Project Two & Three: Feel This

April 22, 2010

When deciding what to create for this course, I knew I wanted to create something very small, and I wanted to make sure it was an object I couldn’t make by hand. I saw a beautiful finger joint butter box commonly used in Canada in the 1930s and was inspired. I knew that the pieces making up a box like that are ideal for the precision of laser-cut, computer-generated imagery.

After asking many questions of the RP people downstairs, it became clear that I needed to do a test, so see how small I could make the object without the laser burning the wood too much. I had two main worries, firstly that the cutting would be too close (pieces too big) to fit together, or alternately, that the burning of the wood would burn so far that the pieces would fit too loosely together.

And so I created these two test boxes using balsa wood with a thickness of 2mm. I chose balsa wood because I thought a very soft wood would require less heat to cut and thus less burning would occur. Instead, I found that it actually burned more and the pieces fit almost too loosely. Even so, the pieces fit together well and I determined that 2mm was about as small as I could reasonably make the joints.

Then I designed the final object. These are the line drawings I created to help illustrate the objects construction. The 11 by 17 inch illustrator file, the rhino file and the file used by the RP centre to actually cut the pieces can be found here.

Once designed, I purchased plywood made of basswood. The wood was harder than balsa wood, and thus less prone to burning, but was still very thin. Knowing that the RP centre was very busy, I only had time for one order so I purchaced two different thicknesses in the hopes that at least one would fit together perfectly. I had two sets cut on each board so that in case there were any mishaps in the cutting or constructing process, I would have extra pieces to work with.

Once I (finally) got the pieces back from the RP people, I spent a frustratingly long time trying to fit the pieces together. The challenge was fitting the middle pieces into both outer pieces without making something else pop out. Then, using simple wood glue, I glued the frame in place while leaving the inner pieces slightly loose. I considered gluing the inner pieces in place as well, but prefered the movement and the sound the pieces made because they fit slightly loose.

And this is the final piece with all the slats in place. The fabulously blackened edges of the wood really pop against the light basswood. The dots on both sides of the box spell out “feel this” in braille. The final dimensions of the box are 4 cm by 2 cm by 2 cm.

Project 2 & 3 “Marriage Power # 2″

April 20, 2010

My start point for this final project was the rings (Marriage Power #1) that I have created last year. I wanted to further develop this project by making them less bulky, more sophisticated.

The brief concept of these rings is that marriage only works when the two support each other. Male supports the power, and the female lights up.

The technology is that both rings consist of negative and positive current, and the circuit is closed when they touch each other. The opposite currents should not touch each other, so since the RP plastic is not conductive, I used it to be the bearer of the sterling silver metal, which will let the current flow in.
The most difficult step in the process of developing these rings was actually changing the mechanics/technics of them. I came up with the idea of putting the batteries side by side, instead of on top of each other. When the batteries are both sitting with positive current on top, the circuit is short (bad), but when they are sitting with different currents on top, the circuit becomes happy :-) . Diagram/picture below might explain better than my words.

Measuring everything to work was really painful. I used smaller size batteries (SR516SW 317 Silver Oxide Cell) to fit inside the band ring. All the measurements were measured carefully so I won’t end up with a tiny ring with tiny holes that batteries won’t go in.
I didn’t change much with the female ring though. I only gave it a similar aesthetic appearance to the male ring. So it now has thicker band, and the LED light stays mostly inside the ring. The bulkiness of the stone (LED) is gone now!

Here are my rhino renderings. It was difficult to give a good lighting on these, since they are not dynamic in shape-wise.

And they are printed in MJM.

So here goes the making process…. :-) You can click them to view bigger image.

Cut out 4 pieces of 18 gage Sterling Silver to fit inside the groves in the rings. Anneal them to make them soft to be easily bendable/formable.

Form the silver with ring block and ring mandrel, and also with nylon pliers. Try fitting the silver around the RP plastic every now and then.

Fit the LED Light inside the ring, and cut the legs to fit inside the two grooves.

Roll a small piece of silver in the rolling mill, until it becomes a paper thin. Cut it with scissors and place it inside the male ring. It will be the silver that’s connecting the two batteries.

Solder the hinges (2mm tubing), and emery off any scratches. I put them in the tumbler to give a little bit of shine.

Rivet the hinges with 1mm wire, and drill a hole in the lid. This will work as a handle that can be opened with a small sharp pick to change the batteries.

I used a 5-minute epoxy to assemble all the parts together.

