3D Objects, Creative, Interactive Design

Shields and Weapons

This one was a real fun project. My teammate and I were given a task of designing an armour, or something that goes with armours.

We decided to build a shield. We decided to make this game in such a way that we would not have to connect the adafruit Flora to a computer. Well, it still needed power to run, so we used a battery.

The shield on its whole, was made using EVA foam. It was embedded with bend sensors on the sides and center (in the form of rectangular pieces). The blue jewels were 3D printed using a translucent PLA filament on an ultimaker 2 extended+ 3D printer. The dragon at the center was made by raster and vector cutting black foam using the epilog mini laser cutters. Other materials used are the  silver acrylic pieces, cut using the same laser cutter, and some silver duct tape. The topmost jewel has the flora, and the other four only had the neopixels. (We also made an effort to hide most of the wires)



The game worked this way: Third is a Two player game. The player with shield has “X” amount of health, which is represented by keeping all the 5 neopixels green (including the one on the flora). The other player has to hit the shield. Each time the shield gets hit at the target (the bend sensors), the flora keeps a count of the hits. When the average of the total number of hits reaches a set threshold, all the neopixels turn red and the game ends.

Here is a simple video of how this woks, but without weapons. When the bend sensor was pressed, the green neopixels turned red. This only shows that the player can be defeated with one hit if the shield target was hit hard enough!

3D Objects, Das ist kein bier

Das ist kein bier – 3

When we were in high school, we have all seen a strange looking tube which had a opened bulb on one side and an upright closed tube on the other. To perform an experiment with it, the first thing to do was to fill the tube with room temperature water, then a little sugar and about a tea spoon of yeast. The open end was then closed using some cotton. After a while, when one smelled the solution inside the tube, it felt like there was alcohol in it. However, there is also a change in the level of liquid in the upright side of the tube.

Was it magic?


Not at all! The yeast had fermented the sugar and produced good alcohol, and carbon dioxide as a byproduct. This experiment was first demonstrated by Wilhelm Kühne to show fermentation in yeast. The image above, is that of a Kühne’s fermentation tube (rendered using Rhino).

Yeast has a very useful enzyme called zymase. The yeast eats the sugar and expels the good alcohol, ethanol (not the bad kind, methanol, which is poisonous). Ethanol is the one present in any alcoholic beverage, and naturally, in beer.

A similar process happens as mentioned above while making beer. Beer is made from grains which have high carbohydrate content such as wheat, oats, barley etc. When (more or less coarsely) powdered grains are mixed with water and brought to a higher temperature. polysaccharide sugars are broken down into simple sugars, such as glucose. The liquid is strained. It can also be sparged to extract the remaining sugars in the strained grains. When this liquid is rapidly cooled, strained and yeast is added to it, the fermentation process can begin.

Of course, the amount of grains, water, yeast, and other additives like hops are appropriately measured before doing the process. The final mixture is transferred carefully into sterile vats. It is very important to make sure that there are no contaminants (such as bacteria), so that the final brew is not infected.

At this point, both alcohol and carbon dioxide production would have begun. Unless a particular temperature is maintained (it is different for different styles of beer), the yeast will die and the end product will be sweet, yet rather unpalatable liquid.

The large jars below are called  carboys, or damajuana, here in Peru. Each of them is topped with a cork with a bunghole (No! It is not a slang in this context). There is a one way exhaust tube through the bunghole. The carbon dioxide escapes through this exhaust. There is also a sterile solution inside the exhaust made using a right ratio of water and a good acid-based no-rinse sterilizer .


The brown liquid on the top becomes the beer, ultimately. The mucky remnants on the bottom will settle down and allow room for further fermentation (the carboy to the left will not settle a lot; this image is of the last two carboys from a bigger batch… because the world does not run according to my convenience ).

It is very important that carboys are not filled to the brim, and they have a proper exhaust for the carbon dioxide to escape. Otherwise they will definitely burst, and all the efforts will be in vain. As the carbon dioxide escapes, the liquid inside the exhaust will also change its level. After this, there is a period of waiting (usually for a couple of weeks), and then the beer is bottled, and then, there it is again… another period of waiting for carbonation before selling or more appropriately drinking the beer.

The most important thing to have while brewing beer, is patience.

3D Objects, Blurbs, Creative, Das ist kein bier

Das ist kein bier – 1

During the summer vacations (probably the final one for me), I would rather do something than sit around. Since my sponsor has invited me to visit Peru, I have been to so many beautiful places. The food here is divine. But that is not enough!

