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Personal Projects

During my free time at UCLA I often go to the makerspace, and there I tinker with the laser cutter more than any other machine. I made dozens of gifts for friends and family through lasercutting wood and acrylic, but none of them compare to my Mother's Day Gift. For the gift, I made a two-piece box with the Chinese character for love on top, with my family's Chinese names being written on the sides, one for each side. This project is the culmination of how intricate I can make a lasercut design. Through countless attempts and many failed iterations, I finally got it so that the floral pattern looks crisp and detailed. I learned much with lasercutting tolerances through this project, as well as the speed, focus, and power of different cutting modes. 


In my sophomore year, I was really intrigued by how a 3D printed gearbox would function. As such, I designed one using models from McMaster-Carr, and printed all the parts. Fitted with steel bolts and bearings, the gearbox itself is otherwise entirely printed. It runs a gear ratio of about 24:1, and I was surprised by how well the gears meshed! The whole gearbox was much stronger than I would've anticipated as well. Unfortunately I lost the gearbox on my way back from college and I never took a photo, but here is a video showing me winching up a laundry basket with it! Fun fact: later this gearbox would be adapted for X1 Robotics as the gearbox for the drivetrain! 


I also 3D print a lot of different models when I have time on my hands. The makerspace has a dozen or so Prusa Mk III's, so I often can print at my leisure. I printed a character from one of my favorite games, and I am planning on using wooden filament to make a chess set out of these characters! I learn a lot with this printing projects, such filament type, temperature, speed, and different settings to a 3D print. 


Since I had so much time at the makerspace, I decided to laser cut a clock. The inspiration for this came for I have always been fascinated with the intricacy of watches, and the clock was the best way to learn about the simple mechanics of telling time. In this project, I researched the period of a pendulum, applied my knowledge of gear ratios, and designed the whole clock within a day. All the spacers, gears, the escapement, and shafts total up to a hundred and some parts. Fun fact, the CAD itself is a fully functional, I mated each gear so that moving one hand accurately moves the other! I entered this clock for the ASME of UCLA's design competition, and got first place.


A smaller project that I am particularly proud of. I saw a mechanical iris online, and wanted to replicate it from scratch. I figured out all the geometry myself, and it turns out that making a symmetrical iris isn't that hard (it's just a couple of relations in Solidworks!). Though cutting the part using acrylic, the parts turned out to slide quite well! This was a very satisfying small project of mine.

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