Intro to fabrication – Week #6 – Final Project

This week we had all our finals, including P-comp- which i’m making with the CNC machine. After a few tryouts and cutting from both sides of the material for our stacking toy, I wanted to do some layered work with the machine, on one piece.

This is few of the tests I did last week while working on Pcomp final:


And this is our final P-comp which made out of 3 circles that include pocket cut from both sides to house the acrylic:


I decided to create this week project for my friends, Matan and Limor, that getting married this week, and I won’t be able to attend their wedding, so I thought I should just show them how I spend bunch of time thinking about them 🙂


Other friend of ours, Aviel Basil, is an illustrator and made some cute illustrations of the couple, including their cat:

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 5.20.22 PM

I then started to apply some changes in order to get the right shapes, cut in the right way:


Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 5.21.49 PM

I planned to have 3 different stages of height:

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 5.23.12 PM

White,black and brown represent each layer.

After remaking the shapes in order to fit a CNC cut, I went to find some wood i’m Home depot, they have a lot of wood supply and bits in their Bed-Stuy location, I found two materials that were cheap and looked good, 1/4 inch plywood and tempered hardboard.

thumb_IMG_4836_1024 thumb_IMG_4837_1024

After I had the materials, I prepared the cutting file in Mastercam:




One sad thing happened this week – both of my 1/4 bits were broken (not by me), so I needed to get new one. While I made my mastercam files, I figured this object will need to be much bigger than I wanted in order to fit the bit I found from Shuan. He had an 1/8 bit, but I didn’t want to take the risk if it will break, from what I understand it is much more delicate bit..

The first CNC cut didn’t went well, and something was off with my numbers, beacouse the CNC cut all the way through instead of  only -0.05 inch from the material surface. In order to not make this mistake again I prepared a test file with my measurements and then cut it:


Even after I made this test, and using a new material- It still cut all the way though! I got some help from Dani Rozin, also in the software, but we ended up taking the Z point of the cutting software a bit higher, and continued my cutting process. The face the the material was thin and the bed was not that straight- didn’t helped. I guess I should always have another piece of wood under my stuff, no matter what’s in the bed of the machine, if I’ll use the same wood.

After the Z point was higher, it started to make sense. You can see the first tryout where there’s a hole, and the rest of it after we took the z point higher.


It also had some differences from the top of the bed to the bottom of it:


The far end cutting as it should, and the closer area didn’t cut the same. I figured I should continue with this, also because I knew I had another layer that can cover the big holes in the hair area.


I sanded and cleaned the wood from any spare material around it.


Then I continued to the second part- The laser cut of the second layer. I made some test to check what is the best numbers for the tempered hardboard: on the 75W machine : 8/100/20 twice.


card board test, to make sure the size fits, after a few changes in the mastercam I didn’t remember what size was the final, and wanted to be sure i’m cutting the right size…




I made sure to cut it in mirrored image, so the front smooth material will face up. The material was cut really smooth and kept it’s strength while taking it off. I really liked it, wish I knew about it before..

Eventually I got it ready, but it looks like paint would hurt…I guess it’a all operation I should do after the show 🙂 I still need to make Limor’s illustration!

When the parts are not glued, it’s actually looks like a kid, and as a grown up! nice effect I didn’t thought will happen- but was surprisingly functional !…




Intro to fabrication – Week #5 – Materials

This week we need to build something out of two materials, without using plywood or acrylic. I went to buy some copper at Blick store for our fabrication class, and had this idea in my mind to create a pencil if I’ll find nice lead tube. I found a few tubes that I could use, and decided to get the cheapest one and to make a quick test. I got some scrap wood and cut it to be a long straight rectangle shape, using the band saw. I sand it to have 6 equal faces, (tried to at least…) it always had one of the sides better than the other, but I figure I should measure and mark until where’s my sanding should continue. The next step was to create a hole for the lead. I measured it with caliper and got 17.6mm, while 1/2″ spade bit will cut only 17mm….