My sponsor has a passion for brewing beer. He makes so many different kinds of them at home. The craft beer he brews is mostly for his friends and family. Someday, he plans to own a brewpub. Since I stay at his place, I have had the opportunity to learn one or two things about beer brewing. At the same time, I try and help him with some 3D designs for his beer bottles and 2D images to be printed as stickers.

This post is going to be the part of a series posts where I show some of the things related to beer, and some of my designs of beer related things.

This one is only going to be my first horribly designed and photoshopped/illustrator-ed design of a Belgian style wheat beer bottle called WiTreat. The bottle is made using Rhino and the label using Photoshop and Illustrator (I know that the design is pretty pathetic, but my sponsor liked it anyway. I will try to create better designs for the upcoming ones)


I am not going to write a lot in this post. The following picture is of the actual bottle and the beer. The beer has subtle tastes of orange and coriander.  From the next post onwards, I will  post the videos and images of how the beer is made. This is going to be an exciting summer after all!


Why call the series of posts “Das ist kein bier”, when it is about beer related things?

Because of a funny little incident that happened a couple of years ago.

3D Objects, Engineering

Design of a Laundry Detergent Powder Plant

This was one of my term project. My team and I had to design a laundry detergent powder manufacturing plant. In designing and planning the powdered detergent plant the following were considered:

  • Planar graph of the facility
  • Equipment and their sizing
  • Material handling system and capacity consideration
  • Process flow
  • Equipment footprints
  • International code council (ICC) codes
  • Safety considerations
  • Acquiring of utilities
  • Preliminary design of the plant (CAD model)
  • Preliminary design of the plant (3D model)

Here is a simple 2D CAD model of the plant (with the dimensions in feet):p0


This is how the plant is supposed to operate:

  • Using rail cars, the feedstock is brought into the plant in the form of chunks of rocks
  • Ingredient A is stored in the silo A with a rotary valve at the bottom which will dispatch 6 tons/hour
  • Ingredient A is assumed to be Potash, which will be fed in the grinder using the closed belt conveyor system
  • The Ingredient A is powdered and the output is fed to the blender. A Pneumatic conveyor system is used to transport it from the grinder to the  blender
  • Ingredient B is stored in silo B, which also has a rotary valve attached to its bottom allowing 0.6 tons/hour
  • 2 workers lift 50 pound sacks of Ingredient B and store them in silo B, using the forklifts
  • Perfume from the perfume tank is pumped into the blender through 1-inch diameter pipe in the form of liquid. The perfume is then fed into the perfume tank from drums of liquid perfume
  • The mixture of liquid perfume, Ingredient A and Ingredient B is fed into the dryer to remove the excess moisture
  • The blended mixture from blender to dryer is transported using a suction pump where the pump can draw the blended mixture to the dryer through a pipe
  • Pneumatic conveying system is used for transportation of detergent dryer to box fillers
  • Plastic boxes filled with detergents will run on the roller conveyor
  • Weight of the filled boxes are checked on a weight checker mounted on the conveyor. If a box is rejected a person will remove the rejected boxes
  • The boxes will be packaged on the caser station and will be placed on a cardboard wrap using robotic clamps. These cases will then be collected on a large platform manually
  • These cases will then be picked up using forklifts and placed on a conveyor. The conveyor then moves them to a stretch wrapper.

Of course, we had considered many other assumptions such as extra workers, two packaging lines, and sizes of the control room, break room, office and warehouse. They can be seen in this video. I also have the 3D perspective views. Just because I have removed the walls from the  design, doesn’t mean that the facility is in an open environment ;-).



3D Objects, Engineering, Redesigning Something That Exists

Redesigned Conceptual Bookend

Some time ago, I saw a beautiful design of a push-pull bookend. It was only a concept. The original concept had a good design, however it was lacking many ergonomic qualities.

The original design had about 8 indentations for pens/pencils; a small drawer, probably to store one eraser; a much deeper depression in the central box (objects would have “drowned” inside it); no way of grasping it so that it can be moved etc.

My new design has tackled some of these issues. Now there are many more indentations for pens: these are both on the front as well as back (you must realize that the sides don’t make sense for keeping pens). The box in the middle is not very deep (now the objects do not have a chance to hide). The drawer is at the back and much larger. Many more things can now be kept in it. But the best of all, when there it needs to be stored away, the book case can now be held firmly with two hands.

