Intro to Fabrication - Week 2 - Fidget Device

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The assignment this week was to make an object that has a repeatable construction and then make that thing again four more times. I was interested in making something out of wood that would also have some simple but applicable purpose allowing for them to potentially be small gifts. I decided to make a small device which could be handheld and facilitate a ‘fidget’ action that could potentially help someone playing with it concentrate on a simultaneous task. I did some research into different possible interactions before finding some simple, cheap and satisfying-looking round switches which I planned on installing into a wood ‘handle’ to complete the object.

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Once I completed these basic sketches above, I had enough of a general idea of the size and shape of each piece that I went out and bought a long, approximately 2x2 piece of wood. Then considering the most efficient and repeatable cuts to get to the ideal basic shape, I decided that the angle of the angled face of each piece should be 45 degrees. This allowed for a reduction of wasted material and extra cuts by making each piece ‘interlocking’ when I drew them out on the wood to be cut.

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I used the miter saw to first cut each of three ‘pairs’ of devices, and then angled the same saw 45 degrees to then cut each pair in half on a 45 degree angle. Once I had done this I then measured out and cut the tips off of each piece with the band saw to create a more ergonomic shape. I then took each object to the sander and rounded all the edges to make it comfortable to hold.

The next step was to make the hole for each switch. I first did a test of various drill bit sizes until I found one that would allow the switches to pressure fit without adhesive. This was the point at which I was again rewarded for the choice to make the angle of the front face 45 degrees. Because of it I was able use another one of the devices as a jig to make it possible to drill perpendicularly into the front face using the drill press. And then each switch fit perfectly into the hole.

My initial plan for this project was to make a much more complex and ergonomic shape, however I learned quickly that these sorts of cuts over the course of 5 objects can really take a lot of time. I also found that when dealing with something as small as these objects doing fine cuts can be much more difficult that doing larger, less precise ones. As a result of these two things I did end up with a much simpler shape, thought it is one that if I do end up giving these items as a gift I will likely go back and attempt to further refine them into a shape more like my initial design.

fabStefan Skripak1 Comment