Back to Between, Project Overview

Between, Project Journal

“The space between the known and the unknown is the answer, is the question.”

01.26.17 The First Idea

My first idea was to make a postcard jigsaw puzzle. I could mail each piece then it would be assembled to form a total message. I like this idea, but as I tried to incorporate it into my concept, I found that either it didn’t fit or it did fit but I didn’t have the skill to make the graphic. I decided I was over-complicating. I don’t have to use every idea at once. I backed off and just worked on some images and words as Visual Poetry.

I worked with Hubble Telescope images since they are free for public use and some of my own paintings from the “Work” of Art Project. I ended up with two images that I am going to try on the laser. I want to see how it handles the complexity before I do more.

I like the idea of hiding the words by making the laser cut all the way through certain dots that form stars in the image. Then they would only be visible if I layered the image onto a color.

I used Paint Shop Pro rather than Adobe because it is cheap and I own it.

 

01.27.17 Damnit

I updated this page. I went to add images. I discovered some of my image files are corrupted. The program shut down on me at the end, but I thought the images were ok. I guess not. I’ll have to do it again.

 

01.29.17 First Full Print, Galaxy

I redid the editing that got corrupted. I added one more.

I printed my first laser print today. Wade helped me, but I think I might remember enough to do it on my own next time.

The image came from one of my paintings from Fall Semester, “Work” of Art project. I put it into Paint Shop Pro and edited it, I used a filter to outline color changes. Then I adjusted the color to remove everything but black and white so that I had a line drawing.

The image ended up being really big. I don’t quite know how that happened. I had to edit it again at school to get it down to 10 x 10 in. I used thick “acrylic painting” paper. I printed it at 100% Speed and 50% power (at Wades suggestion). It turned out to be exactly right. The print quality is very high. There are no visible burns or heat shadows.

The image is a bit too busy in the center. I think there was a little more detail than the laser could handle.

 

I would like to try and print one of my tiny detail drawings. The experiment with the galaxy painting tells me that it can be done, but I am not sure how much detail the laser can manage. The issue with the galaxy was the overlap of thin lines in sort of soft, abstract circles. These detail drawings have sharper, more geometric patterns. It might do better. However, I might have to print it much bigger than the original. I am not sure how I feel about that. The point of these drawings is to work with tiny details. If I make it big, it loses that. On the other hand, it is a transition to a new medium and it might end up with a very nice effect on its own. I will see how it goes when I finish the drawing and get a good scan of it.

I drew on my detail drawing for quite a while. I spent at least 4 hours on it. I am not sure doing a detail drawing will accomplish what I want, but it is meditative and I think the hidden words do express the idea (imperfectly).

02.05.17 FINISHED
I finished my detail drawing. I really don’t see how it can go to the laser but Sean says it can. I will scan it at school tomorrow and mess with it a little.

 

02.06.17 More Laser Time

I spent two hours with the laser today. Sean had to help some. I write down the instructions. The issue is really just that Illustrator is weird. I don’t understand what it is doing half the time. I did learn that you can sharpen an image up with raster cutting. That’s the blue color! I tried to write down how to make it work but I forgot some steps and then Sean was gone. I know it has to do with selecting the white and expanding somehow.

 

I cut two postcards. I was going to set the power at 100 on all and the adjust the speed, but Sean said to set the red power on 20%. That may still have been too high. The cards are all black stained on the back.

 

I used the acrylic paper rather than the water color paper.

 

02.07.17 All Day with the Laser

I spent the whole day working with the laser. Illustrator is a BITCH and it hates me, but ultimately I win! I learned that adding a vector layer makes the cut more precise. I can set the Black to a lower setting than the blue (vector) and it makes a nice outline. I also learned you need red at 50/50 to cut. I accidentally set blue to 50/50 instead and made a happy accident but cutting out the inside lines of a design. I wrote down all the print settings, I will document them later.  I am tired now and I don’t wanna go get them.

 

02.12.17 Catching Up

I have not really been recording my time figuring out Adobe. It isn’t quite related to any specific project, but I guess it fits here since it is inspired by learning the laser. I sucked it up and bought the Adobe Creative Cloud thing. I don’t really have time to take a systematic approach to learning the software. I am mostly focusing on making shapes I can use in the laser. It’s probably a poor method of learning, but I am trying.