I have the videos of the designs for the old model and my redesigned model (the good anti-aliasing in Rhino, can  make a piece of rubber look like glass!) Below are the two models compared with and without the stationeries (this is the correct spelling). The old concept is on the left and my concept is on the right. The last image is the back view of the new design.

bookend new


3D Objects, Creative

First Draft of my Fibonacci Spiral Inspired Model

I went to the LaGuardia Studio. They were celebrating Creative Tech Week. The guys were really busy making sure that they provide a great demo of all the art and 3D printed work.

They had a first draft of my work which they had created using the Connex 500 (for the inner ABS spiral) and Stratasys J750 (for the outer transclusent crystal) printers.

It was an amazing moment when I held the current 3D printed model, which was made using the very secretive J750 printer (well, it was a secret until early April 2016). For now, the print work is pretty small. They had to do that because of the pressure from the tech week. Soon, I’ll be working along with them to colour the model and print out a bigger version of it, in fall 2016.

Until then, enjoy these:20160429_104507





3D Objects, Creative

Creativity in Mathematics

There was a 3D modelling design competition at the LaGuardia Studio of NYU. There were 4 categories: fine art, product design, engineering, and science and research.

It would be natural for me to compete among the latter 3 because of my background. I had exactly the same number of days as the spatial dimensions of a 3D object, to make a 3D model. So, what category do I choose?When you look at everything around you there is a surge of inspiration.

Nature is awesome! It speaks in the language of Mathematics. And… I made this post boring, Didn’t I?

But when one takes a look a the patterns found in the universe, they can all be seen as mathematical curves or solids. One of my favourite patterns is the Fibonacci Spiral, which is a close approximation of the Golden Spiral.

On the technical note:

A Fibonacci number is number formed by the sum of the previous two numbers in a sequence. Usually, the Fibonacci sequence begins with 0 and 1. A golden spiral grows with a ratio equal to the golden ratio. The Fibonacci spiral as mentioned, is an approximation of the golden spiral created by drawing circular arcs connecting the opposite corners of squares in the Fibonacci tiling.

I won’t get technical anymore in this post:

The model that I have constructed is of a flower arrangement following a Fibonacci sequence. A set of four flowers form a cubical structure, arranged at certain points so that they do not intersect. Each flower in a set of four flowers, positioned at a tier, has the number of petals equal to the sum of the petals of previous two flowers. The stem of the structure is a Fibonacci spiral elongated across a vertical axis.

After reading this, one might wonder why this design is in a fine arts category. The reason is simple — every bit of art has some form of inspiration from Mother Nature. I think many do not fully appreciate Mathematics because they learn them in the form of numbers and variables. But if the correlation between Mathematics and Art is shown through examples which we come across in our daily life, it becomes as easy as speaking a language known from the heart. (I can be poetic at times)

I am going to just include one image, because I am not able to render more to make a video (because my computer is slow and this model is really complex; it took me about 2 hours to create a .stl file for 3D printing). Perhaps I will do it sometime in the future. Regardless, the folks at LaGuardia studio choose 6 winners from the submitted designs. I am happy that I was one of them. They are going to 3D print my model (one for themselves and one for me), after coloring it, usew printer which can print in 360,000 colours at once (Wow!). I am going to make a new post on this when I get the model.


top view spiral

The image on the top is an awkward perspective projection of the model. The one on the bottom is the top view. The second image clearly shows the stem progressing in a Fibonacci spiral.

3D Objects, Creative

Cavo the Avocado

I have been working on a human centered design on reducing food waste. It is called Project Avocado and it is a part of Design for America NYU. This particular project utilizes Design Thinking.

We began in February with a simple idea in mind: “Reduce the food wasted and hence build a stronger community across NYU”

Right now, the project is in a prototyping phase. My team is going to see if students are willing to share food with one another. It is exciting to conduct social experiments which could have an impact on the way us humans think.

More details are at the Project Avocado Blog.

The purpose of this post was to show a new artwork I had been working on. It is called Cavo the Avocado. It is the mascot of the project and its job is to bring students together to share food with one another, and hence create a dynamic community.

cavo 000

I also have the 3D printed (only 3 of them because 3D printing can be expensive; one for each of the team member of Project Avocado). There is also a video of the 3D form of Cavo. Unfortunately, I made it in such a way that I won’t be able to animate it. But It can still be observed that Cavo is a friendly Avocado.


P.S. The material can be painted using acrylic paints.

