Week 3: The Laser Cutter

This week I was inspired by the dial designs on the ITP Intro to Fab website under “Make a Potentiometer Dial.” I started with some inspiration and sketching in Adobe Illustrator.

I picked up white and translucent acrylic to laser cut my dials.

I measured the diameter of my potentiometer knob, and found it to be 0.2345 inches.

I loaded my design into the computer attached to the 60W laser, and applied the recommended settings for acrylic.

I cut out different pieces, one that could independently move the shutter speed with a little knob on the end. The other piece is where all of the etching for the numbers would be.

The piece with the knob will be the thing actually moving the dial itself. I used the sharpie/dry erase marker method. I am not super happy with how the etching came out, this is partly due to the font I chose in Illustrator. I will definitely be doing a second pass on these to make my adjustment knob larger and the etching more clear. I was happy how nicely it fit and the general sizing.

Intro to Fabrication Week 2: Guides and Repeatability

This week for fabrication, I learned an important lesson. While attempting to create something I can use in my physical computing project, I realized how hard it would be to repeat things that rely heavily on carving/sanding. I originally thought my project would be five camera handles, but while attempting to make the best camera handle I could I realized it would require a lot of hand carving with a dremel. I started with some drawings and inspiration from camera handles I already liked.

I used dimensions from camera handles I liked and formed them into my own design.

After finishing this first handle I realized I needed to make a more repeatable design. In order to do so, I bought some wood that had an angle on one corner, this way it I would just need to cut them down to size and make holes for finger placement.

I also drilled holes in the top and side to connect wires later on.

Overall this was a much more repeatable design and I think that it will actually work better with my camera as it will attach to the side of the camera with the straight edge.

Visual Language Week 3: Color

To develop my own color palette I used one of my favorite movies as inspiration, the film “The Conformist” by Bernando Bertolucci. It is filled with beautiful colors and Vittorio Storaro is a cinematographer who knows how to use colors powerfully. This scene is dark and beautiful at the same time, the range of oranges/burgundy/black/bright yellow sends a powerful message.

The two images below are both photographs I took, that I thought would look interesting in my color palette. I used the Photoshop forced index color mode feature to force these images into the palette.

For my first work with shapes I wanted to show the gradient of my color palette using strips of rectangles disappearing into the background.

Below I experimented with different shades that could be used to create the same light bulb.

Below is my take on Josef Alber’s “Homage to Squares.”

I did the same experiment below as with the light bulbs, instead using a slightly more opaque background color.

ICM Week 10 Pixel Array Project with Jan

For our pixel array project Jan and I were inspired by two pieces of art, the Treachery of Images and John Baldesarri’s “I will not make anymore boring art.” We wanted to recreate the pipe image with text pixels that read “this is not an image.” Once we got that working we decided to decode the image in red. When you type the letters in the words, they reappear in their original pixels.

First we had to load all of the pixels of the original image. We wrote a for loop to go through each pixel and take the color value. We created an array with the letters that are in “this is not an image.” After that, we re-project the letters over the image with a condition. This condition is whether or not each text variable has been typed yet. This is found in the special p5 function keyTyped. We flip each variable every time it is pressed. If it has not been pressed it starts out red. Once it is pressed it displays the original color of the treachery of images.

Below is our keyTyped function and Letter class we created to store the information of each letter pixel.

Below is the link to the final sketch:


Visual Language Week 2 Typography & Expression

For my boarding pass design, I first created a hierarchy of the most important elements. This helped me choose which details to make more readable and attract the eye.

  1. Destination & Origin
  2. Flight time & boarding time
  3. Seat & Gate
  4. Name

I used the font Bely which I found in the adobe typekit. Based on our discussions in class, I wanted to use one font. That way I could use size and capitalization to differentiate. I also chose to use the red and blue colors that are found in the graphics to help. With the color changes and capitalization, I thought two different fonts would actually confuse the viewer as opposed to help guide the eye.

I capitalized the most important sections like DESTINATION, ORIGIN, GATE, BOARDING, DEPARTS, SEAT, and NAME. These are all a 40pt size. I also made all of these red and am using a left to right viewing design across the board. The most important elements are on the left, capitalized and one color. The information contained in these sections is done in blue at the same size without capitalization. The second tier of information, mainly used for the airlines purposes are all at half of the size (20pt) with no capitalization and in black. I also kept the box around the seat number because it is definitely one of those things you are constantly checking and you need to find it quickly in the moment. I stole this from the original design as it was the only thing I really liked about it.