I cut it with the spade bit anyway, and then Jesse, that lended me the caliper, offered me to sand it with an acrylic tube covered with sanding paper. I did that, and could match a bit the width of the hole to the lead. I needed to push it in, and the lead is quite soft, so eventually 1″ length of the lead went in. I then sanded both of the materials together using the sand machine as a sharpener.  I guess the for a quick tryout I’m satisfied with the results, and should thik about paint it or laser cut it later on…

thumb_IMG_4744_1024 thumb_IMG_4745_1024 thumb_IMG_4746_1024 thumb_IMG_4747_1024 thumb_IMG_4748_1024

Few Lasercut tests:


thumb_IMG_4750_1024 thumb_IMG_4751_1024 thumb_IMG_4752_1024 thumb_IMG_4753_1024 thumb_IMG_4754_1024 thumb_IMG_4755_1024 thumb_IMG_4756_1024 thumb_IMG_4757_1024

Intro to fabrication – Week #4 – Enclosures

About a month ago, me and my P-comp group, decided to create toys for kids in our P-comp final. Since then, I’ve been working on making prototypes of 3d shapes that we might use and also building them with the laser cutter and lately began to use the CNC cutter. These are some of the examples the we used in our user-testing:


After the used testing we figured we are going to use the round stacking shapes which was the best for our user.

I decided to ask Xialong and Ilay’s help in order to make those shapes from wood. Xialong advise was to make those shapes in vectorworks, and Ilay’s on the other hand, was good with illustrator. Xialong sais that Vectorworks works better in precision and that he also make his laser cutting with this program. Because I had experience with illustrator, that was my best practice to start this process, Although I downloaded Vectrworks and tried it a bit.

The first tryout was made just by making 3 rounds in illustrator. Ilay explained every step that we need to go through with Mastercam Software.

FullSizeRender 2

I was very happy with the results, after sanding. It’s great to know that you can actually give much production value to our prototypes.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset


That was our first step.

After we figured we need to put our neopixels LED’s inside our wooden circles, we made a sketch of what our shape need to look like from the inside:

2015-11-28 16.46.34

This time I got the help from Maya and Abishek, we went over all the properties again, It was very helpful to go over Cam menus all over again, I got some notes from the previous tryout, but Maya also mentioned the “Subtractions” tutorial, we just followed it.

After the machine started we noticed it’s working fast and aggressive, when we checked the CNC screen, the cut and plunge speed, two top speed bars, was on the highest, so we need to remember to put it on 50/45. The speed caused a few breakouts of wood, but I assumed I need to make more of it to get the best shape, so we continued after we paused the machine, this time it was slower.

2015-11-28 15.57.18 2015-11-28 17.15.12

I actually liked to see how it was doing the small step that we measures to fit the newpixels:

2015-11-28 17.15.36

2015-11-28 17.08.39

We still need to close t with a veneer, I thought about making a few holes and attach some magnets.

I also got those bits for future works:

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 12.28.56 AM


Intro to fabrication – Week #3 – Laser Cut Subway Car

This week we got some insights about measurements and useful and accurate tools to use. We also saw a lot of examples of laser cut applications that we can do with the machines at ITP’s shop. I really liked the metal etching, and hope to make something with this method in the future.

I decided this week to create a model of a subway car. I looked at a lot of examples, and finally found a car train that I liked, which is similar to the regular subway car that we take these days – R65.  I found it in this blog, made by a guy that makes paper models for vehicles. In order to laser cut my car, I needed to remake the model in vector. I also wanted to play a bit with the sizes, and the design.

I got two materials that I wanted to try, grey/black mountboard, and Basswood. I found those two at Blick art store. I thought the gray mountboard will look good etched, when it will reveal the black board which is the second layer in this board.

Screen Shot 2015-11-22 at 8.21.13 PM

After I finished the work on the car, I made some tests with my materials, on the 75W machine in the shop. I wanted to test the way it etches, half-cut and cut the material. I planned to have curved corners on the car, so I wanted to test that first.


Vector etch: 50/30/50 works best, as a vector cut that etches, not in the etching mode.

Half cut: 40/70/50 X2, I figures it’s best to do it twice than make the power higher, and also to avoid burning marks.

Cut: 30/80/50 X2 , fully cut.

Small tests in the corner of the board:


Then after getting good results in the test, I started to cut, by using the layers in order to first etch and then to cut:

Screen Shot 2015-11-22 at 8.49.27 PM

And this is how the first cat came out:


After building the car with the mountboard, I tested the machine with the Basswood:


Basically the speed will determine if the vector etching will be darker or lighter.

I ended up using 20/8/20, for cutting I used 20/100/20.

I also changed the model to not have the curved corners, because I figured it will just break with the wood.

