Origami workshop!!

First of all, class had not even started but I was already mesmerized by so many of the origamis that our guest lecture, David Kandel, pulled out of his boxes!!

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I’ve always had interest in origami and paper folding since I was a kid, sounds like a stereotypical asian background but I was more into it because of pop-up books. Since paper was the most accessible material to get creative with when I was a kid, it is something that I tend to take for granted. I did my Hopkins Extreme Material Institute (HEMI) fellowship on paper structure this past summer, I wish I have had this crash course before I had that opportunity! Because! I learned so much about folding!!! and paper structure!!!! as paper engineers like to say, I got my hands dirty with math that day:

the first sample David gave us was the paper crane. He told the class to give it a try. I learned how to fold this when I was 5 so it’s something I always make whenever I have a scrap piece of paper like receipts and stuffs. I like to challenge myself to fold the tiniest paper cranes. It wasn’t my tiniest, but I folded a tiny paper crane and gave it to Annet. She looks great with it.

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fun aside, it was interesting to learn how to fold this backwards. I learned how to fold these paper cranes in person from an old lady I met while visiting my dad at the hospital. Looking at the structure of the fold and how the valley and mountain folds create a flat material into a 3D object was pretty difficult to visualize. Then David showed us basics of folding patterns to make it easier to understand:

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by looking at how different combinations and variations of valleys and mountains create different effect of pleats and dimensions give me more idea of how animal origamis are made.

I got to talk to David before class started because he told me about different amazing kinds of paper from all over the world and I showed him one of the paper making technique used in Japan called yosegi, wondering if he ever heard of it, he never heard of it and was excited to check it out. I’m definitely going to join his next workshop for advanced paper folding.

And for the second half we get to learn how to do those patterns we learned to fold by hand on grasshopper. The advantage? We can make patterns and change and shift the size by changing the input, and directly lasercut it onto our material.

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so just like weaving on grasshopper, we started with making a grid

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we cull the end of the list because we’re about to make zigzags here and we can’t use all points to make zigzags because it’s gonna go off the page! but it’s not offset yet, the zigzags won’t happen unless every other rows are offset to the opposite direction

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and by using dispatch we could select the points in every other row, this way we can offset the points in every other row and connect the dots with polyline!

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mmmyas. it doesn’t look quite like the pattern from the origami workshop yet though. but we can have zigzags that going to different directions by using different input of the dispatches (we’ll call the first one zig and the second one zag) from zig(a-0) zag(b-1) or switch it to zig(b-1) zag(a-0)

and if we duplicate those dispatches and make both combination at the same time

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they’re all crossing one another! but if we use pick and choose we can get rid of what we don’t want

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so there’s our pattern, we wanna make it pattern throughout the boundary so let’s use long list

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and like our weaving grasshopper workshop, we want it to not only repeat the last polyline, but all. so right click on that and choose wrap instead of repeat last.

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ayeyayayayeaye it’s the right folding pattern now!! time to make it presentable by choosing color and making the polylines appear dashed

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Then Ryan taught us that we can lasercut things directly from grasshopper file without baking it to Rhino!! wowwie thanks Ryan for this dFab plugin!

(gotta make sure that the color are at RGB 0 or 255)

So I think I’m even more sure now that I’m getting the hang of grasshopper! I can’t wait for our next workshops. I would attach my grasshopper file for the workshop here but wordpress won’t let me. Oh and here are a couple of book recommendations from Annet and David that I might get or check out at library later.

 

Weaving time!

In class we learned how to weave, physically and virtually. It is the simplest form of coding language: up/down, front/back, true/false, 0/1, etc. For the first half of the class, we were divided into two groups, I got to be in the first group and learn how to do irl weaving first. I have never done any weaving nor taken any fiber class so this is my very first experience with the technique.

First we learned how patterning works, it was confusing at first with the power point presentation but when we got down to actually do it, it made sense

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it felt like doing a puzzle it was fun

and then we had to make our own, as well as practicing real weaving

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And for the second half of the class, we got to learn how to do weaving pattern on grasshopper. THIS TIME I THINK I’M FINALLY GETTING TO UNDERSTAND GRASSHOPPER. still not sure, it’s been a long battle, but I got to tweak it around on my own and I think- I’d like to think- I’m finally getting the grasp of it.

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yas use that pipe and make it wormy

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Then there’s a more complicated way to do it:

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Why choose the complicated one though? Because wowwie look at that! When you change the input you can use this grasshopper code not only for plain weave but also twill weave!

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different code, same look. different code, different look

First try on electronics: bzzbzZ

I signed up for Unravel The Code with a lot of ideas in my head, but not enough skill for what I want to do, so I thought it’d be smart to take an Intro to Robotics class at the same time (it was a smart choice). The class is being taught by Lucas Haroldsen, he graduated from MICA sculpture program and he’s pretty cool. So on Tuesday, I did my first tutorial on electronics in class with different ways to set up LED lights. After the tutorial we were given assignment to put together a circuit based on a couple of schematic drawing options to build from a couple of basic components (transistor, potentiometer, a couple of different motors, lights, and a photoresistor) to work with. I was very fired up about the idea of my first robot I finish a week worth of assignment in one night. I didn’t talk to anyone. Am I turning into a robot? Find out at the end of the class!

So this was one of the schematics that I chose to do:

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Which is which, what is what, I had no idea what was going on. But it’s an introductory class for a reason so it came with a drawing:

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Nice, right? So I did my best and prototyped it on my breadboard:

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I had trouble with the transistor, but after a couple of tries and when everything finally worked out, it felt like jesus was born again. it’s also interesting to see components that look exactly the same but work differently and make an entire circuit works in a different way.

By turning a small input current into a large output current, the transistor acts like an amplifier. But it also acts like a switch at the same time. When there is no current to the base, little or no current flows between the collector and the emitter. Turn on the base current and a big current flows.” (src: explainthatstuff.com)

So I used the PNP transistor to switch the current to go to the base from emitter (which is connected to the photoresistor) to the collector (the output, here I chose a small motor that functions like a vibrator) and while in the day bug (using NPN transistor) the motor runs when the photoresistor is exposed to light, the PNP transistor switched it around so current flows when the photoresistor does not receive any light. Honestly, I don’t really know how it works, but at least I could understand the flow of the current so I could do my own troubleshooting.

After making sure the circuit is good on the breadboard, I put it together on a tiny copper clad board. Took me a little time to get used to soldering but it feels just like a small TIG welder:

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I am still impressed at how all of these things could fit in that tiny board (and how I didn’t burn my hand or anything nearby). I’m so proud of it.

That was my first baby step and journey into making robots, and I definitely will go beyond the class and make more.