And here is the happy finished picture :-)

Links to my files :-)


Female Ring Rhino File
Male Ring Rhino File

Female Ring Stereolithography File
Male Ring Stereolithography File

Bahar Ghaemi-Project #2,3

April 19, 2010

I wanted to design an interlocking ring, consisting of two parts that will slide into each other and are held together by your finger. Originally, the plan was to cast both parts in bronze or silver but I thought it would be interesting to use two different materials and processes. So I decided that half of it would be made with ebony, milled on the CNC machine and the other half would be printed on the MJM printer and then I would cast it in bronze.

It was a bit challenging to decide how the two parts would slide into each other. I also had to consider the limitations of the process and design accordingly. For example, the ebony part had to be flat on one side, because they can’t accurately flip it in the CNC machine.  So I designed the bronze half flat on the inside to fit.

I started by designing the ebony part and designed the bronze around it. There is a raise edge on the ebony half that slides into the bronze half, the bronze also wraps over the ebony to ensure that the ring won’t slide apart on your finger. At the end I used Boolean difference to cut out the ebony half out of the bronze half. I made the bronze part 13% larger to compensate for the shrinkage during casting.

2D Drawings

The renderings are done on Modo, which is a 3D rendering software that I wanted to try out. I had to save my model in Rhino as an .obj file and import it into Modo.

I created separate STL files, clearly titling them CNC and MJM and despite my frequent visits and explanations they still managed to print my CNC file on the MJM machine and they had to print it again.

I provided them with a square piece of ebony and dropped off the files. The ebony half was ready a couple days before the RP model, so I cut it out of the block and roughly prepared it. I’m going to leave the rest of the sanding and cleaning for when I get the bronze, to make sure I don’t sand off too much.

The RP model is now in the hands of a casting house and will hopefully be ready sometime this week.

And here are all the files:

Rhino Model

CNC stl

MJM stl

2D Drawings-1

2D Drawings-2



I got bronze ring back from the casting house on Thursday, and here are some pictures of the cleaning process:

Rosalyn Do-Hyeon Woo_Project 2 & 3

April 19, 2010

For this project, I decided to create one of my thesis piece that need a structure for chains of head piece. So, I made model in Rhino, then 3d printed. The theme in general is mourning in motif of weeping willow tree.


1. Insert  chains through the tubings.

Drill holes and insert ribbon through the holes.

2. Insert fine wires in chains.

3. Roll the wire using rolling mill to create leaves.

model Im, Kyung-Jin

Link to files

Research & Sketches

Isometric drawing

Rendering with model


Revolutionized Stomacher – Theresa Duong

April 19, 2010

For this project I made a pendant inspired by a stomacher popular in the 15th and 16th century in europe. It is a decorative triangular panel traditionally worn over the chest and stitched over a woman’s gown or bodice. I wanted to challenge the aesthetic and traditional form using the contemporary process of rapid prototyping (laser cut, laser engrave, CNC milling). The pendant design can also act as a picture frame to insert various images, it resembles the flexibility of an actual stomacher to be removed and replaced for a different fashion statement. 

Project #2 Files:

Research and reference images
Ideation Sketches
Orthographic Line Drawings

Rhino File
Stereolithography File

Project #3
Explanatory Guide:

  1. Draw design in Illustrator, use strokes to laser cut wood
  2. Import Illustrator file to Rhino to extrude. 
  3. Fillet acrylic piece and place in stock layer.
  4. Make pins and boolean difference the wood and acrylic piece for assembly.
  5. Create rendering in Flamingo.
  6. Object is CNC milled.
  7. Using the bed of the milling to align the fill of the design in Illustrator to make a laser engraved surface (final product shown below).
  8. The bed is then removed using the milling machine in the plastics shop. The acrylic is clamped with another piece of acrylic to secure it in place.
  9. Detailed view of the milling in layers to remove the piece from the bed.
  10. Sanded to a 600 grit finish to remove inconsistent milling surface for polishing. 
  11. Assemble wood and acrylic piece by drilling and gluing (rez-n-bond and epoxy) acrylic rods. This will create the gap for inserting pictures.
  12. Attach leather cord by sewing a loop around sterling silver jump rings that loops around the corners of the wooden piece.
    Photographs of finished piece:  


Revolutionized Stomacher. April 2010. Acrylic, birch, leather, sterling silver.
Revolutionized Stomacher (alternative frame). April 2010. Acrylic, birch, leather, sterling silver
Revolutionized Stomacher (detailed view of pins). April 2010. Acrylic, birch, leather, sterling silver

Nini Ma, Project #3 – Suicide Bracelet

April 18, 2010

The suicide Bracelet is constructed based on intensive geometric forms. The material I used for majority is transparent acrylic. Traditional technique – Gold Leafing – is applied in between the upper and lower parts of the bracelet. Computer program like Rhino allows me to create and repeat single components and remain the exactly same shape. However, Milling machine or CNC was not a perfect choice for this particular object. MJM 3D printer would b a better solution is I will ever do it again. Here are some pictures of working in process and other attempts when I was modeling it in Rhino.

