debated using plexiglass (laser cutting) OR printing my design, but after remembering the headache I had trying to scale (accurately) my intermediate project for 3D printing and realizing it might take me many, many, many prints to actually get the cupholder to fit a cart correctly, I thought wood might be the best bet since I could paint it to be “stylish.”
I researched which types of wood would be easy and discovered that Balsa wood would probably be my best bet – it would work on the laser cutter or by hand. I had already drafted a design for my cupholder – it would be just wide enough for a cup and my phone and long enough to reach the back of the basket to the front of the basket. It would not impair steering since it would sit in the center of the basket. It would need to be thick enough to not “bend” or “snap” when pressure (weight of phone, drink) were applied. And it would need to snuggly fit a cup (since there is a bit of an incline from the handle on front to the bar on back of the basket).
I decided that the measurements would need to be 16” long, 4” wide, and 1” thick to be “just right” for this project. To determine the size of the cupholder, I simply took a standard coffee cup, turned it upside down, and traced around the lid. I then measured my cellphone and added .5” on each side and traced this onto the wood. I had already taken the wood to an actual shopping cart and marked off where each handle (front) and bar (back) would be. I shaded these areas since I knew I would need to cut those out to accommodate these areas. I shaded the areas I had marked off for the cupholder and the phone holder. Now, it was time to cut. By the time I was ready to cut my design, the laser cutter was down. No big deal – I could do it by hand. With a utility knife. Why not? Lucky thinking that I bought Balsa wood J
I cut out the phone holder, since this only needed to go through one layer. Then, I cut out the cupholder on the same layer (the top layer). I used the cut on this layer to trace the area to cut on the next layer and so on and so forth until all 4 levels of the cupholder were cut out. This strategy allowed for a gentle tapering effect to take place – which accommodated for the unevenness of the shopping cart basket. After cutting all of the levels of the cup and phone holders needed, I cut the bottom level on the very bottom (where the handle and bar would go). I then glued all of the layers together using Elmer’s Maxx Strength Wood Glue. I applied all of my course’s textbooks to the top as “clamps” and left it for 2 days. After 2 days, I sanded down the inside of the cupholder as well as the edges of the entire project – it looked like 1 solid piece of wood, even though it was 4 layers of wood! After sanding, I painted the parts that would be black – the inner of the cupholder, the phone holder, the sides of the whole thing, and the entire bottom. I then painted the top my favorite color – bright purple. After two coats of paint – it was done!
EVOLUTION: I learned a lot about wood and “making” during this project. First, I learned how to “go with” the grain, especially when hand-cutting circles. I also learned how to properly measure, sand, and cut my project. I know that I could have used the laser cutter (but it did almost catch fire on me the first time…) and I also could have printed the project (in pieces – it might not have been strong enough), but I really enjoyed going back to “traditional” manufacturing means. I had never really done anything with wood, so this was fun. In order to “improve” my project, I would like to add mesh or something to the under-part of the cupholder to improve its stability and increase its ability to hold “smaller” cups – like Starbucks ones. I would also consider adding additional support to where the cupholder connects to the cart, either by adding magnets or Velcro/snap straps. One portion of continued improvement was naming my project something more original than “Shopping Cart Cupholder.” My mom actually told me upon learning what I made that I should call it the “CuppBoard.” The name stuck, and it is “The CuppBoad,” the best board for your cups and other accessories while shopping.


Pictures of Final Project – The CuppBoard: 

a(Measure Groove 1 of basket)

 b(Measure Groove 2 of basket)
c(Measure cup holder)
d(Measure cup and phone holders)
e(Cut out phone holder, 1st cup holder)
g(All cup holders cut – tappered effect for snug fit)
h(Finished cutting!)
i(Sanded cupholder – still tappered)
j(It holds a cup!)
k(Painting grooves)
l(Painting grooves)
m(Painting bottom)
o(painted top/cup holder)
p(Totally complete with paint)
q(It still holds a cup!)
r(Look! It fits on a cart! It works!)


Project 7: Intermediate Project, The RingyThingy (3D Printer)

Intermediate Project
Design and make something that you can be proud of and that exemplifies any of the “values” of the course as outlined in the course syllabus.

The purpose of this project assignment was to allow us to use our talents and imaginations and create something that expressed our creativity and challenged us.

