Student Project Highlights

Fidget Spinner

posted Sep 27, 2017, 6:00 PM by Hawken FabLab   [ updated Sep 27, 2017, 6:07 PM ]

Student Entry: Matt Z. 2016-2017
It's been over a month since my last update, but I've made a lot of progress on making these spinners fully functional.

So far, I have two iterations of the spinner with ceramic bearings in the center. I use glue and clamps to put the spinner layers together. One design has two 1/8" layers, for 1/4" total thickness, and the other has a 1/16" layer sandwiched between two 1/8" layers. Both function about the same.

I'm now optimizing the cap design. I've used tinkercad to work on the designs using the 3D printer. Once I have a cap that can stay in place in the center of the bearing yet also be removed easily, I will start figuring out how to make the spinners more aesthetically pleasing by painting the wood, etching it using the laser cutter, and perhaps even trying to do the LED light thing Mr. D showed me a while back.

Mr. DiGiorgio sent me a link to this cool post on instructables. Adding LED lights could be a cool way to take this project further once I have my design down solid.

I'm still working on my cap design while other people use the laser cutter. I've printed 2 new caps on the 3D printer. These ones are flat on the finger side so that they're smooth and take advantage of the heated plate.

I'm currently working on 3D printing some caps for my spinner. I made the design so that it's ergonomic and easy to place into the bearing so that one does not have to hold the center of the bearing itself but rather has a fingerprint-sized cap to hold. I might make it so that it stays in place using glue or not using glue so they can be removed. A current problem with the blue caps pictured below is the fact that they're not smoothly printed on the part where the finger holds it, so I might get rid of the lip and just make it so that the part where the finger holds it is printed on the bottom of the 3D printer's plate so that the heat smooths it out.

I'm continuing my work on the laser cutter with more iterations of the spinner design. So far, the round spokes pictured below are my favorite.

I need to order more ceramic bearings in order to produce more long-spinning spinners.

Once I have a solid design for the spinner, a way to consistently make the wood spinner not wobble, and a good cap design, I'm hoping to produce some of these and sell them to friends and acquaintances. The wobble comes from inexact placement of the bearings within the mold, so making the process as exact and precise as possible will be necessary to be able to make these wood spinners high quality.

My wood fidget spinner design is complete. I spent the last few days working in Corel to fine tune the design. Making the design was a learning process, and adjusting nodes and learning other tools in Corel made this design possible. I replicated the design I initially had with the 3D printer, and then added grooves on the outside to make it easier to spin. I then spent a couple of days learning how to use the laser cutter to apply my design to wood. Learning the laser cutter is an ongoing process, and I've gone through many different prototypes to precisely size the holes for the bearings. Today, I've been able to use it successfully enough to finally make my first functioning prototype wood fidget spinner. After many iterations, I made two cuts, one on 1/4" wood and one on 1/8" wood, and glued them together. I put glue clamps on, let it dry, and then put the bearings in. It's a little wobbly and it took some sanding to fit the center ceramic bearing in, but it works. Now I want to adjust my design by lessening some of the grooving on the outside and reducing the size of the "wings" on each arm, perhaps even eliminating them altogether. I also want to make the outside a bit thicker because sometimes my prototypes broke. In addition, I'm going to make a good cap for the ceramic middle spinner so that worrying about touching the spinning part and imparting friction/slowing down the spin is nonexistent, as well as reducing the "pain" or nuisance one gets from pressing down on the hole too hard with a finger, causing a circular indentation.

Mr. D recommended I switch my design to the laser woodcutter so that I can more quickly and precisely adjust my design. So, I have lost some progress that I made with Tinkercad since I now need to reproduce it in Corel, however, my initial prototypes are looking solid. I have the same basic idea for the shape of the spinner, I just need to optimize it, put the bearings in, and reproduce it.

I have a few more steps to take to perfect my fidget spinner. I first need to improve the cap design so that it fits more neatly within the spinner design, and create a few copies once I have improved it. I think I want to decrease the distance between the cap itself and the connector pieces, and make the connector pieces fit more snugly while also being able to be removed easily. I also want to make the cap slightly concave so that it is more ergonomic, perhaps adding grooves for grip.
For the spinner design, I am working on it but my goal is to add grooves on the outside for better grip when spinning, and perhaps add an ability to spin it on the finger as well.