I spent a lot of time trying to make one of my detail drawings work out, but I have been mostly unsuccessful. I need to be able to edit it more precisely.

I asked some former students about tablets. They swear by them and said even a cheap Wacom would help. Alicia has Critique at work and loves them. Jessica says she loves her Intuos Pro.

 

02.15.17 Tablets Suck

I got the tablet from school. It sucks. I am not finding it any more useful than my mouse. I guess if I were better at drawing it would be, but I’m not. I just need to be able to edit details.

 

02.16.17 Getting Better at Adobe

I am getting better at Adobe. I made some more images to laser today. None of them really express what I want, but I’m getting there,

 

02.17.17 I Declare this Day Unsuccessful

I worked on the laser for 5 hours and got a great big NOPE to everything. There is a bright shiny new computer in there but it still won’t let me open a complex file. It just freezes and freezes. I had to reopen Illustrator literally a dozen times before I finally got the file open. I had no problems with my laptop, just the school computer. Then I could not send it to the printer. GRRRRR.

 

02.18.17 Happy Accident

I put together the laser cut images into cards. Also, here is the painted example.

 

02.19.17 Virginia’s Help

Virginia helped clean up my detail drawing image. These are notes from her Facebook messages to me.

 

“I was able to clean it up in photoshop and get rid of the grays. the problem is you scanned it in as RGB. I then placed the image in illustrator and live traced it using custom”

 “you have to use the filter gallery in photoshop and play with your levels to get rid of grays.”

 “the illustrator file will only get smaller by removing pixels. you can remove pixels by choosing Object-path-simplify and bringing it down to 90%.”

 “The file is smaller by image tracing it from an image that doesn’t have any gray”

 “you can also always shrink your tiff files by going to image size in photoshop and reducing your dpi.”

 “do several versions using path and simplify. bring them all to the school and see which one works. it’s just because you have to many points in your illustrator file”

Here are images of the original scan and the image Virginia cleaned. I deleted the one I cleaned up but it was somewhere between the original and Virginia’s.

 

I went to school and spent 5 hours on the laser. The school computer just can’t handle that file. It sucks. It does not have enough memory. Even with Virginia’s suggestions, I simply can’t compress it enough without losing detail, which defeats the point. I think I need to be able to send it from my own computer to the laser or we need to use a faster IMRC computer to do it.

However, my stripe image is really cool. I am going to make a project out of it, but not tonight. Tonight, I sleep!

The stripes burned because the paper moved but Ill print it again tomorrow.

02.20.17 New Plan

The stripe image is awesome. When you get close you can see all the thin threads made by the laser. I love the idea of it. It encourages the viewer to look closer and see what lies “Between the Lines.” I am going to make a big version. I will need a new image. I don’t want to enlarge the one I have. I want the lines to stay close together. Also, I want a few more intersections I will make it apx 18 x 24 since that’s as big as the laser can handle. I will mount it in plexiglass frames. Then I will cannibalize some cheap helping hands from harbor freight. I will put them on bars around the frame so that the magnifying glasses slide around the image and invite the viewer to look closer. I will do the same thing with my detail drawing and the cool kaleidoscope image that looks like you are falling down a well.

 

I should really dissect the images. I can make the frames on some kind of specimen-board-type-thing. I don’t trust a real cork board, but I could put then cork over a solid board to give it some flex so that it looks like a specimen board. I know they are usually rubberized, but I don’t know if I can find that… I will look. Then I can use the cheap acrylic frames I bought and cut them down with the laser. I can pin them over the images like microscope slides. Then I can mount sliding magnifying glasses directly to each set of frames. I could do two or three. One could be big with sliding glasses on all four sides. Then I could do a panel with two images and magnifiers on top, in between the two and on the bottom. Then the third one could be set up with several small images. Each could have its own magnifying glass. If I have time, I could even find some lenses and make sample dishes with segments of the image in it. I could mount them with the small images. It would be similar to a scientist drawing board. The small ones would be the first stages of experimentation. The biggest one would be the best example and the middle one would be the supporting evidence. Yes, I like this plan. Each set of images would give something new to examine.

