Christina Elizabeth Hall

Assignment 6: Mounting Motors


In our last class we reviewed the importance of correctly mounting motors on a project.

For this week’s assignment, we are asked to create something that involves a motor and the correct mounting of that motor.

Working with the Motor

As per Ben’s suggestion, immediately after class I headed over to the junk shelf to pick up an old CD-ROM component to strip it of it’s stepper motor.

Here is what the CD-ROM looked like after removing the case and many metal layers


I extracted the motor, but wasn’t able to find any information about how much voltage it would take to power it online.  The only information on the motor were the numbers 010209. I took the motor to the floor, soldered a positive and negative lead on the motor and used a power source to determine that the motor can be efficiently powered with 5 volts.

The black piece below is the piece that held down the motor and I am surely keeping so that I can properly mount my motor


Here is the motor remounted


I’m interested in using the moving part for my project

Once I found out that this motor was actually a DC motor and not a stepper motor, I decided to scratch using it because it was too hard to slow down and I only wanted small movements in my project.


I am really interested in using a motor to work with a Reveal the Message print. I wanted to ultimately use a motor that could easily be controlled with fine movements. With this said,  I ended up using a Servo since I already had one in my toolbox.

With my servo in hand, I just needed to find a mount for the motor.  At Tinkersphere I found this pan and tilt bracket:


I got the servo working in the behavior desired with the following Arduino code:

#include <Servo.h>
Servo myservo;
int potpin = 0;
int val;
void setup()
void loop()
 val = analogRead(potpin);

 val = map(val, 0, 1023, 0, 179);



I decided that I would use a box I already had instead of going and purchasing something additional.

I drilled the mount and servo onto a wooden wall


And mounted the wooden wall to the box.

I then added the Arduino to control the servo and breadboard in the box.  I also drilled a hole to insert the USB cable to power the Arduino



I used a hole punch to make the hole for the potentiometer and cut a whole for the top of the servo to punch through to spin the component. I went searching at the junk shelf for a knob to make the top of the potentiometer look more polished and I found this one that fit my potentiometer perfectly:


Here is the image that I created and printed to reveal to the message.  I decided that a great way to use the servo in this reveal would be to use a CD with a red vinyl strip that would allow you to read the message when it was over top of it


Here is the disc I had from a previous project. I simply added the red vinyl, the white, laser cut topper, and the servo mounting horn:


I then simply attached the CD and made sure that when the potentiometer was turned that the words were revealed.




Assignment 5: Copper and Wood


For this week’s assignment, we were asked to create something made of two different materials — but not acrylic or plywood.

I decided to try to work with copper and wood and create a laptop table for my couch at home.

I found this example online and used it as inspiration for my assignment.

I wanted to use some of the extra wood from my tripod dolly assignment, but I didn’t have quite enough wood so I broke down one of the dollies.


I glued the top of the table using wood glue, rubber bands, and these large wooden clamps and I let it sit overnight.


I used wood putty to fill the  pivoting hole still left over from the dolly leg.


The next day, I sanded the top of the table, added a wood stain that would work well with the copper and added a protective finish. After the stain was applied, the wood putty hole looked just like another knot, which is great!


Next, I moved on to cutting the pipes to size.  When at home the night before, I measured the height of the seat cushions on my couch so that I could customize the height of the table to fit my space.

I borrowed a manual pipe cutter from Ben to cut the pipes.  Here’s a great video that explains how to use this device.


Here are the final cut components for the base of the table. I purchased 90 degree angle and T- shaped joints that matched the diameter of the copper pipe purchased.


To be sure that there was a secure attachment between the pipe and joint, I used Liquid Nails.


The frame needs to dry after using the Liquid Nails for 6-8 hours so I will be posting the final product in the morning before class


Thursday 8AM — here is what the table looks like after a night of drying:


As you might notice, there is a lot of strain in the top joint of the table.  It’s not even 90 degrees when the wood in placed on top.

It seems that I made the base too thin and the top too long. With the added weight of a laptop, then this table will probably fall forward. 🙁

How might I fix this? Since we don’t have welding in the shop, I can’t add braces to the pipe, but what I might do is turn the wood top into landscape and shorten the pipes supporting the wood.


Assignment 4: Enclosure


For this week’s assignment, we were tasked with creating an enclosure of any kind.
My partner has had this Gristleizer effects kit for probably 5 years and hasn’t been able to build it because he didn’t have an enclosure and tools to customize it.

I thought this would be a perfect enclosure to make for class.

I found an enclosure on Amazon which was perfect because it already had the grates on the sides so that the contraption doesn’t overheat, with removable, metal face and backplates, and rubber feet.
I was looking for a particular box that had removable metal face and back plates so that I could customize the box easily. I was also interested in working with metal for this project because it’s a material I haven’t worked with much yet.

For my Gristleizer enclosure I wanted to etch what each knob did on the face plate. Luckily, this container was already painted blue, so I utilized this feature by etching off the paint to label the knobs.

Here is the Adobe Illustrator file that I created for the face plate for etching



First I tested the with cardboard


After a successful result, I etched on the face plate


Next, I moved to the drill press to drill the holes for the face plate and back plate.


This ended up taking quite a bit of time because many of the components had different size holes.  Additionally, I didn’t have a stepper bit, so any hole that was larger than 0.2 inches, I had to use three different bits of increasing size to cut the metal properly.

I learned quickly that because of the rigidity and thinness of these metal pieces, both sides of the plate had to be clamped down to get the perfect hole.  One of my holes is a little eaten up because the metal curled up the bit when one side wasn’t clamped down as seen in the above picture.

Here is how I made the rest of the holes:


Next time, I will bite the bullet and purchase the stepper bit because I’m sure it would have cut my time drilling these holes in half.

The final result


Front plate


Back plate



Assignment 3: Laser Cutter


For the second 3rd class of Intro to Fabrications, we were introduced to the laser cutter.

We were tasked to try out different materials and spend some time getting familiar with the cutting and etching abilities of the laser cutter.

With the upcoming holidays, I was interested in attempting to make some ornaments for my family.

I’m also interested in working with more raw materials rather than just plastic acrylic.

My Project

I worked on all laser printers 50W, 60W and 75W so I now feel comfortable on all machines.


I decided to use acrylic of two different styles, plain white and marbled white, to create a snowflake ornament that had an etched leather hanging strap.

I used Adobe Illustrator to create swirls for the etched leather


This was the end result after many 5 replications on the laser cutter


And here is the acrylic snowflake process:

This is the test cut on cardboard


And here is the actual cut in acrylic:


Here is the end result


Because the leather wasn’t treated and was all black, it was hard to see the etching on the hanging tie, so I may not do that the next time.

I did enjoy working with leather in this instance and will try to think of another applications where the usage of the laser cutter is more obvious.