3D Objects, Engineering, Redesigning Something That Exists

Redesigning something that exists – 1B (Multi-tool)

Continuing with the 7-in-1 multi-tool, the New Design has a lot less parts: 23 only! This includes the screws, now reduced just to 3. As with the previous model of the clock, I have a video for this model as well (mentioned again at the end). The new design is much more efficient to assemble. Take a look at the part count in the image below.


For DFMA, the new assembly efficiency has increased to 43% and design efficiency to 36%. For AEM, the assembly efficiency is now 67% and design efficiency is 56%. But the Part count design efficiency has increased to a whopping 83%. The assembly time has reduced to 160 seconds.

Check out the perspective view of the 3D model of the new design, and match the parts with the first image:

exploded view

Of course, the PCB is only a solid object here and unconsidered for the conducting pathways. The project was overall a huge success, because the labour cost was reduced by 5%. This is not a lot for one multi-tool. But if we consider the thousands they make each year, SWISS+TECH can save a lot with this new design.

Here is a video of the redesigned and assembled 3D model in turntable view. I am still working on animating the assembly sequence. It will be available soon.

P.S.: My friend Hsin-No Lin contributed a lot while working on the DFMA and AEM calculations. He and I worked as a team of two during this project.

3D Objects, Engineering

Easy, yet not so easy – Clock Radio

In my Human Factors in Engineering Design class at NYU, my Professor, Dr. Mark Lee asked us to design a perfect clock radio. It could have been a practical or an ambitious design. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of making it simply practical. An ambitious design would have been more interesting to create. Regardless, one of the reasons I chose to do this design was to experiment on a 3D modeling software; this one here is only a conceptual design.

Here is the link to a YouTube video I made for the clock radio, using the 3D modelling software, Rhinoceros and video editing software, Sony Vegas.

On the top left is the Top view, on the bottom left is the Back view, and at right is the Front view showing display and buttons.

On the left are the side views showing the speakers for the alarm and radio. On the right is the bottom view showing the push button to open the battery cover

The idea behind this clock radio is simple:

Make sure anyone is able to operate it without difficulties

The circular buttons can latch onto themselves. The elliptical and triangular one are meant for pressing. The ALARM button is for turning the alarm off or on. The RADIO button is to turn the radio off or on. The DARK button is to turn the backlight off or on.

The display is divided into 3 levels, which blink upon encounter :

  1. Top: for Day Light Savings(DST) and Date
  2. Middle: for Time
  3. Bottom: for Alarm and Radio

To set any of the above 5 options, first select MODE, then use the RIGHT/LEFT arrows to move across the three levels (not the UP/DOWN).

The sequence in which the options blink to show that they can be changed is:

->DST -> Date-> Month-> Year->


->Alarm time (hours)->Alarm time(minutes)->

The timezone and radio are handled differently. This cycle repeats when it reaches the end of the 3rd level. When the required option is reached, to change the time/alarm/date,  use the UP/DOWN arrows to to increase or decrease the numbers or change between AM and PM. To change the Timezone, keep pressing the Zone option until the correct timezone is reached. When the selection is over, press SET.

To listen to the radio, press the RADIO button. Use UP for AM and DOWN for FM and press SET to confirm. Then use the LEFT/RIGHT to change the frequency. Again press SET to confirm. Radio works only when the RADIO button is latched.

To increase or decrease the volume levels of the ALARM or RADIO, use the LEFT/RIGHT buttons.

The clock is cuboidal in shape. It is filleted on the top and the sides, but the bottom is left as it is, so that it can be placed appropriately on a flat surface. The display is LCD with backlight. The battery must be inserted from the bottom by pressing a button to open its cover.

Of Course, this is not a perfect clock, but I have made an attempt to make its use easier than many currently existing models. For example, it is convenient to use the DARK button at night, because many people do not like to have bed lights. Another improvement is the selection of LEFT/RIGHT or UP/DOWN appropriately; According to mental chronometry, we are used to doing certain things in a certain way and right/up to increase and left /down to decrease are one of them. The characters are spaced properly so that they can be distinguished. The Radio doesn’t work until and unless the button is pushed. If, on Sundays, you do not like to wake up to your alarm, just push the ALARM button again to unlatch it- it will not ring until pressed again. The Clock-Radio is compact and can be carried anywhere and is operated using a 9V battery.

The most important thing when it comes to user experience, is to make sure the user is able to use the product without getting confused, and I think this clock radio can be an example of such a design. Below is a perspective of the design.

 HF clock radio079