 

 

02.27.17 Update

I didn’t write down the last couple of days of work. I did an image that burned through (add picture). Then I had illustrator troubles. Them today I spent all ay on illustrator and then with the laser, 4 hours 36 minutes (pictures). Set at 15, 30, 0

 

Ordered supplies lights electronics etc.

02.28.17 Crisis over money

Cried.

 

03.01.17 Worked all day,

ordered stuff designed frame

 

E-mailed Gene:

Hi Gene,

 

I have four questions maybe you can answer or direct me to answers.

 

If I have 12V Dimmable RGB LED Light Strips, how do I know what kind of potentiometer to use to control each color?

 

I understand that the advantage of LED strips (other than the lack of soldering hundreds of LEDS) is that they have built in current resistance. Potentiometers are resistors. How do I know which value to get?

 

I am making the frames for one of my projects. I want a long box with three frames in a row. Each frame will need to be light boxes to illuminate the cuts in the images being framed. I want each frame to have 3 twist knobs that control the light color and a 4th knob for light brightness/dimness. I found some instructions and it seems quite easy, but the instructions just said, “potentiometer goes here.” I assume that I should know what kind of potentiometer, but I don’t.

 

I am also somewhat unsure about the power source. Can I use the same power source to control all 3 squares of lights even if I am using the potentiometers to control the color and brightness? I don’t see why I can’t but I am not 100% sure.

 

The third question is about the C & C. Can the C & C cut rubber? I found some really cool rubber material I am going to use for the matting. Could I cut the backboard and the rubber with the CC so that all the necessary hole’s line up exactly? I think it might end up being just a little too long for the laser. I think it will be about 3.5 to 4 feet long with three 14 inch by 10 inch frames inside it.

 

I have not drawn out the precise measurements because I want to see the size of the potentiometer knobs and figure out how much distance I need from the lights to get proper diffusion. Without that info, there is not much point in a perfect precise drawing.

 

The last question, have you ever used no-glare acrylic? It costs more and I am sick to death of spending money, but I am thinking I might need to use it. I am going to be mounting sliding magnifying glasses in front of each frame so people will be looking closely at a backlit image. I am afraid the glare of regular acrylic will be a problem. However, I’ve never used no-glare. I don’t know if it will have a dull look when people get close. It could distort the image more than the glare if it is dull. I looked in Lowes but did not see any no-glare to test so I thought I’d ask around and see if anyone had used it.

 

Thanks!

 

Destin

Genes Response:

Hello Destin,

 

You can’t dim a RGB LED strip directly with a pot. You’ll need to use PWM (pulse width modulation) to dim them.  Also, RGB LED’s use specific communication protocols to control color and patterns via a micro controller like an Arduino, not an analog component like a pot.  They do make digital controls with a knob to give you tactile control, but they are a bit pricier then a standard pot.  You could set up an Arduino to convert input from the 4 pots that you outlined, to then control the digital output that controls the RGB LED.

 

If you send me a link to the RGB strip that you bought, I can look up the communication method.

 

As far as power sources go, it depends on how long your strip is.  I’d use a 3-volt external power supply for most LEDS, but some strips are set up for 12 volts if it’s designed for cars or boats.  I’ve also used dual output power supplies in the past to power the LED’s with one voltage and the Arduino with another.

 

As far as the rubber goes, it really depends on what exact material is.  Soft rubber will not work with the CNC mill, but harder rubber might.  Some rubber can be laser cut.  With the sizes, you’re talking the only thing big enough is the Shop Saber router table.  I’d talk with Sean about the material type you’re looking to cut.

 

No, I haven’t used no-glare acrylic, but I’ve seen it and it looks nice, particularly under bright lights.   I don’t know how it will look with magnifying glass, so I suggest buying a small sample and testing it before investing in a larger amount.  Prototypes can solve a lot of the problems you are wondering about.  Inventibles.com might have what you’re looking for in small samples sizes.

 

Lastly, we should probably set a time to meet the first week back from break to review your progress on your independent studies project.  How does Wednesday, March 22nd look for you?

