I... I managed to get in...?

I have to say, I didn't expect to be let in this course given my 0% experience with fabrication in general, and my -5% experience with CAD. I have to assume it was the begging that got me where I am today. At any rate, time to get cracking!


My ideas for a "final project" at this stage are loosely defined at best. I ultimately want to be able to create physical devices that will help people better interact with their communities. This might mean the people around them, or maybe the people they are close to on a social level. There is a lot of potential here, but I'm not used to being able to think outside of the screen.

My original plan for this project isn't a spectacular example of this goal, but I thought it was kind of cool anyway -- it was a time-lapse mirror. The hope was that I could find a way to make a mirror display two images: the mirror image, plus a projected image which people could see if they were standing right in front of it. The projected image would play back the video taken in but at a slightly slower speed. The end result would be a device that projected a small snippet of history alongside everyday life.

It turns out someone at the lab has already done almost exactly this (I'll have to get used to that). I decided that I would try to expand upon my original thought rather than scrap it completely, at least for the sake of this preliminary assignment. The other option of course is creating an automated tofu press, because I hate wasting paper towels when preparing tofu, and I have yet to find a better option. For now I'll stick with the mirror thing.

Can a mirror reflect a community?

There are many things that a "mirror" could display other than just a mirror image. Here are a few ideas I came up with:

I like a lot of the meaning behind these, and I think they each offer slightly different ways for the mirror-viewer to think about his or her community. Why not try to have them all?

My proposed project is a partitioned mirror image which incorporates several different "mirror image sources" which appear "behind" the true reflection.

The mirror itself would be subdivided into 16 parts, each of which would display a "piece" of one of the alternate images. Assuming I can make it so the mirror is semitransparent, I could use 16 small projections behind each mirror tile. The viewer would then be able to push on the section that they want to fill the rest of the space.

How do I work this crazy thing!

I mentioned that I had -5% experience with CAD, but after several hours of setup and reading and making things I think I might now have 2% or something. First, here's a mock up I put together using Illustrator:

A 2d rendering of the idea

That looks almost kind of nice! Can you tell that the brown lines are projections and that the circles are projectors?

Here is my terrible attempt at using Blender. I show it simply because I don't want to think that the past 4 hours of reading and trying to get used to selecting objects using right-click was for nothing.

My horrible rendering! But it's my first

Note the two sources of light -- pretty snazzy eh?

It is going to be interesting to watch my rendering abilities improve throughout the course. I'm looking forward, for instance, to learning how to make a camera view that isn't at a 14.3 degree angle.

Here is a slightly improved version. I learned to make mirrors and colors! Yes, there is a creepy upsidedown floating monkey head in the mirror

a slightly better version