Finally, once I receive the ceramic bearing, my spinner will be able to spin much longer because it will have much less friction than the regular steel bearings. These steps should make my design better and hopefully make for a neat toy in the end.

My inspiration for improvements in my spinner and cap designs:


posted Jan 24, 2017, 2:42 PM by Matthew Zeldin
Today I finished a design for the middle bearing cap on my fidget spinner.
It's currently printing but I hope to see it on my design by the end of class today.

I think my current goal with this project has shifted from making multiple fidget toys into a conglomeration and more focus on one type, the spinner. This way, I can optimize the design and make the coolest, best possible spinner.

I used 8x22x7(mm) VXB shielded bearings (model 608ZZ) placed in 22mm diameter holes on this 4-hole shape. I sanded the insides of the holes, used a "soft hammer" to knock them into place, and now it spins for a solid 10 seconds.
Using Tinkercad, I plan on making a cap for the center bearing. The inside diameter is 8mm, the outside 22mm, and the thickness is 7mm.

Today I also completed all of the Tinkercad lessons.

Other Fidget Toys Ideas

Magnet Entertainment: This could be developed to something as simple as a magnetic plate and a small ball bearing. Another simple toy that could be adapted to a multi-functional system.
Another idea I came across was to use coins as weights, rather than other bearings.

Implementing the idea I had to use something to spin around a finger, similar to a key on a lanyard, would be to use holes in the center of the outside rings of the spinner and be able to stick your finger inside and flip the whole device from there, like in this video:

I've been thinking about what individual functions I can implement into my "conglomeration" of fidget toys into one toy. I came across some cool fidget spinners from They work with bearings that rotate around an axis and have symmetry, allowing for up to 6 or more individual arms. I want to use the idea of the Fidget Cube and make a toy that combines different functions that allow you to fidget by spinning, clicking, flipping, and rolling. I've also been thinking about common ways I fidget normally, such as spinning my phone on its back, flipping pencils, clicking pens, tapping my fingers, spinning my keys on their lanyard, and more. My end goal is to make a system in which I can attach and detach different fidget toys and use them one at a time, as opposed to the pocketable Fidget Cube which requires lots of small parts and is not easily replicated.

Other functions I am considering include rolling marbles, a stress ball feature, and a pen click feature.

3D Printed Speaker Parts

posted Sep 27, 2017, 5:52 PM by Hawken FabLab

Student Entry: TJ P.

    As a part of Ian and Matt's speaker project they asked me to help them print out two 9-Volt battery containers to hold the batteries inside the speaker. At first (as shown below) I took the dimensions of the battery provided and extended the inside of the box about a half of a millimeter more for a snug - but not super tight - fit so that when they need to change the battery they can somewhat easily. I included an open top for the battery to fit through and a bottom in the shape of an oval so that one of their fingers can push it out. The overall rectangular prism had an infill of 50% and high quality print to make sure the box would be durable enough (4 millimeters thick) to not crack or break.

    For my second print, I took the two separate boxes and combined them together to create one functional piece. It is difficult to create an exact fit for the 9-Volt batteries because each brand makes slightly different sized batteries (some rounded, some fatter, skinnier, or taller, etc.).

    This model worked and fit perfectly to the dimensions of two Sunbeam Super Heavy Duty 9V batteries. With the holes in the bottom of the casing, it will be easy to change, however the only future complication would be if the new batteries had different dimensions. For now we are okay and with the wires soldered it functions well.

    This is the printed out version of custom air vents that allow for air flow within the speaker. By allowing a place where air can escape, this provides a reduction of vibration and shaking of the speaker overall. Ultimately, this prevents the bass of the music and speakers from destroying it, and really increasing the quality of the speaker for the user. Additional foam in the back behind the speakers helps to reduce the vibration as well.