 

Cheers,

Gene

 

 

03.02.17 drove

All over looking for metal. found online. Also found out about articulating ball and socket joints. Ended up finding metal online. Owens suggestion.

 

03.03.17 Friday, Frames

Bought the rest of my stuff

Finished designing the frame system

Added microscopes.

Looked up websites for free science images from researchers. I have neutrino events and Polio viruses and images from the rainforest and all kinds of cool stuff.

 

03.03.17 Friday, Frames

Revised the Frame Design in Illustrator.

 

I am struggling to make everything completely balanced. I want all the frames to be the same height but varied widths. I want them to hang on the wall very neatly, at slightly below eye level for the average person. The average person should not need to stand on their toes to adjust the glasses or scopes. If I want everything to be all the same height, I need to design all the frames at once so I can be sure I have room for everything.

 

Worked on test images in lab

 

03.04.17 Saturday

I put the stinky rubber in the bathtub.

 

I spent a couple of hours trying to figure out Potentiometers to control the RGB LEDs. I am still not sure of it.

 

03.05.17 Sunday

The rubber still stinks. I spent some time looking for alternatives with the same look but I couldn’t find any.

 

I can use potentiometers to control the strips. It is possible. However, I am not sure about controlling brightness and dimness and I also feel like the control is very imprecise. You don’t get much range of colors.

 

03.06.17 Monday

The LED strips look awesome but I had to send them back because the power supply is loose and won’t stay connected.

 

I worked out the neutrino event design on illustrator. It looks great.

 

03.07.17 Tuesday

Found a working plan to make the LED strips do what they should but I had to test it on a regular RGB LED since I had to send the strips back.

 

I have been doing a lot of electronics and coding research but I have not been documenting my sources very well. I just bookmark them. I will make a list some other time.

 

03.08.17 Wednesday

E-mail from Gene about the LED strips. He says I need a driver but I already have it figured out. I THINK.

 

03.09.17 Thursday

Ordered more stuff. Need to work on Robot more.

 

03.10.17 Friday

Robot malfunctioned so working on frames again. Did a new version of the RGB LED control? Researched laser. Read tech info from several laser manuals. I also found a GitHub diagram of “how to build a laser.” Understanding the design helps me understand what all it can do.

 

I did a test run of all the different PPI settings on the laser so I can figure out the best ways to make the cleanest lines.

 

03.11.17 Saturday

Hope and I went thrifting. I found some electronics and a microphone stand that I can use for this project. I also got a bunch of toys to take apart. Then we went to Lowes and bought wood for my frame.

 

03.12.17 Sunday

Worked out mounting system for digital microscope.

 

Worked in the lab and printed the neutrino event. Did a good job adjusting depth with color assignment in the Universal?

 

I bought bad wood for the frame. I ended up having to get more from school.

 

03.13.17 Monday

Worked on Polio Image. It is not done. My computer is fucked up and keeps causing grief. I had to stop and fix it again.

 

03.14.17 Tuesday

Cut parametric Ke

 

02.27.17 Update

I didn’t write down the last couple of days of work. I did an image that burned through (add picture). Then I had illustrator troubles. Them today I spent all ay on illustrator and then with the laser, 4 hours 36 minutes (pictures). Set at 15, 30, 0

 

Ordered supplies lights electronics etc.

 

02.28.17 Crisis over money

Cried.

 

03.01.17 Worked all day,

ordered stuff designed frame

 

E-mailed Gene:

Hi Gene,

 

I have four questions maybe you can answer or direct me to answers.

 

If I have 12V Dimmable RGB LED Light Strips, how do I know what kind of potentiometer to use to control each color?

 

I understand that the advantage of LED strips (other than the lack of soldering hundreds of LEDS) is that they have built in current resistance. Potentiometers are resistors. How do I know which value to get?

 

I am making the frames for one of my projects. I want a long box with three frames in a row. Each frame will need to be light boxes to illuminate the cuts in the images being framed. I want each frame to have 3 twist knobs that control the light color and a 4th knob for light brightness/dimness. I found some instructions and it seems quite easy, but the instructions just said, “potentiometer goes here.” I assume that I should know what kind of potentiometer, but I don’t.