[Design Process Steps]
DISCOVERY: I have always had a ring holder of some type. It was usually a glass bowl with a simple “finger-like” post in the center around which you placed the rings. Loose jewelry (necklaces, earrings, etc.) were placed in the bowl part of the holder. Since everything just muddled together in the main part of the bowl, it is often difficult to fish things out (and necklaces often tended to get tangled). This annoyed me in the morning since I am not a morning person, am slightly OCD, and it took quite a bit of time. I needed a more convenient and simple way to hold jewelry.
INTERPRETATION: I should make a jewelry holder that stores my jewelry in a simpler way.
The Ringy-Thing is a custom-designed jewelry holder that accommodates two earrings, two rings, and one necklace. There is also space at the bottom for additional jewelry items and/or other accessories. The Ringy-Thing suits my needs by being user-friendly to the order in which I remove and apply my jewelry daily. While there are ring holders and jewelry boxes on the market, I either do not like or do not have room for these methods of jewelry storage, and thus the idea for the Ringy-Thing was born.
I have a particular order in which I take off (and put on) my jewelry. I first take off my earrings, then my necklace, and finally my rings. I wanted to build a jewelry holder that would suit my needs and “flow” with my usual order. I decided that I needed two short posts to hold earrings – and what better way to do that then to “drill” holes to place the earrings posts’ into? I also decided I needed a hook-like structure on which to hang the single necklace that I wear every day. Finally, I decided I needed to be able to hold two rings on the structure. Rather than just place the rings in a large bowl, I decided to add two small bowls to two new posts and place the rings in those. By placing the rings in smaller bowls (rather than the large base) it is easier to “fish them out” in the morning. Finally, I decided to still leave some space in the base for lose items, such as hair elastics and bulkier jewelry.
             I decided that I wanted to 3D print my entire project. This was very difficult, since it was the most advanced thing I had designed in CAD and since I had to design the entire thing from beginning to end. I decided to use Google SketchUp, since it had become my favorite CAD Program. The first thing I had to do was sketch on paper how I wanted my project to look – since I had a good idea in my mind, this didn’t take too long. The second thing I realized was that I would need to print my project in 2 pieces since it had 2 bowls for rings and you can’t “print in mid-air.” I decided I would make the base structure first and then make the two bowls separately. After hours and hours on SketchUp, I finally had a printable model…or so I thought.
When I went to the lab with my SketchUp file, I realized two things. First, I had not saved it in .STL format. Second, the parts appeared to be “infinite” since I had not “connected” them into one “component.” In the lab, I had to re-design the entire project! It took me a good two or so hours, but I finally had it in front of me re-made on SketchUp, and, after saving it in .STL, I was able to finally print it. I began printing it, and left it overnight. At the same time I had been re-making my base model design, I set my “bowls” (2) on the Afinia and had them printing. When they finished, I realized something horrifying – they were so small. Even though I had the dimensions of the base model AND bowls correct on SketchUp, when I moved them to print, they had scaled WAY down. Both pieces printed too small to use. I was able to print the bowls (the 2nd version) large enough, but the base model still was too small to support them. My next model would need some alterations.
EVOLUTION: Even though I was able to complete my intermediate project to some degree, I learned a lot from it. First, I learned that anytime you make something on Google SketchUp, you have to “make component” of the pieces if you want it to become a solid, printable item. Second, I learned that it is important that you really work to “scale up” your item once you “drop” it to the printing platform, since it changes size when you convert it from SketchUp to a component and drop it on the printer. Additionally, a few days after having my project (and before I took pictures of it), it broke. I realized that I had made the three posts in the front (center, left, right) very narrow, but also hollow. This made them too weak to support what they were meant to support. If I have the chance to re-print this project, I will ensure the posts are solid and I will also make sure that it is “sized up” enough to actually do its intended function(s).

RingyThingy Description:
This is my “Ringy-Thing”. It is a custom jewelry holder that was designed to accommodate the order in which I remove jewelry daily – earrings first, necklace second, and rings last. There is also room at the bottom for additional accessories, like hair elastics and bulkier jewelry. The Ringy-Thing also accommodates the order in which I apply my jewelry daily – rings first, necklace second, and earrings last. I chose to make this item because it is something I could not find elsewhere, because it filled a need that I had, and because I thought it would look cool (and serve a purpose) once it was completed.

Pictures of Intermediate Project – The RingyThingy:

39(Finished project, post-break)

40(Finished project, post-break)

41(Finished project, post-break)

Int Proj(Google SketchUp model of base, pre-printing)

Int Proj 2(Google SketchUp model of bowls, pre-printing)


Project 6: Stitch Cut-Out (Vinyl Cutter)

Project #6
Vinyl cut something.

The purpose of this project assignment was to design and cut something using the vinyl cutter.