So I ended up with two subway cars..I really enjoyed the work on the curved parts, It’s great to explore how half cuts work.

thumb_IMG_4651_1024 thumb_IMG_4652_1024

I also used the CNC this week with the help of Illay from 2nd year, in order to make my group P-comp prototype. He showed me how to cut circles that we needed, by making a file in illustrator. We went over the workflow in the CNC Mastercam software , choosing bits, aligning the machine and adjusting the files after exporting.


FullSizeRender 2


Intro to fabrication – Week #2 – Hanucake (חנוגיה)

This week we had to make multiples of one object, using order of repeated methods. I knew that I wanted to try the circle jig with the router, so I thought what I can make with a circle? or a few circles? because of the holiday season that’s coming, I thought why not doing something for Hanukkah..that can be useful eventually..So I’ve decided to create a cake that will be a Menorah for Hanukkah. It need to have 9 parts, one for the “Shamash” which you light the candles with, by the jewish religion you need to transfer light to the Hanukkah candles, and not light then straight from a source of fire. And I need to have another 8 parts for another 8 candles that symbolize the 8 days that an oil tin can lasts when the Maccabees liberated the Temple from the hands of the Greek invaders. They found only a small cruse of pure and undefiled olive oil fit for fueling the Menorah. The problem was, it was sufficient to light the Menorah only for one day, and it would take eight days to produce new pure oil. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days and nights.

I started by going to Prince lumber,  I knew that I’ll need to have at least 3 pieces of wood and stick them together, so I needed wood glue, also was interested to see how the place looks like and what they can offer –  and maybe some free wood left overs..

thumb_IMG_4491_1024 thumb_IMG_4492_1024 thumb_IMG_4493_1024 thumb_IMG_4494_1024 thumb_IMG_4495_1024

When I arrived it was great to check out all the different router bits that they have, and I found the guerrilla glue the Xialong from 2nd year recommended me when I asked him about this. I went to the wood shop and talked to some guys about the different materials that I need, one piece that they cut was  really rough because they use large saw for large wood plates, it’s not good for small pieces and I wanted to get just 8″*8″ pieces. I ended up getting 2 MDF’s and one pine wood pieces. When I went to pay, they gave me the MDF’s for free saying it’s a small piece and that I can just have it…I also got a few pieces from their left overs.

I sent back to ITP and started to set my area for the router work. I got some help from Aaron, from 1st year, after we spoke about it and he told me he already did this, and had a sacrificial wood plate that I can use under my materials.

So I placed the circle jig, and I wrote down which bit I used, it was one of the most used in the red router box, I used drill to make the circle center pin hole, but basically the first problem that I had, till the end of my cuttings was where to place clamp in order to keep small area in place, while using the circle jig. This is the set up:


This is the first tryout:

thumb_IMG_4502_1024 thumb_IMG_4503_1024

I first started with the pine wood because I had large piece in case something will fail:

thumb_IMG_4505_1024 thumb_IMG_4506_1024

I ran through the sacrificial surface but I guess that was it meant to do…

I continued to the MDF which was way smoother!…


I held it with two clamps and just did it in stages, moved it along the router circle direction..I guess that I just needed to get a large piece instead of a small one..:


The best part was to sand everything:

thumb_IMG_4511_1024 thumb_IMG_4512_1024

thumb_IMG_4515_1024 thumb_IMG_4517_1024

All three pieces didn’t had the same exact measurements, but I guess that after they will be in one piece I can sand everything to match it..

I followd the instruction on the glue bottle and set my working space for it:


I used a bit of water on the surface, and kept it for night with two clamps on it.

This is how it looked in the morning after, although it takes only 2 hours to dry:


The glue actually multiples it’s capacity… I wend back to the sanding machine:

thumb_IMG_4541_1024 thumb_IMG_4542_1024 thumb_IMG_4543_1024

Now it looks like a cake!

Next stage is actually the multiples part- how to saw it evenly for 9 parts..After printing an example of the parts, I measured it on the wood cake:


thumb_IMG_4547_1024 thumb_IMG_4548_1024 thumb_IMG_4549_1024 thumb_IMG_4550_1024

I had to basically hold the cake for each piece. The saw was not that accurate, and I ended up lining up the cake for each cut. In one piece, I held it in straight line but not in the accurate line so I needed to go back and cut the piece, so I ended up having there two cuts accidentally…

thumb_IMG_4554_1024 thumb_IMG_4555_1024 thumb_IMG_4556_1024


I tried to make a temporary jig- it didn’t help 🙂


Next thing I did was to paint only the top side of the cake, I hope it will add to this cake and not ruin it, anyway most of the cake will keep the slices feature visible. First I tested the color and the finish spray I got from Blick art store, I wanted it to have a shiny look to have contrast with the wood material.


