September 13, 2018
The second week’s Fabrication assignment was to build five of something. Using jigs were strongly encouraged to make the replication process easier.
My first idea was to build cases/holders for an Arduino UNO since my electronics kit didn’t include one. I also didn’t like how the Arduino’s bottom isn’t flat, which makes mounting it flat impossible (example). I was inspired by this Arduino wooden base on Etsy and the way an Arduino board slides into the wooden base.
I met with Ben during his office hours to discuss my Arduino base idea. He helped me realize the trickiness of creating a slit that an Arduino board could slide through using the ITP shop tools, so we iterated on the idea. The plan eventually transformed into a clipboard-like object where a holding material is clipped to a wooden board using wing nuts.
I then built a prototype of this clipboard using wing nuts and cardboard—an easily shaped material.
The next step was to prepare the wooden base. The measurements were slightly larger than an Arduino UNO board and were included in my clipboard drawing. I then used a band saw to create a strip of wood with the proper width.
The strip was a bit rough and uneven after using the band saw, so I sanded it.
Once I had a strip of wooden bases, I sliced the strip into individual units using the rotary saw. These slices also required a bit of sanding to smooth out their edges.
The next day I gathered all the remaining components for the repeatable clipboard. I found a plastic track in the junk shelf and stopped by Home Depot for wing nuts and screws.
I then measured the plastic track to slightly smaller increments compared to the wooden base. John advised me to slice the track first before splitting it in half because it’s easier to control the band saw in shorter distances and bursts.
I then clamped together a simple jig to split the thin plastic track and keep it on tight path while traveling the band saw.
I then verified my measurements and checked the plastic component rested within the boundaries of a wooden block.
The next challenge was how to consistently drill holes into the wooden base and plastic track clips so that a screw and wingnut could bind the two materials together. I calculated and sketched where the drill holes should be made in the wood and plsatic respectively. Then, I rummaged the shop’s wood scrap bins for jig material and clamped together a jig that would create a guiding corner in which the press would drill a hole at the right dimension in the wood and plastic.
For the plastic jig, I reversed the guiding side block when doing the second hole so that the plastic lip could always rest against the guide.
Here were the final, drilled components for this project:
Unfortunately, the plastic components didn’t quite line up with their wooden bases.
Ben warned us how difficult it is to be exact—in measurements and cuts—and I paid the price for not making extra plastic clips when I had my slicing jig setup. So I had to take the extra plastic track, draw new measurement lines, recreate the bandsaw jig, and slice more plastic strips to retry the drill holes. I produced more than ten clips this time in case I messed up the drill holes again.
After learning my lesson that not all of the drill holes were uniformly spaced, I decided to use a hand drill and a jig to line up the plastic clips over the existing wooden holes.
So the items didn’t turn out quite identical, but I’m happy that they appear to come from the same family of materials, process, and jigs.
A perpetual work in progress blog documentating my NYU ITP projects. Words are my own.