[Design Process Steps]
DISCOVERY: I needed to vinyl cut something, and I had wanted a sticker for my laptop for a long time. I had just gotten to the point where I could “tarnish” things (i.e. – car, water bottle) that I owned by applying stickers (I’ve always had a hard time doing this due to some other issues) and figured it was time for my laptop to become similarly “tarnished.”
INTERPRETATION: I needed to vinyl cut something, and hopefully it could be something that I (or someone close to me) could benefit from and use.
IDEATION: I decided that I would either cut a Superman, Batman, or Stitch cut-out for my laptop in a bright color (since I have a dark laptop) or cut a Navy emblem in dark blue for my mom (she’s wanted one for a while for my dad’s shadowbox).
EXPERIMENTATION: I decided that I wanted a Stitch sticker (in lime green) for my laptop cover. I had just gotten a new laptop and I really wanted to personalize it beyond what I could possibly find in a store. I went online and found a Stitch image on Google that I liked. I uploaded it into InkScape, set the “detail” and determined how thick of a cut I wanted on each part of the image. I decided that once it printed, I would take out the teeth, center of ears, and chest fur tuf and have those be “empty space” once applied. I thought that I had it all figured out – but I encountered problem after problem with the vinyl cutter (pressure of cutter, loading of vinyl, etc.). It took me roughly 2 whole nights in the lab to correctly print the Stitch sticker, take out the extra pieces with an Expo knife, and finally apply it to my laptop.
EVOLUTION: There is nothing that I would change about my Stitch sticker. I love it. I would possibly like to go back and add a “thought bubble” with a quote from the film Lilo & Stitch, but I have not yet decided on which quote or if I even really want to add to it – I really do love it just the way it is. It came out perfect to me, and I really just love it.

Pictures of Project 6 – Stitch:

Project 5: LED Lights Loop (Group Arduino Project)

Project #5
With a group, program an Arduino board to do something. I, Ashley, was in a group with Jenn Fortnash and Junghyun Ha. We were given an Ardiuno Uno board, a breadboard, and multiple connectors/wires.

The purpose of this project assignment was to familiarize us with the basics of programming an Arduino board.

[Design Process Steps]
DISCOVERY: We needed a project that we could successfully complete (none of us had any working knowledge of Arduino).
INTERPRETATION: We should find something easy – and maybe look for a pre-written program online that we could slightly alter to do something “cool” to us.
IDEATION: We originally wanted to make something that would light up and pulse with the beat of music, but soon realized we could not “simply” do this. We decided to find a program that would allow for us to set the time interval between blinking LED lights. We also wanted a program that would send the LED lights all one direction (–>) and then send them backwards (<–) in a loop over and over.
EXPERIMENTATION: We found a pre-written program and plugged it into Jenn’s mac, as she had downloaded the Arduino software available for free online. We had several problems during the experimentation phase. The first was we originally (15 minutes) thought the Arduino would not work. We realized after a bit of troubleshooting that we just had to set the “USB Port” on the software to have it recognize the port we had the Arduino plugged into. Second, it took the 3 of us forever (several hours) and the assistance of a lab assistant to figure out how to actually complete the needed circuit (even though we had a diagram).
EVOLUTION: We did eventually get the board to work the way we wanted it to, and we even learned how to adjust the times for the blinking. In the future, if I work with an Arduino again, I will spend more time to make sure I do it all right the first time, because going back and trying to move tiny wires and connections after you have a “finished” product is extraordinarily difficult considering how complex the board becomes as it goes.

Pictures of Project 5 – Arduino Project:

a(Arduino Uno Board)

c(All connected!)

d(Ready to go! It worked!)

Project 4: Quoted Elephant (Laser Cutter)

Project #4
Make something on the laser cutter.

The purpose of this project assignment was to design and etch/cut (rastor/vector) something on the laser cutter in the lab.

[Design Process Steps]
DISCOVERY: I needed to design something to etch and cut on the laser cutter.
INTERPRETATION: I should do something for my boyfriend, Stephen, to enjoy since he was a little jealous of the fact that another friend (the broken arm one) got something (a green dino) before he did.
IDEATION: There were a lot of possibilities: a Hack Berry keychain (they looked cool in class), a dinosaur keychain, or even to ignore my original plan and do something for myself – like a copy of my Campus Carrier business card etched on plexiglass as a memento. Finally, I had the idea to make an elephant cut-out with a stress free haiku and turn it into a keychain.
EXPERIMENTATION: I found an outline of an elephant that I liked off of Google Images. However, when I went to find/write a haiku about stress, I had no luck. The entire reason I was making this keychain was to give to my boyfriend – who was very stressed since he had just submitted his Veterinary school applications. I decided that a haiku wasn’t necessary. I looked over his personal statement to try and find a quote, but instead only found gibberish about “All Creatures Great and Small.” I knew I wanted the elephant (his favorite animal) and I knew I wanted wood (it’s pretty) so when the quote “Even The Largest Animals Have Fears,” I knew it was perfect.
EVOLUTION: I printed the elephant with the quote, but I didn’t do it “right” – well, I thought it was wrong. It turned out pretty “right” in the end, though. First, the laser cutter caught 2 parts of the elephant on fire – the trunk and the tail (they were too thin). Secondly, instead of only etching the letters into the wood – somehow I set the laser cutter to etch everything BUT the letters (leading to a raised-up effect). At first, I thought this was a bad thing, but really, it looked awesome. Finally, the elephant that I managed to print was “huge” in comparison to what it should have been for a keychain. The elephant, due to its size, now remains in a photo frame.