By covering the wood i was able to paint it easily:




thumb_IMG_4583_1024 thumb_IMG_4584_1024

After I painted it in 3 layers of red, I taped paper all over the pieces so I can spray the glaze on it:

thumb_IMG_4585_1024 thumb_IMG_4586_1024 thumb_IMG_4588_1024

Nest step is drilling the candles holes.

I got Leon help with the Forstner bits he already got. I know we shouldn’t lend to others, but Leon was kind enough to let me try the bits. I made some tryouts on the pieces that I tested the color and polish on:


What looks like the perfect size for the candle- was not, the two smallest sized in the kits was or too small or two big. I decided to go with the bigger one and just melt the bottom of a candle and stick it to the base of a hole. I then measured the same distance for the candle for all the pieces.


I made a little jig so I could slide the pieces in and hold them in place..I needed some more woods to make it not move at all, but it helped more than I thought.

thumb_IMG_4596_1024 thumb_IMG_4597_1024

And this is the final piece for now:

thumb_IMG_4598_1024 thumb_IMG_4599_1024 thumb_IMG_4600_1024 thumb_IMG_4601_1024

I also got a nice cake box for it..I’ll post it soon.

Happy Hanukkah!




Tin Can Flashlight

I just had my first intro to fabrication class, with Ben light, who introduce us to some of the machines and tools that we have at the ITP shop. We drilled some holes in wood using different drill bits, i was really impressed with the Forstner bits, which drills click holes in wood, it gives the work really nice finish. Ben’s story about him making a flashlight to his grandmother, which helped her use her lock keys was really moving, especially when he used the story to explain how every piece that we will make have a lot of meaning because we spend so much time thinking about the piece and who’s going to use it. I decided to build a flashlight to my brother. He’s in the army now in Israel, and part of buying an Israeli soldier is to take a lot of Tuna fish tin cans when you go to train in the field. I decided to make a first tryout. I used a hand drill and started with a small standard bits.



In order to get the lid off the can, but keep it closed, I used side can opener that I got from Ben after asking him whats the best way to get this result. The side can opener really cool and works well, by cutting the lid in perfect distance from the tin itself .



After the first tryout It looks like putting a switch in the side of the can can looks good and also be easy to hold the can and switching on and off, so I continued with my tryouts and got few different tin cans in order to check if I should use the ones that pens easily or the ones that you need to open with an opener and how easy is it to operate.

thumb_IMG_4398_1024 thumb_IMG_4401_1024

I took Danielle’s advice and drilled the new cans with the drill press. I started with a really small drill bit and continued with a larger one, in order to fit the hole to the switch diameter.




In one of the boxes I tried to go straight with the bigger bit- and it really ruined the hole, it was too much for this thin metal..


After using properly the bits, the holes turn out to be really well.


I found that this size was the best size to use for my switch: 7/32.


After making holes in all of the three boxes, I started to build the circuit, which is a very simple one: on/off switch, 9v battery, 220 ohm resistor and white LED.


This is the tin with the switch and the lid back on:


I ended up using a simpler switch from the one I had, thanks to Leon, then I put all the components inside:

thumb_IMG_4421_1024 thumb_IMG_4423_1024 thumb_IMG_4424_1024 thumb_IMG_4427_1024

I think it turns out to be cute little flashlight, I will try next the tin box that needed to be opened with a simple box opener.

thumb_IMG_4431_1024 thumb_IMG_4432_1024 thumb_IMG_4438_1024

After putting a lot of pressure in order to open the lid, it broke from the can, which means – using the easy opening lid boxes.


I had only one box for this test, so Im going to super-glue the lid to the box, so when I’ll open the easy opening lid, there is no way it will pop up…This is the can with the glue and easy opening lid..

thumb_IMG_4450_1024 thumb_IMG_4454_1024 thumb_IMG_4455_1024 thumb_IMG_4456_1024

The final test was good and the can lid was very secured with the glue. It also not so visible, but I can try to make it better for the next version.