 

I am also somewhat unsure about the power source. Can I use the same power source to control all 3 squares of lights even if I am using the potentiometers to control the color and brightness? I don’t see why I can’t but I am not 100% sure.

 

The third question is about the C & C. Can the C & C cut rubber? I found some really cool rubber material I am going to use for the matting. Could I cut the backboard and the rubber with the CC so that all the necessary hole’s line up exactly? I think it might end up being just a little too long for the laser. I think it will be about 3.5 to 4 feet long with three 14 inch by 10 inch frames inside it.

 

I have not drawn out the precise measurements because I want to see the size of the potentiometer knobs and figure out how much distance I need from the lights to get proper diffusion. Without that info, there is not much point in a perfect precise drawing.

 

The last question, have you ever used no-glare acrylic? It costs more and I am sick to death of spending money, but I am thinking I might need to use it. I am going to be mounting sliding magnifying glasses in front of each frame so people will be looking closely at a backlit image. I am afraid the glare of regular acrylic will be a problem. However, I’ve never used no-glare. I don’t know if it will have a dull look when people get close. It could distort the image more than the glare if it is dull. I looked in Lowes but did not see any no-glare to test so I thought I’d ask around and see if anyone had used it.

 

Thanks!

 

Destin

Genes Response:

Hello Destin,

 

You can’t dim a RGB LED strip directly with a pot. You’ll need to use PWM (pulse width modulation) to dim them.  Also, RGB LED’s use specific communication protocols to control color and patterns via a micro controller like an Arduino, not an analog component like a pot.  They do make digital controls with a knob to give you tactile control, but they are a bit pricier then a standard pot.  You could set up an Arduino to convert input from the 4 pots that you outlined, to then control the digital output that controls the RGB LED.

 

If you send me a link to the RGB strip that you bought, I can look up the communication method. 

 

As far as power sources go, it depends on how long your strip is.  I’d use a 3-volt external power supply for most LEDS, but some strips are set up for 12 volts if it’s designed for cars or boats.  I’ve also used dual output power supplies in the past to power the LED’s with one voltage and the Arduino with another.

 

As far as the rubber goes, it really depends on what exact material is.  Soft rubber will not work with the CNC mill, but harder rubber might.  Some rubber can be laser cut.  With the sizes, you’re talking the only thing big enough is the Shop Saber router table.  I’d talk with Sean about the material type you’re looking to cut.

 

No, I haven’t used no-glare acrylic, but I’ve seen it and it looks nice, particularly under bright lights.   I don’t know how it will look with magnifying glass, so I suggest buying a small sample and testing it before investing in a larger amount.  Prototypes can solve a lot of the problems you are wondering about.  Inventibles.com might have what you’re looking for in small samples sizes.

 

Lastly, we should probably set a time to meet the first week back from break to review your progress on your independent studies project.  How does Wednesday, March 22nd look for you?

 

Cheers,

Gene

 

 

03.02.17 drove

All over looking for metal. found online. Also found out about articulating ball and socket joints. Ended up finding metal online. Owens suggestion.

 

03.03.17 Friday, Frames

Bought the rest of my stuff

Finished designing the frame system

Added microscopes.

 

bought the rest of my stuff and finished design, added microscope, researched science images

 

Looked up websites for free science images from researchers. I have neutrino events and Polio viruses and images from the rainforest and all kinds of cool stuff.

 

03.03.17 Friday, Frames

Revised the Frame Design in Illustrator.

 

I am struggling to make everything completely balanced. I want all the frames to be the same height but varied widths. I want them to hang on the wall very neatly, at slightly below eye level for the average person. The average person should not need to stand on their toes to adjust the glasses or scopes. If I want everything to be all the same height, I need to design all the frames at once so I can be sure I have room for everything.

 

Worked on test images in lab

 

03.04.17 Saturday

I put the stinky rubber in the bathtub.

 

I spent a couple of hours trying to figure out Potentiometers to control the RGB LEDs. I am still not sure of it.

 

03.05.17 Sunday

The rubber still stinks. I spent some time looking for alternatives with the same look but I couldn’t find any.