There are two renderings of the bracelet while I was on the way of developing it.

I end up adding more components on the outside of the bangle. This became my final object.

This is how it looked after CNC

I need to mill out the material at the back in order to hollow the inside. This is the Milling machine from Plastic shop.

Surface treatment technique from Metal smith – Gold Leafing

Gold Leafing in detailed shot

80% finished surface for Gold Leafing

Finished piece, detail shot

Finished Bracelet

Rhino Files and 2D Drawings:

Process pictures:


Kacy Woo Project 2 & 3

April 18, 2010

For my second Project, I decided to make a pendent. This pendent inspired by Dale Chihuly who is a glass sculptor. I simplified the organic form of Dale Chihuly’s glass sculpture and many of organic forms put it together. It will create organic form of plant.

Each of shapes are organic form and back part will flat as shown as my drawing.


I drew out the simplified organic forms and rotated it. Then made a 3D model of it, using Rhino.

After making my 3D model, I had it printed at the RP lab.

But, my output model wasn’t clean therefore; I filed the edge of model to clean up.

Then, I used a 1.5mm stone setting burr to make 5 stone sets. After then, I set  5 cubics(1.5mm) on my model.

As shown as this pic ↓

  This is my sample model which shows with 5 cubics

This is my final piece on silver necklace (also I made silver necklace; it is 0.8 mm s/s wire with s/s finding  )

Here is link to download my drawing,

 Render1 ,   Render 2 (PNG) ,     4 views,       sample image,         Rhino file,     and  stl file

Avital’s Aleph

April 18, 2010

click here to view other Aleph links


I began this assignment by sketching variations based on my original form, the Hebrew letter Aleph. I wanted to connect the form with my thesis idea – that the world was created with the Hebrew letters, therefore I wanted the letters to appear as though they are growing out of nature.

In Rhino I created a form that I was pleased with and decided on printing it with ebony wood using the CNC Milling machine. Since the CNC only mills out the top surface of the object I came up with the idea (after speaking with the technician in the RP lab) to create a file on Rhino that is my object but with a few helpful additions. I created a perfect box around my form and centered the form perfectly in it. I then attached the form to the box using sprues which I created. Through these additions the technicians were able to mill one side of my object and then flip it to the other side in order to mill out the other side. The box also helped in stabilizing the piece of wood after the first side has been milled and therefore an uneven surface that cannot rest properly or securely while the second side is being milled.

Following the milling process I was required to cut the object out from the box and apart from the sprues.

Once the form was free I completed the pendant by sanding down the wood and polishing it with a natural wood polish. I then adorned it with a sterling silver .8 mm wire too create a look of a view, enhancing my original concept of the world being created from the Hebrew letters.

The completed Aleph with the silver wire vine.

This is the "box" that was arround my figure, once I had cut the two apart.

In this image you can see the thickness of the box and how the Aleph was suspended in the middle.This photo displays how the Aleph was situated inside the box.

This photo displays how the Aleph was situated inside the box.The completed Aleph with the silver wire vine.The completed Aleph with the silver wire vine.

I view this project as a success. Next time I print this model however, I will make some of the narrower sections a little thicker so they will not be so delicate and therefore prone to breaking. The use of the box and the sprues worked out very well and allowed me to achieve the detail and surface that I wanted. I wanted to create a 3D object that was complete with detail on both sides – detail that was not a symmetrical design and through this technique which I have devised I was able to achieve this design.

Danish Pendant

April 18, 2010

Welcome to my blog. Just to refresh your memory, I’m designing a danish pendant–making reference to the food not the ethnicity. The fabrication methods in which I’ve employed are 3-D (MJM) printing, casting and acrylic resin. The following is the recipe of the process. Enjoy!

Initially, I scanned an actually danish to get the contours and textures. Prior to scanning, I scooped out the jelly filling and probably gave myself a stomach ache at the same time.

