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Ceiling Power Brackets

Ceiling Power Brackets

by Design and Build Lab Team

When we first started out in this space, we would rearrange the tables constantly for different projects and to test what works best.  We still move them quite a bit actually!  So having the power in the ground was not only obnoxious, but a constant safety hazard for tripping and creating destroyed electrical cables.  It took us over a year and a half to get power in the ceiling but this was the final step!  The pipes in the ceiling are round of course, so having a rectangular block that interfaced with them was not optimal.  Alex, one of our Creative and Technical Specialist, designed and 3D printed a prototype bracket (the white one in the picture below).  But it required many U-bolts in uncomfortable places to be secure.  We then designed a second version that replaced the default bracket (the black bracket in the pictures below) that worked much better!  And now we have secure, safe, and movable power from the ceiling! 

Ceiling Bracket Close Up
Black Bracket with Spool Featured Angle
Black Bracket with Spool and Socket
Black Bracket Horizontal Angle with Peg Hole
White Bracket First Version
Black Bracket 3d Printing
Black Bracket Standing Up
Black Bracket Horizontal Angle Triple Hole
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Cardboard Aperture

Cardboard Aperture Opening

by Bex Warner

Bex was in the Design and Build Lab one day and decided to do a project.  It was as simple and matter of the moment as that!  They saw instructions online for a cardboard aperture, and being an art major along with a fan of photography, they loved the idea!  The lab has cardboard, wooden dowels, and hot glue available for every member for free!  And these were the only materials needed for Bex to put the simple project together!  It took them less than two hours to completely assemble! 

Cardboard Aperture Design Online
Cardboard Aperture Open
Cardboard Aperture Open on Bex's Face
Bex Smiling with Thumbs Up
Cardboard Aperture Closed
Cardboard Aperture Closed on Bex's Face
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Sewing Greek Fraternity Letters

Sewing Greek Fraternity Letters

by Alex Meves

Alex is a member of Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service fraternity on American University's campus that devotes themselves to helping others.  When a friend asked if he knew anyone who could sew their letters, he took the opportunity to learn the sewing machine in the space.  After a lot of practice with much less important fabric, he was confident in his abilities to sew the letters.  It was a long and arduous process, taking about 4 hours for both shirts!  But it was worth going slowly since it was something he only had one chance at. 

Grey Shirt Alpha Sewn On
Sewing Action Shot
Close Up of White Shirt Stitching
Full Grey Shirt
Close Up of Machine Working
Both Full Shirts
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Electric Skateboard

Electric Skateboard

by Tomy Muci

Tomy came in with  a long board, a bunch of electrical and mechanical components bought online, and a spirit to make something.  As one of the first projects completed in the space, it was certainly a grand challenge for the Creative and Technical Specialists here!  Luckily, Tomy made it easy for us by coming prepared with a wide range of helpful information (instructions, videos, and technical sheets) as well as already having most of the parts.  We used a variety of hand tools to help him build his speed demon - and a lot of tape to keep the battery compartment stuck to the board!  Unfortunately, Tomy came in so early in our development as a space that we didn't even have a website then!  We certainly should have took pictures, but luckily Tomy agreed to take some when he came back in to have a few parts tightened and adjusted.  This is just one of the many examples of projects in the space that demonstrate how we cater to all preparation levels! 

Skateboard Battery and Truck with Tomy's Hand
Close Up of Motors
Close Up on Cables
Tomy Tightening Trucks
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Hamilton Bag

Hamilton Bag

by Abbie Callahan

Abbie was determined to give a good gift to a friend obsessed with Hamilton.  She wanted to heat-press the Hamilton logo on a canvas bag.  First, she searched the web looking for the design in the appropriate format (SVG, Scalable Vector Graphic).  Unfortunately, the design was not available for free, but was available for purchase at about $2 on Etsy.  Forking over the couple bucks, she then used Inkscape to alter the design to be a little better looking and accurate to the original by making certain edges curves and by adding button holes to Hamilton's jacket.   She chose a thick black sparkly kind of vinyl to cut the design on and used the Design and Build Lab's vinyl cutter!  All in all, the process took no more than half an hour! 

If you like the design of the Hamilton logo, you can get the original and updated version from the Design and Build Lab's Open Repo (https://bitbucket.org/am2182a/dabl-open-repo/src/master/Hamilton%20SVGs/)!  Thank Abbie in the comments below for her contribution. 