 

I can use potentiometers to control the strips. It is possible. However, I am not sure about controlling brightness and dimness and I also feel like the control is very imprecise. You don’t get much range of colors.

 

03.06.17 Monday

The LED strips look awesome but I had to send them back because the power supply is loose and won’t stay connected.

 

I worked out the neutrino event design on illustrator. It looks great.

 

03.07.17 Tuesday

Found a working plan to make the LED strips do what they should but I had to test it on a regular RGB LED since I had to send the strips back.

 

I have been doing a lot of electronics and coding research but I have not been documenting my sources very well. I just bookmark them. I will make a list some other time.

LED Strips

 

03.08.17 Wednesday

E-mail from Gene about the LED strips. He says I need a driver but I already have it figured out. I THINK.

 

03.09.17 Thursday

Ordered more stuff. Need to work on Robot more.

 

03.10.17 Friday

Robot malfunctioned so working on frames again. Did a new version of the RGB LED control? Researched laser. Read tech info from several laser manuals. I also found a GitHub diagram of “how to build a laser.” Understanding the design helps me understand what all it can do.

 

I did a test run of all the different PPI settings on the laser so I can figure out the best ways to make the cleanest lines.

 

03.11.17 Saturday

Hope and I went thrifting. I found some electronics and a microphone stand that I can use for this project. I also got a bunch of toys to take apart. Then we went to Lowes and bought wood for my frame.

 

03.12.17 Sunday

Worked out mounting system for digital microscope.

 

Worked in the lab and printed the neutrino event. Did a good job adjusting depth with color assignment in the Universal?

 

I bought bad wood for the frame. I ended up having to get more from school.

 

03.13.17 Monday

Worked on Polio Image. It is not done. My computer is fucked up and keeps causing grief. I had to stop and fix it again.

 

03.14.17 Tuesday

Cut parametric Kerf patterns and did the Logilase training. Wood bending is like origami. I think I will have a good eye for it. I am hoping to incorporate it into future projects.

 

03.15.17 Wednesday

Went to school and worked in the electronics lab to solder parts for the Robot project. While I worked, I let the laser run on some more test images. I did not get a lot done.  I was just so tired. I made some stupid mistakes. I cut the cord of a USB mount for the frames because I wasn’t paying attention. Then I destroyed an expansion board for the robot. I need to sleep.

 

03.16.17 Thursday

Slept late but then went to the lab until late again.

 

03.18.17 Saturday

Error on frames #1. I didn’t fix the joints for the change in angle. I need to learn Rhino so I can do this work in 3 d and then flatten it. Then I wouldn’t be able to make this kind of mistake.

 

03.19.17 Sunday

Tried to cut out the frame but I was off by 6mm! I am out of wood.

Cut parametric  patterns and did the Logilase training. Wood bending is like origami. I think I will have a good eye for it. I am hoping to incorporate it into future projects.

These are someone else’s design. I just needed them to visualize.

03.15.17 Wednesday

Went to school and worked in the electronics lab to solder parts for the Robot project. While I worked, I let the laser run on some more test images. I did not get a lot done.  I was just so tired. I made some stupid mistakes. I cut the cord of a USB mount for the frames because I wasn’t paying attention. Then I destroyed an expansion board for the robot. I need to sleep.

 

03.16.17 Thursday

Slept late but then went to the lab until late again.

 

03.18.17 Saturday

Error on frames #1. I didn’t fix the joints for the change in angle. I need to learn Rhino so I can do this work in 3 d and then flatten it. Then I wouldn’t be able to make this kind of mistake.

 

03.19.17 Sunday

Tried to cut out the frame but I was off by 6mm! I am out of wood.

 

 

04.01.17 Saturday, Cut the Frame

Cut and assembled the frame. It wasn’t completely smooth. The wood was badly warped. I left it clamped while we were in Black Mountain but someone took off the clamps despite my note asking them to put them back on if they needed to use them. Wade says it wouldn’t have mattered but I have my doubts about that.

 

The cuts were not perfect. I ran the laser twice but it still didn’t cut through some parts. Next time I’ll use the Logilase for that kind of work. It has more power.