    This is the end result with the tubes full attached and glued onto front of the speaker, aligning with designed holes already laser-cut into the wood. After fully testing it, it is verified that the tubes do their job in lowering the vibration and excess noise that accompanies the bass. Also, in the top left corner I adjusted the size of the purple covers (shown below and now a clear blue color) to stabilize the buttons and have the box be secure.

    I printed out buttons and covers for each of the screws (slightly bigger that the bottom part of the buttons so that the top of the box sits firmly on top). It was difficult for to print out these objects and all at high quality as they are small. I had to adjust both the speed of the 3D printer and the temperature originally set at default. I ended up using the first set of buttons that I printed out because it was found to be too difficult to print out the smaller radius of the buttons (4.5 mm as opposed to 6.6 mm), so I had to reprint the covers which I found to be much easier as there is only one radius for the whole piece.

    The only other machine that I hadn't worked with significantly was the laser cutter. I created a button cover that indicated play/pause, rewind, skip, increase volume, and decrease volume (from the left to right). I laser cut the screw holes and button holes out of the red acrylic and then etched off the surface to allow the white figures to shine through.

3D Printed Tripod

posted Sep 27, 2017, 5:45 PM by Hawken FabLab

Student: TJ P.

    Brendan Paul and I wish to build a Tripod model for his camera in order to prototype and bring to life a fully functional project. It may not contain all of the bells and whistles or be as complicated as a commercial grade model, however our goal is to make it work as a stable and unwavering stand for his camera. It will involve a heightening technique to change the angle vertically of the picture or video and be not only adjustable, but portable as well. I want to create this project because it would be exciting to see and use an actual project that can be used in photography, etc. This will be a challenge in that it is not only large, but also has to be able to bend and move to adjust the camera angle from two and a half feet to around seven feet tall. I am intrigued and determined to bring this project to life and am eager to finalize the design in collaboration with Brendan.

    This is a model that was designed online in creating a ball and socket joint that Brendan and I will create. We are going to use Tinkercad to create our own 3D design of a ball and socket joint to create a full functional and flexible tripod. Instead of focusing on a large, traditional tripod, we are going to recreate a smaller version that is portable and much easier to travel with. Additionally, it is capable of wrapping around poles and standing upon all surfaces without moving or collapsing.

    The bottom left two objects (sphere atop a cylinder/dark green half circle) we are both going to 3D print next class. We made these two models today along with a few other beginning works (three objects in the back) to get a jump start on our process as the most import part is to prototype something to further edit and refine. We took a 22 millimeter diameter circle and placed it atop a 16 millimeter diameter cylinder to 'group' the two and make it a connected one-piece model. Then, as part of the beginning of the process, we took a sphere at set the diameter to 25 mm, thus assuming that the thickness of the material is 3 mm. Next, we took a box (rectangular prism) and covered a little less than the bottom half of the sphere at exactly 11 mm (if it were to be exactly half then the ball would slip out of the socket and the whole model wouldn't work) and set the box as a 'hole', so that when we 'grouped' the two, the bottom part became invisible, as shown in the bottom center of the photo above (dark green). However, this object still wasn't hallow. To make it only 3 mm thick along edge, we placed it atop the sphere/cylinder model and making the sphere a 'hole', in order to create the hallowed inside. Finally, we took the top off of the sphere and placed it on the ground right after making the sphere 'solid' once again. For now, the two pieces are separated to see how the top fits on the ball and if it needs to be a tighter or looser fit. Eventually we will place the sphere and cylinder combo atop the covering and 'group' it all together to great one final piece and product.

    Today we were able to finally create our first prototype using Simplify3D to print out a design using the Makerbot. Here are the steps to 3D print this exported .stl file from Tinkercad:
    - Go to settings on the right
        - Click 'connect' to connect the computer to the \\.\com4 printer
        - Once connected, click 'on' to warm up the extruder and heated bed
    - Once done with settings, click 'add' on the bottom left to add a process
        - There you can configure the 'infill percentage' (for us 10% to start), print quality (for us medium to start), and whether or not to                       include a raft (we did not to start)
        - Lastly click 'prepare to print' and check to make sure that everything is in place (on ground, etc.)