I sprayed paint the flaky pastry with grey spray paint. I needed a particular kind of spray paint, which I had the RP gentlemen do at the end. I needed to spray paint the danish with matte grey spray paint–Krylon works best for that (the photo here is actually glossy grey spray paint, oops!). After leaving the paint to dry, the rest of the process was in the hands of the techs, which unfortunately I didn’t witness.

The following day, I went to pick up my STL file of my danish and to my surprise, my 3D rendering of my danish was translated in virtual reality. However, I had expected that there would be issues with the mesh because of the organic nature of the danish. I realized that I had about 700 naked edges to fill and I had to introduce myself to a whole new set of operations in order to rebuild these meshes.
With such a time consuming operation and deadline approaching, I made a decision to forgo the mesh operation and to use the scan as a bitmap background and model from it using the tools that I was familiar with so I would get the essence of a danish.

After much time working with the model in Rhino, I generated an STL file to be handed over to the RP guys to have it 3-D print with the high quality blue material.

Then I prepared the object for casting. I made a silicon cold mould from the object and then wax injected it to make a wax model to be casted. I took the wax model to a casting house (ReadyMounts) and decided to cast the object in brass.

Days later, I received my castings, filed and cleaned off the castings, and soldering a brass jump ring so it will hang properly on the body. I lightly polished the piece and applied a bronze patina to highlight the undulating curves.

The piece wouldn’t be a danish if there wasn’t the jelly filled center. So I went to the Plastics shop and masked off the exterior. I mixed up my own red polyester resin with the polyester resin and catalyst (1:10 ratio). Every ounce of resin accounts for 10 drops of catalyst. I poured the resin into the cavity and added broken red beads into the center to mimic cherries.

I let it set for 24 hours and for the piece de resistance, I went back into the Plastics shop and drizzled white resin on top of the piece for the icing. I let it dry overnight.

Lastly, a pendant wouldn’t be complete without its findings, so I attached a black cord at the end of the jump ring and voila!

Final thoughts
If I were to do anything differently, I would have allowed sufficient time to familiarize myself with the mesh operations in order to rebuild the object or at least patch up the naked edges. A danish in terms of form is quite organic and throughout the whole process from the Rhino output to the wax injection to the final casting, there were changes taken place to the design which enhanced the overall rustic nature of the danish. The wax injections allowed for anomalies and unintentional textures which worked to my advantage. There was certainly a degree of traditional techniques being employed in this entire process, and I’m beginning to understand the how a craftsperson working in any medium would be able to work cohesively with two unparalleled methods of thinking and generate a product that shows how technology and craft can successfully integrate with one another.

Here are my files:
Orthographic Drawing

Danielle’s Cake Stand

April 18, 2010

For this project, I decided to make a cake stand. I knew that I wanted to use laser cutting as part of my process, so I had to design accordingly.

The rhino modeling was not going to be especially difficult, as most of my pieces were consistent thicknesses. I sketched out an approximate curved shape of what I wanted the stand part to look like, as well as a curved designs for the surface of the plate. I then brought the sketches in to Adobe Illustrator and traced them.

Then, I imported the Illustrator file into Rhino, and made it all 3D. The toughest part about rendering in 3D was getting the cover to look like fabric. I couldn’t really figure it out, so I basically created a shape that seemed to mimic the underlying structure. Here are the line drawings:

And here are the final renders:

I ended up using an .ai file for the laser cutting and etching. Originally I had wanted to use a thicker acrylic, more like 3/8 inch. However, while talking with the technician, he mentioned that it would be extremely costly to cut it, so i opted for 1/4 acrylic. When it was finished (finally) I assembled the pieces, and sewed the cover together. Taking into consideration some of the comments I received from the panel on Thursday, I ended up changing my fabric choice to a lighter fabric that was lacy and allowed for the cake to be seen through the fabric.

Here are some pictures of the cut pieces:

After getting all the plastic pieces cut, I also had to cut & sew the cover fabric. The stretch in the fabric allowed the pattern to be pretty flexible all I had to do was make sure it fit over the slats fairly comfortably after sewing it together.

And here is the cake stand assembled with a piece of cake on it:

Overall, I really enjoyed most of the process of this project. There are definitely some improvements I could make on the overall design of the object, mostly with the lid, but I am definitely satisfied with the end result.

If you would like the files, you can find them here. This includes both the original rhino file with the 3/8 inch thickness and the revised file for the 1/4 acrylic. It also includes my .ai file for the laser cutter.