 

When I went to assemble it, I set out clamps that ended b up being too short. I didn’t think we had any others so I nailed the box together, which does not look great. Fortunately, almost none of it will be visible when I am done. Of course, when I was leaving for the night I saw that we have long clamps in the corner. I just didn’t notice.

 

I tried to cut the matting but the Universal simply could not do it,

 

04.02.17 Sunday, Cut Rubber

Man, that rubber stinks! I cut it on the Logilase. I had to duct taped it down to a board. This led to a nice discovery. The laser actually functioned better with the duct tape on. It cut straight through with no smoke damage where the tape was. Next time I cut rubber I will know to do that.

 

I glued the rubber down with Epoxy. I didn’t have quite enough. I thought it was plenty but I am wrong again. The rubber slid when the clamps where on so I had to pull it off and adjust. I hope it still stick.  I will go buy more epoxy soon.

 

I also need more wood to do the trim. Wade and I consulted and he thinks a miter cut is my only option. I wasn’t keen on it, but that’s what I have to do then that’s what I have to do.

 

04.06.17 Friday, Lights & Hardware

It was a productive day. I set up the lights on the breadboard. The computer wont find my Arduino port so I can’t test the code. I will try again tomorrow.

 

Went to school and put together the hardware to mount the magnifying glasses. I am not sure how I feel about it. It is a bit clunky. I intended a bigger frame when I designed it. We will see how I feel about it when it is done. I feel like I am going to want to switch the mending braces to ball and socket joints even if it means I have to weld the bearings to stainless steel rods.

 

 

04.07.17 Arduino

I think the problem with the Arduino is from the circuit I made. I think that is being fucked up because of the power supply. I must not be very good at making connectors. It seems like they have been weak several times. Hopefully I will get better at it.

 

04.08.17 555 Timer

I still cannot get the 555 Circuit to work. I asked Gene but no response so far.

 

04.11.17 Broken

I have a stomach virus, a dead robot and a dead computer. All of these things need to be repaired.

 

04.12.17 Still sick but New Computer

I wasted two days being sick and dealing with the computer. It is still in the process of getting set up but at least I have a new computer now.

 

04.13.17 Meet with Susan

Met with Susan about the box. It isn’t done. Made a To-do list. Somehow it will all get done.

 

04.14.17 Already not with the List

I did the work applications. I went to Walmart. I went to Lowes. I tried to go to Owen Grey but it was closed. Everything is crazy.

 

04.15.17 Ideas

This project is taking off in my head. I think it is going to become an interdisciplinary laboratory system. I know it won’t be a real lab, but it will look like one.

 

04.19.17 Sondra Perry

I worked all day on the box. I did all the router work which required a ton of clean up. Then I miter cut it and fucked it all up. I got glue everywhere trying to fic it. I think I am going to have to start over.

 

 

04.20-24.17 Whirlwind of stuff

I worked so much during this period that I did not have a free minute to write anything down. I alternated between Robot and Laser/Box/Thing for days.

 

This is a synopsis.

 

I messed up the Miter cuts on my first box. Then Wade’s router broke (I did not do it). He got it fixed, but not enough for large-scale routing. I ended up having to redesign my box to work a different way. The second design is more logical. The weird thing is that I don’t recall why I designed it the other way in the first place. I remember making the decision, but I don’t remember why. I thought I wrote it down but I did not. I really need a router to do these boxes, but I can get by with the Dado blades.

 

 