The only text that is floating/not in a section is TSA Prechk. This isn’t very important information but I think it is still a little more important as it is something the passenger might want to see and the airline will be checking for. I made it the same blue as the rest of the text but kept it at 20pt font size.

For the tab that gets ripped off, I realized there was too much vertical space. This would be hard to read and make things crammed. I flipped it 90 degrees in order to not confuse the customer. It is essentially repeating the same information so there’s no need to read it until it gets ripped off. The size of the tab forced me to change the dimensions of the font size to 30pt with the smaller words being 15pt. This allowed me to keep the same ratio while fitting everything in properly.

Expressive Type

For my first expressive word, I chose home. While I was typing the word home, it struck me that the ‘H’ itself could look like a house. I chose a very stylized and blocky font called Flegrei. This allowed me to accentuate the ‘H’ to make it look more like a home.

For my next word, I started to make elongated edges on the word slow-mo. I began to realize it looks more like dripping, so I began work on ‘Drippin’. I lost the ‘g’ in order to give it more of an edgy feel, and started with the tilda font, which i also got from the adobe typekit.

For my last expressive word, I chose hug. I wanted to do something simple but powerful. I think it also works well because I realized that hug has three letters. This way I could bring in both of the outside letters in to simulate a hug on the U. I also rotated the ‘U’ in order to give add another human element to it.

Intro to Fab: Week 1 Flashlight

My main goal for fabrication this semester is in practical hardware design. Keeping this in mind, I wanted to create a usable flashlight with a practical design that felt good in the hands. The first thing I needed was the light, and instead of using a bunch of LED’s I researched and found that these little circular LED’s are cheap and powered off of low voltage. I bought this item from Canal Street Lighting Co.

The light came with a switch and a battery terminal. I cut out the switch and the LED patch, as well as some of the battery contacts.

I picked up a cardboard tube from the junk pile of a hardware store and this would serve as the shape for my flashlight.

I grabbed a rubber stopper that fit it as well in order to be able to place the flashlight down and have it stand up on its own.

This small funnel would act as the conical shape for the reflector. I cut pieces of aluminum foil to fill the inside.

Looking at the back of the LED I found a 3V input, and happened to have a CR123 3V battery around. I created a little battery terminal out of cardboard and hot glue. I used the battery contacts on either side.

I soldered all of the contacts to the battery and back to the original switch that came with the light. I cut a little hole out of the cardboard for the switch.

I then cut a piece of diffusion to cover the flashlight. I thought this pattern would look interesting with the paper I chose to wrap the rest of the flashlight.

This is the final look of the flashlight and it is able to stand up like I had imagined. Next time I would like to get it brighter as a 3v led is not super bright but would get the job done in the dark. Below is a video of how that looks.

P COMP Final Project Concept

A Film Camera for the Modern Age

My work so far has been focused on creating a single leaf shutter mechanism. I intend to expand on this project idea and add multiple new elements to my design. I will be making a camera with flash, film advancement, a c-mount (which is a simple old mount for small lenses) and its own two blade shutter mechanism. I will achieve this by using a micro controller, a simple flash circuit, and gears that I 3D print for film advancement.

The main intention behind this project is based on the fact that there are no innovations being made in the field of film photography. I have a background in photography/cinematography and know this issue personally. Many of my colleagues still use cameras designed in the 90’s or earlier. Today’s camera market is too focused on digital innovations. We are seeing cameras with more resolution than is necessary and lens design that has absolutely no character. Imperfections are what today’s designs actually need. I will bridge the gap between old world character/charm with the modern world’s micro controllers for camera control and shutter design.

Timeline: 11/12 -Wooden handgrip with holes for shutter done.
11/12 – dual solenoid circuit with shutter dial working (including the arduino code for that setup)
11/17 – modular camera body finished (either in wood or 3D printed)
drill hole on the bottom of the camera body for film advancement

Bill of materials:
2 5V solenoids
16mm film cartridge with film
battery pack
16mm pushbutton
2 x TIP120 transistor
2 x Diodes
2 x 1k resistors

Playtesting will be with the shutter button & handgrip. The last thing to come into place will be the film advancement tool. This will be using a 3D printed piece and a small gear.