Summerized Blog

Laser Cutter and S&P Prototype

Last Saturday, I took an intro class to laser cutting at TechShop. Unfortunately Kaho wasn’t able to make it.

The first half of the class consisted of a discussion of the many
scenarios in which the laser cutter could catch fire and burn the
entire building down. Apparently this happened to one of HP’s buildings
at some point.

Undaunted, we bravely cut and etched a piece of scrap wood. The
process is quite simple, but it was obvious that with each new material
and design, there’s a process of trial and error to find the right
parameters on the machine — the right balance of speed and power. I’m
excited to start my own projects on the cutter the first of which will
be something really simple.

While at TechShop, I also picked up my first salt and pepper
prototype. Very exciting, as it’s also my first output from the 3D
prototyping machine. The S&P turned out pretty much as I’d pictured
them. There are a few things that need refinement, but ultimately, I’m
very happy with this first result. And it’s incredible to see how your
design was created, almost as though a tiny tube of toothpaste was
methodically squeezed to form the structure in 3D.

The tray (or plugplate) came with support material stuck to the bottom of it, which I easily peeled off.


A bird that looks like a hummingbird is on the tree outside my window, though I can’t get a photo that’s not a little blurry.

LA Woman

I visited Kat in LA this weekend. I was 13 on my last trip to LA,
and remember riding a bus with local teenage girls and admiring their
paint spattered shirts, fluorescent fingerless gloves and industrial
neck chains. Being that fingerless gloves have already come and gone
again, it’s been a long time.

Huntington Beach was resplendent with implants and fake tans. While
Kat surfed, I claimed the title of whitest person on the beach. After,
we found a great antique shop where I bought a canary yellow mod ’60s
dress — the kind that’s cut in half in the middle and connected by
plastic links. I’d been wanting
one for a long time.

LA car culture manifested itself in a tricked out hearse.

That night we hit some kind of eco party benefit, and met the Eco-Hawk.

Other highlights include a fantastic
meal at Wabi Sabi; a drink at The Other Room (apparently related to New
York’s Rooms); meeting Kat’s friend Milena; brunch with Danielle, a grad school friend; wandering
around Santa Monica; seeing Kat’s gorgeous little neighborhood of
bungalows; checking out H.D. Buttercup, a huge furniture showroom
housed in a wonderful old art deco bakery; and Kwik-E-Mart madness.

Almost there…

We are rewarded for our patience.


CNC Milling Machine

Today, Kaho and I took another class taught by Hung ā€“ an
introduction to the CNC milling machine. The machine can apparently cut
on three axes. We got to mill a little gear pattern into squares of
aluminum with a round bit.

After learning about the milling machine, I moved on to my other
project, the salt and pepper shakers made on the 3D printer. I made a
slight modification to the lid to my salt shaker, and asked Hung to
print one of all three parts. Apparently, they’re now printed and
waiting for me at TechShop.

First Days at TechShop

A couple weeks ago, I met Kaho, while giving away plastic hangers on Freecycle;
she’s a fashion designer, and wanted them for her fabrics. Having both
recently moved from New York to San Francisco, and being interested in
design and technology, we have a lot in common. We’ve started driving
to classes at TechShop in Menlo Park together.

We took the first class a couple weeks ago ā€“ an intro to 3D printing taught by Hung Nguyen. We were inspired.

A couple days ago, we took another class with Hung, who taught us
CAD basics in Autodesk. I drew up a salt and pepper set, shaped like a
plug plate and sockets. Imagine a plug plate sitting horizontally on
the table, and the two sockets extruded upward from the plate, to form
the salt and pepper. The holes for the electrical prongs become the
perforations for the salt and pepper to come out. I managed to get a
whole draft done in the class. Hung was very generous, and gave us
several hours, rather than just one. His son came in to help too,
so the instructor to student ratio was very good.

After Hung checks over the drawing, I plan to create a version of
the S&P on the 3D printer, to see how it looks. This will be my
first rapid prototyped object, and Iā€™m really excited about it.