  • I need a router. I tried going to Lowes and buying a cheap Dremel add-on but it did not work. I did not want to spend $200 on a router when I have one in storage that probably still works.
  • The Dado Blade means that you must cut all the way down the board which leaves a stupid notch in the bottom. I made a plug to fill it in. It ended up not looking too bad and may not be a bad system. A Dado blade is easier than a router in many ways. However, if I have my pick I’d rather use finger joints to join and a router for the interior grooves.
  • I did not put in a system to hang it up. I ended up adding a French Cleat as per Wade’s suggestion. This prevented the box from hanging flush. Then I had to add dowel pegs to the bottom so it does not quite touch the wall. Wade thinks it looks better that way and he may be right. I am going to have to think about that. I could make the next system so that the French Cleat is built in.
  • The Kreg Jig is awesome but the screws were too short. Also, I want to know if I can use it in different positions. I was so tired I don’t think I was very logical about it.
  • Note: ask Sean for a workshop on joinery
  • The polyurethane/stain combo is beautiful but seriously problematic. One coat isn’t too shiny but isn’t the right color. To get it the right color it ends up so shiny it looks like liquor. Also, it traps sawdust and needs fine sandpaper.
  • I did not have fine sand paper.
  • I dropped boards on my uncured finish and had to sand it again.
  • Staining the pieces before putting them together did not help all that much. However, I would like to avoid staining and sanding against the rubber since the stain could really mess up the rubber. Cleaning stuff off it would leave weird marks all the way around. I want the rubber to get scarred with use, but not scarred from the construction process.
  • The groove to insert the board was a little too thin. I did not account enough for the rubber and did not account at all for expansion from the epoxy.,
  • I fucking hate Epoxy. It gets everywhere. I don’t want to scrape stuff off the rubber.
  • Also, the rubber slid around less than it did the first time, but just enough to mess up the alignment of my potentiometer inserts. So, again, Fuck. I had to dremel them out. They don’t show but it was a pain.
  • I did not have the correct setting screw to install the rod.
  • The pegs are OK, but I should have done something to make the top less squared off. I ended up doing this with a sander but it is uneven.
  • I had to glue in the rod to be sure it won’t move.
  • I need longer wood screws to install the pegs. Also, thinner screws.
  • Why is it the hardware you have is never the correct hardware?
  • The acrylic did NOT want to be cut. I put it in the Universal and tested the settings. Then it tried to raster cut the line. I checked the color and stroke weight over and over but it stayed wrong. I switched lasers, still wrong. I ended up just dealing with it but the edges look shitty. Acrylic is expensive so that sucks.
  • I made a stand out of scrap wood. The design is surprisingly effective.

 

The Final Verdict

  • The finish: I like the shiny black finish but not for this project. It just isn’t what I need. It is too furniture-like, too sleek, too pretty. I could strip it off but I think it would be easier to just remake it.
  • Two rows of lights look better than one.
  • The light box does not need to be so deep.
  • The overall depth of the box is good. I might make it a tiny bit shallower to allow me to trim the wood down more so it is straighter, but its ok about where it is.
  • Wood quality is fine.
  • The hardware is too rough. I want it cleaner. I ordered the rods to do this as ball and socket joints.
  • I want to use 555 timers instead of an Arduino for the lights. This is less likely to get messed up by others and does not require an extra power source.

 

04.24.17 Locked in and Expo

I tried to leave the IMRC about 5am, but I locked my keys in the woodshop and ended up resting in Ali’s studio until Susan got to school and let me in to get my keys. Then I went home and took a shower because I was very smelly and yucky. I went to the Expo and set up. I was only a few minutes late.

 

The Expo was ok. It was badly set up for art but I net a lot of cool people.

 

 

04.25.17 Ordered New Hardware

I never have the hardware I need! I ordered new hardware. It was expensive. Yippie.

 

04.29.17 Thrifting & Laser Cut Settings

Found a cool lamp and a new flex attachment that should be useful in this project. I also worked on settings for the laser cutter but I am not yet pleased. I wanted to test the paper with the Logilase but the software simply will not cooperate. It loses all the colors and such when I move it from Adobe to the laser. I looked up what to do, but all I found was a couple of pages explaining just how crappy the cheap Chinese software is.

I might use this as is or maybe I will cannibalize it for parts

 

05.04.17 New Finish

I redid the finish on the box. I hate the stain with poly in it. I will never use it again.

 

05.07.17 All Night Laser Cut

I spent all night doing the Neutrino Event laser cut. I had problems because my minor changes somehow layered vector images on top of each other and it took me a long time to figure it out. I did not even start the real cut until very late. Then I had to run it in two sessions to get all the details. I also made new hardware.

 

05.08.17 LED Control

I tried to do the LED control. It works on a breadboard. I was just too brain dead to finish it.

 

05.09.17 Final Crit Presentations

Had to come in and do the circuit and put everything together and set up the TV for the digital microscope.