Pictures of Project 4 – Quoted Elephant:

aThe screen shows cutter progress

bSee? Progress so far…

fAll the way done means time to cut

gCutting caused fires on tail…

hAnd the trunk…

i(Full finished product)
j(Detail on raised letters)

Project 3: Green Dino (3D Printer)

Project #3
There was no assigned project, this one was my own doing…

We were not necessarily “assigned” a third project, but we were told that we could print things and learn more about the process/technology. The first weekend of September, I received a phone call from a Sophomore in my scholarship program – he had suffered a nasty upper arm break in an accident. He needed a place to stay for a few nights (so he could sleep not in a loft and sitting up). When he was staying with me for two nights (before he was informed he would need pretty major surgery and a week stint in the hospital), every time he was “doped up” on his pain medicine, he would talk about how I should print him a 3D dinosaur.

[Design Process Steps]
DISCOVERY: There really wasn’t much “discovery” here – my friend who had just endured something awful told me he wanted a 3D Dinosaur, so I knew that’s what I needed to make.
INTERPRETATION: I wanted to make a small dinosaur that was simple yet “friendly” looking to give to my friend as a “get well soon” present after his hospital stay ended since he still had a long, trying road of recovery.
IDEATION: In the ideation phase, I found close to 30 dinosaur cut-outs and models that I wanted to print off of Thingiverse. I found some that were rounded and some that were taller. I finally settled for one that was shorter and stocky since it reminded me of a dinosaur off the “Land Before Time” that my friend kept mentioning.
EXPERIMENTATION: I found a dinosaur on Thingiverse and decided that I wanted it to be green. (My friend loves the environment and the outdoors, so I thought green was fitting). I loaded it onto the printer and spent close to 15 minutes trying to figure out what size I wanted it to print. I used the Afinia for the print and it worked perfectly.
EVOLUTION: Honestly, the only thing that I might change about this project is I might have scaled it up to be even larger. I thought a small dino would be neat, but it looked so awesome once it was printed that I thought it would look even more awesome even bigger!

Pictures of Project 3 – Green Dino:




Project 2: ASHLEY (3D Printer)

Project #2
Make something (anything you want) and print it. Do not make something that you just found online, you need to actually make it in a CAD Program.

The purpose of this project assignment was to allow us to make something of our own on a CAD Program and print it. This would get us more familiar with the printers while also increasing our experience with CAD Programs and designing in these programs.

[Design Process Steps]
DISCOVERY: After playing around with HeeksCAD, 123D Design, and Google SketchUp for a few hours, I realized it was nowhere near as easy as it had looked when it was being demonstrated in class and on YouTube videos – it was really hard. I discovered that I had a problem in that I could not make anything that I initially wanted to make (a butterfly cut-out, to be precise).
INTERPRETATION: I needed to find something that “even I could do.”
IDEATION: I wrote out a list of things that I could potentially make on a CAD Program – a sphere, pyramid, square, disk, or my name. I decided to go with my name and then just adjust the size so that it would be more block-like so I could stack it horizontally, vertically, or any other way.
EXPERIMENTATION: I typed “Ashley” into the program and luckily it auto-corrected to “ASHLEY” in all caps. I dropped it onto the printer platform and sized it up – it looked really small on the platform but the lab assistant assured me it would be bigger than it looked (it wasn’t much bigger). I was happy to have my name (and that each letter did indeed print individually) but was a little bummed that it turned out smaller than I had envisioned.
EVOLUTION: I was pleased with the outcome of this project, but if I was to re-print it, I would scale my name up larger so that the letters would be larger and therefore easier to see/stack. I would also change the color from clear-ish to something bright and more playful. Additionally, for my next 3D prints, I am considering: making a 3D top (that spins), a re-print of my dino case, or my best friend’s name in blocks for her since she thinks the sound of 3D printing is awesome…

Pictures of Project 2 – ASHLEY:
(Standing, horizontally)
(Laying flat, horizontally)

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