Graphics Week 4 & 5

These are from months ago, but blog posts haven’t been a huge priority lately ūüėõ

Week 4: Complex Shapes

I drew Serenity. Perspective is a bit off because I tried to make it too dramatic haha.

Concept sketch. Better perspective than the final version
In progress
Final version

Week 5: Product Design

We had to draw a concept for a product. I drew a weird lamp thing based on a project I’ve been working on on and off for a while. More posts on that later.

light sketches
planning sketches
(that classy dorm room door backdrop)

Sorry for all the low-quality photos! Haven’t had time to scan everything.


Engineering Graphics Class

Right now I’m taking an engineering graphics class, which pretty much means I get to draw pictures, 3D print stuff and build things in Solidworks¬†for credit.

Definitely my favorite class.

The first assignment was to draw an object in our dorm room.

Thumbnails (5 min each, 11×11″, ballpoint pen–no pencil):

a “helping hand” magnifier, useful for soldering and such

Final sketch (also ballpoint pen, no pencil, 11×14″):

Gear Bracelet

A couple years ago, I saw a picture of a ring surrounded by little gears, which would spin when the top and bottom were rotated (made by kinekt):

This thing.

I asked my dad if we could make something like that, and he suggested making something larger. We designed a bracelet surrounded by gears which could be spun with a finger. I had a lot of help in the SolidWorks department, since I was pretty new at 3D modelling. This is what we came up with:

We 3D printed it cuz ain’t nobody gonna machine that.

This is actually the second one we printed, because the first one broke–multiple times.¬†We added screws because they worked better at holding things together than the original epoxied-in caps. We also had to fiddle with the gears a bit to get them to turn smoothly.

I coated it in enamel paint (our 3D printing plastic isn’t very pretty), but as you can see it wore off a bit.

It’s fun to play with, but it doesn’t look amazing, and being¬†big enough to fit over my hand it is awkwardly large. I’ve since fully redesigned it. Here are some of the iterations:

Kinda cool
ew no
I like this one best

The last one is the version I’m making. I designed my own gears this time, instead of using someone else’s design as a base model. I made them¬†bevel gears, so this time they’re actually meant to mesh at an angle to one another. I’m also splitting the body of the bracelet into two halves, which will snap together with magnets. The gears will be mounted on bearings.

It was an interesting experience making the gear models, but not only did I do all my calculations on a scrap of paper (long lost now) rather than an excel worksheet (like an intelligent person would have) I did a horrible job making the model. The final result is fine as long as you don’t wan’t to modify ANYTHING.

Don’t use the scaling tools kids. As tempting as it is.

3D sketches are their own special type of hell.


ok, sorry, done now

this monstrosity

The original idea was to cast all the components, but my dad and I realized it would be possible to machine the body of the bracelet, which I’m currently doing. We’re going to try to machine the gears as well, because CNC is magic.

I’ll post pictures of the end¬†product if/when I ever manage to finish it c:

Solar Probe Plus Rheometry Model

This is what Ingemar and I worked on for a good part of April and May at our job.

We were assigned to build a 1/15 scale model of the Solar Probe Plus spacecraft to be used for rheometry testing: measuring the electric fields produced by the spacecraft to determine the best placement and length for the instrument antennas. The size and complexity of the model made machining quite educational!

The SolidWorks model Ingemar and I made
The SolidWorks model Ingemar and I made
overview dwg
The drawing for machining the main body of the model
Cutting the piece of stock for the main body
Cutting the 60lb piece of aluminum stock for the main body


The mass of chips from cutting just the first diameter
Cutting the flats on the conical section. I’d never used a fly cutter before!
The main part of the model, finished, with sheet metal “solar panels”
Wait. Nope. The scientists wanted to us to go back and get rid of the material on the cone flats to provide a better approximation of the spacecraft’s shape.
Actually done now!
Back from the platers! (We had it gold plated for better conductivity. Also, the plate behind the model–the model heat shield–was machined for us by one one of the shop guys, because CNC was required for the weird parabolic sections of the contour)
Machining the plate for mounting the model
I’m proud of this adjustment knob
Shiny enough to take a dumb selfie in!
Shiny enough to take this dumb selfie in!
The adjustment assembly. This changes the angle of model in the tank. It can also be rotated about the model's long axis and about the vertical axis.
The adjustment handle assembly. This changes the angle of the model in the test tank via a four bar linkage. The blue piece reads the angle. The model can also be rotated about its long axis and about the vertical axis.
The model and mounting (upside down). Now complete with antennas. The model is at its maximum angle of 45 degrees from the horizontal axis.
SPP in the rheometry tank!
Testing has actually been postponed until they get a tank that isn’t held together with straps and clamps, haha