    After adjusting the height to 19 mm and the width to 29 mm I printed the object along with another with a width of 30 mm (in the bottom left) with the semicircle attached to the bottom of the shaft in the ball and socket joint. Together the fit together such that the solid sphere was able to find inside the semicircle, however the ball failed to stay put inside of the joint. This is a better step that before when the ball wouldn't fit at all.

    With the same dimensions as previously recorded (19 mm x 29 mm), I attempted to 3D print the figure in the foreground (middle/center). To get it the ball and socket joint to function properly, I decided to print it where the semicircle is already on the sphere. Through Simplifier 3D, I created a support for the sides of the semicircle so that the machine wouldn't print on air. The final product was a little too loose and the ball still came out of the socket, so next time I am going to adjust the cap so that it covers the ball a few millimeters more and have the diameter of the semicircle a little smaller as well.

    This (3rd) prototype that came out functions almost perfectly and does basically what I want it to: the ball is already inside of the semicircle (able to break off a seal inside to the get it moving) and moves around well, however, maybe too well. The ball is so flexible that it has the ability to pop out of the covering. The covering was printed so that it covered the sphere more, which was successful in itself. So, still when printing for next time, the height and diameter of the semicircle needs to shrink. Finding the perfect match is difficult, so it is simply just trial and error.

    This model definitively came out smaller - and too small. It took a wrench to get break the seal from the ball to the covering and thus, ruined the figure it became too warped. I think that since the prototype got printed so exact that the semicircle and the top (ball) in the ball and socket joint were printed together. As said before, I have to adjust the height especially and make the diameter maybe a little wider to get the perfect fit.

    In an attempt to print the model upside down, thus without a support, but with a raft. The machine really didn't like printing the sphere upside down as it took five tries to print out these two figures. The overall sphere (ball) was squished too much, so the ball didn't fit in by any means.

    Through the advanced settings that Mr. DiGiorgio showed us, we were able to configure and print our very first workable model! We printed the two pieces separate to start. The ball moves inside the socket perfectly - neither too tight of a gap, nor too loose - and seems very sturdy.

    Our next attempt was to use our first fully functional model and connect the two pieces together, so that it would model more of what the final version will look like. We printed two of the figures and they too fit together very well like the first run, last class.

    This time we took Mr. DiGiorgio's suggestion to make the sides of the socket thicker and stronger in this prototype. We attempted to take a large scale of the socket and group it together with the actual figure to create a thicker and denser wall (so that it would be less likely to break off). In trying to fit the ball into one of the sides part of the socket broke off as seen above. To prevent this from happening, next time we are going to go back to our original model and simply put the input settings in 3D Simplifier to where it prints the wall of the socket with more layers (3 or 4). Additionally, the shaft that connects the ball and the socket in one piece, we will also increase the layers in that wall to make it not warp or bend and disfigure in any way (basically make it stronger and thicker as well).

    Still experimenting with 25% infill, a raft for support, high quality for printing, and we also have taken the model from Tinkercad and lowered it two millimeters down because the curve of the socket wasn't coming out well in the prints. These settings (except for maybe the infill) is final and now we are going to print out around 30 of these individual prints, so that each leg of the tripod will have 10 sections. From experimenting with the two different 3D printing machines, we have realized that it is important to stick to one machine, use the same color of material, etc. to keep our models consistent (so that some of the models aren't significantly looser or tighter that the others). We are going to start printing out these models which take about two and a half hours to do (to make two at one time) and being forming and piecing our final product.

Clothes Hanger

posted Sep 27, 2017, 1:11 PM by Hawken FabLab

The last Prototype class day

posted Nov 23, 2015, 9:10 PM by Julia Schulze
It was pretty sad to leave the maker space. 
We had so much fun together as a class- the first prototype class at Hawken and me as the first girl in this class- and I will really miss those times.
I wouldn't finish my project today, I had a lot of issues with the electronic part especially the wires because they sometimes didn't light up for no reason so Mr. D had to help me a lot. But now we figured out a way to connect all the LED's and where to put the button. During my Intensive I have to put everything together. Since it didn't really worked out with the batteries in the side I used - after the advice of Mr.D - those bigger Batteries and just put them on the side of the inside.