Abbie Callahan holds up the design cut from Black Sparkly Vinyl
The design for the Hamilton Logo
The finished canvas bag!  Came out great.
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Breakfast Tray

Breakfast Tray

by Alex Meves

Alex made this breakfast tray in two days using just stuff around the lab!  It was mainly a practice activity to get comfortable doing a project with wood, although it was also a practical project since Alex loves breakfast.  First, he took a piece of the plywood available for free at the Design and Build Lab and cut it to size.  He then cut the corners with a coping saw so they would be rounded.  After a LOT of sanding and making a bit of a mess, the board was nice and smooth.  Unfortunately, the wood wasn't really that great, so finer sandpaper kept chipping the wood.  Then, the small blocks were glued to the bottom as legs or feet with Gorilla Wood Glue.  Smaller pieces were glued to the top as barriers for round objects and spills with the same wood glue.  Lastly, holes were drilled into the feet with a drill press and screws were put in with a drill for extra integrity.  It came out pretty good for practice with free materials, and Alex is very proud of it. 

Board Layout
Cutting Corners
Using Gorilla Glue to Attach Legs to the Main Board
Compass Work
Completed Main Board: Sanded and Cornered
Screwed in Feet
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Fidget Spinners

Fidget Spinners

by DaBL Team

The fidget spinner is a great little toy to introduce key concepts of 3D modelling and manufacturing.  In the Design and Build Lab, we use it as a beginner project for members wishing to learn how to use our 3D printers.  We like to walk through every step of the design process with an individual or group, from installing the free software to exporting a completed design.  However, we definitely leave room for creative license as you can see from the differing spinners below.  We also help with the member's first use of the 3D printer and start with our Type-A Series 1.  Check our calendar and see when a workshop for the printer is available, or just come in and ask to learn it!  The complete process will usually take up to 5 hours, although a member doesn't have to present for the entire print time.  The design and tutorial and the printer workshop can also be broken up into parts to make it more manageable. 

Fidget Spinner 3D Design in Fusion 360
Josh's Five-Arm Spinner
Fabiola's Red Petal Spinner
Alex's Black Fidget Spinner
Kristof's Three-Arm Fidget Spinner
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Mosquito Aspirator

Motorized Mosquito Aspirator

by Brendan Riske

The objective of this project was to create a machine that would suck adult mosquitoes and capture them.   This is known as a mosquito aspirator and there are versions available online to purchase, however they are usually upwards of of $300.   Because the device is essentially a fan with a net over it, it made much more sense to simply make it in the Design and Build Lab!  After taking a day for Brendan and some of the Creative and Technical Specialists to design what would become the aspirator, all the parts were collected and then assembled.  Brendan came in with essentially no electronics experience at all and left with a working device that would capture as many mosquitoes as he could handle.  The best part is all the help and electronic materials were provided for free!  The CaTS in the lab also helped with the living space for the mosquitoes by 3D printing a cover so mosquitoes don't escape. 

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3D Cube Puzzle

3D Cube Puzzle

by Donna Deitz

Professor Deitz designed a 3D cube in a program she had known outside of the Design and Build Lab's expertise.  She created each piece carefully in order to create a complete cube when the pieces are fit together in the right way and order.  The employees of the lab assisted with printing the pieces using our Type A 3D printer.  As you can see, each piece was printed in a different color to make the cube more interesting when put together, and to make the pieces more distinct.  This was a fairly simple, but creative project that involved some math, 3D CAD, and the 3D printer.  It was fun too of course!

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Home Welcome Sticker

Home Welcome Sticker

by Yon Garber

Yon has been one of the most productive members of the space since it has opened in February of 2018.  He has several projects under his belt that include many of the skills taught here.  You can search his name in order to find some of the projects he's completed so far!  This particular project was about home improvement, as he wanted to create a sign for his door welcoming guest.  He accomplished this by using the Design and Build Lab's vinyl cutter, creating a large sticker to attach to his apartment door.  Yon created the design from complete scratch in the 2D CAD program, Inkscape.  He then learned from the Creative and Technical Specialists in the lab how to cut the design, and use the adhesive backed vinyl to create a sticker from it.  It is now proudly on his door! 

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