How to Make (Almost) Anything
MAS 863 2010
Week 4: waterjet cutter, nc mills.

assignment: make something big
maybe the first thing to do is to define big and i think big would be anything we can cut with the machines we are learning to use this week; the waterjet cutter which goes through (almost) anything and the shopbot which deals with timber.
i made a smaller version of my hammock (one that is not remote controlled) which can be seen below.

hammock parts hammock in hand

to get more familiar with the tools, i decided to make a flower vase using the shopbot. I used rhino to 2-d draw the parts


and then cut it using the shopbot. i used wood glue to fix the different components, coated the box with waterproof material and went on from there. see the images here.

side view top view

then i decided to make a flowervase that has some led decorations on it that powers itself 24hrs. this is a fun application of a product a company i co-founded produces: microbial fuel cells.

so i collected dirt from outside the media lab
top view

and then put some dirt in the vase before adding the anode (carbon cloth)


then more dirt before adding the cathode (chicken mesh)


then i made the connections. and measured the voltage

measuring cells

then i recorded a voltage of 0.3V which is too low for lighting an LED since these low voltage lighting appliances require about 1.6V - 3.3V. Of course, i should make a bigger flower vase, connect about 5 of these smaller vases in series and then use that to light up an led or two. this i will do.