My TO DO list for the Intensive;
- put all the wires together
- make a design for the leather
- cut out the leather
- put all together

 Some skills and techniques that I have learned through this course and project include working with all the machines and software's. I also believe I got a bit more patient and started thinking more about different ways to do something especially after Mr.D told me his idea which I usually didn't like in the beginning and then after some time thinking about it it is a great idea.
The most challenging parts of the project was actually the electronic part but then also thinking about how to put everything together and not forgetting anything.
As soon as I get some pictures of my current project, I'll upload them.

- Julia

close to the end

posted Nov 23, 2015, 8:58 AM by Julia Schulze

I cut out all the pieces and just have to do the electronic part now. I am nearly done!! My leather arrived yesterday (I want to use it to close the box) and so I have to glue everything together today, figure out the electronic part with Mr.DiGiorgio  and then I am hopefully able to present today during class.
- Julia 

some pictures of my last wood cut and all pieces of the project put together.

work in progress

posted Nov 16, 2015, 9:14 AM by Julia Schulze
I made the holes for the press-fit print and all the single areas.
I will work on the other areas to cover the holes and on the space for the electricity (LED, Wires, metal). 

making progress

posted Nov 16, 2015, 8:58 AM by Julia Schulze
The pictures are inserted below. I cut my hanger design on carport to look if it all fits together because I am putting all my pieces together with "press fit".  i want to do 3 layers, so I can make those holes invisible and it just looks nicer. I am going to post a update of the screen, how my work looks like.

- Julia

Another model

posted Nov 2, 2015, 9:46 AM by Julia Schulze

I am still working on the design of my hanger. With the Laser cutter I cut all the elements of the outside and glued them together to get an impression of how it might look like. Mr. DiGiorgio and I thought about different ways to design the hanger. Ideas which came up were making the back out of leather (I really like the idea), being able to open the back with the leather (maybe close it by a magnet) and how the front door could work and if we do the door or not. 


Paper model

posted Oct 19, 2015, 8:57 PM by Julia Schulze

getting closer to my hanger

posted Oct 19, 2015, 8:49 PM by Julia Schulze   [ updated Oct 23, 2015, 10:43 AM ]
I usually put a whole outfit together with socks, underwear, scarf, pants, shirt - everything. To put everything really together I thought about space in the hanger to put clothes or something different in there. I would use the lower design, I actually don't like the upper one, but I am not sure if it would look that good.



posted Oct 19, 2015, 8:45 PM by Julia Schulze
I was listening to music and searching in the internet but I didn't got ideas. I just knew I wanted to design something I can finally use. I was drawing a dog, which lights up when you move it's tail - I know it is a stupid idea. 
I thought about more and more and finally got the idea of designing a nice hanger, which lights up when you get it out of the closet. 
It should have a button or something with the same effect in the hook. 
The LED lights should be placed on top, so you can see them when you have clothes on the hanger.
Furthermore I thought - with the help of Mr. DiGiorgio - about various ways of putting the hanger together because it would be hard to cut it like that and get the LED's in there.


ALICE Emergency Box

posted Sep 27, 2017, 8:16 AM by Hawken FabLab   [ updated Sep 27, 2017, 12:48 PM ]

By Brian C. 2017

The original design challenge for this project was to design a box similar to the Alice Buckets set up around the school. I was tasked with designing something more professional and effective to be used during Alice drills. Initially, I looked for other cool looking boxes to base my box off of another laser cut box I found online. After research, I determined the optimal shape would be a rectangular box with a hinged door at the top. On one side there is a set of rings to hold the emergency door lock, on the other side there is an attached piece of wood used to rap the rope around. While this project was difficult I am glad that I have a large role in preserving the safety of my peers and teachers.  

April 29, 2017

The Alice Box is finally totally 100% complete. In these edits, I have; increased size to maximize what can be placed inside the box, figured out that wood blocks would be used as objects placed in the box to throw at intruders, and in addition I have stained it so it looks professional and at its best.

April 2, 2017 I have finally finished the final design for the words on the front. It is currently now an acronym for what Alice stands for to remind those during an actual drill or intruder.

March 17, 2017
I have finished a second prototype the same size as the previous one with various fixes such as lid effectiveness

March 1, 2017

The first prototype of the ALICE Box is officially done. I have found that the side holders in order to hold the metal bar that locks the bathrooms don't fit in the holders. I have to redesign them. Besides that, I have found that Everything else about the box itself is working correctly. The hinges are a little squeaky but that can be fixed by cutting out in the next prototype, where they are rubbing against each other. The backboard also had to be shortened in order for the box to close. Note: Next time use wood glue instead of hot glue. 

February 13, 2017

I researched hinges and wooden boxes with lids and found a design that works and could be implemented in my ALICE Box.

February 2, 2017

Mr. D. has laid the task of creating an official ALICE Box to replace the unofficial buckets around the school. First steps for me include creating an 8x3.5x10 box on Maker-space. 

Sears Shultz

posted Jan 18, 2017, 12:19 AM by Hawken FabLab   [ updated Oct 10, 2017, 10:17 AM ]

Final Product

Minor Improvements
Potentiometer is desoldered and switch is soldered on:
9V battery is put under the hopper:

Trigger and Hopper V2
I made slight improvements to the hopper and trigger pieces in Inkscape, such as widening the hopper so darts fall more smoothly and perfecting the trigger pieces.
Gluing it all together:
The hopper is a lot better, but it is still challenging to load darts since they don't always fall in the correct orientation.

Cardboard Trigger V1
Designing the pieces in Inkscape:
Gluing it all together:
Many of the pieces for the trigger are the wrong size.

The Hopper V1
Designing the pieces in Inkscape:
Gluing it all together:
The hopper is too narrow, so darts aren't falling smoothly.

Barrel Addition
Cutting the PVC pipe (I cut it more later):
Designing the barrel holder in Inkscape:
Hot gluing the barrel and holder to the rest:
I ended up removing the barrel because it decreased the range of the darts and did not increase the accuracy significantly. 

Wooden Laser Cut Flywheel Prototype V3 - Smaller Motors Again
Designing the new base and wheels Inkscape:
Printed out:
Assembled again with rubber bands:
Glued onto thick wooden board for stability and wired again:

Wooden Laser Cut Flywheel Prototype V2 - Bigger Motor
Designing the new base, wheels, bottom section, and top section in Inkscape:
Printed out:
Bigger motors hold flywheels crooked, going back to smaller motors:

Wooden Laser Cut Flywheel Prototype
Designing the base in Inkscape:
Designing the wheels in Inkscape:
Laser cutting both:
Wheel fits well on motor:
Designing the sides in Inkscape:
Tight fit with the base:
Designing the bottom section in Inkscape:
Good fit as well:
Designing the top sections and flywheel pegs in Inkscape:
Printed and glued on the pegs:
Good fit:
Wiring again and using rubber bands to hold it together:

Plastic Flywheel Prototype Attempt
Designing the base in Sketchup:
Print wasn't great:
Gluing on both of the motors:

Wiring the Cardboard Prototype
Sketch of wiring (P = potentiometer, M = motor, 9V for battery):
Putting it together, Nerf dart is launched fairly far but flywheels keep coming off: 

Cardboard Prototype V2
The distance between the two flywheels was too tight for the Nerf dart, so I made the holes in the base wider by about 3mm (right is new):
Perfect fit:

Cardboard Flywheel Prototype
Rough sketch:
Inkscape .svg for laser cutter:
For the prototype I will be using this motor:
Trying out the first couple cuts for size:
Cutting out more pieces:
Hot gluing everything together:
The distance between the flywheels is too tight for the Nerf dart. I plan on laser cutting a new base with more spread out holes and reusing the cardboard flywheels.

Initial Idea
My idea is to laser cut a triangle shaped RC car with three wheels. Two motors would power each of the front wheels. On top of the base would be a Nerf turret. Nerf darts would be fed to a piston via a hopper. A motor powers the piston so that it moves back and forth to feed each dart to two spinning motors that thrust each dart forward through a barrel that is aiming upwards. This has already been done with some of the products that Nerf sells:
Very rough sketch:

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