Sometimes I make things more for aesthetics than for engineering. For more literary pieces, check out my writing
I was very fortunate to get selected for the beginner's glassblowing class in Fall 2016 at MIT. This class is heavily oversubscribed and lottery dependent, so I had been trying for the past 4 years trying to get into the class. I spent 8 weeks learning how to blow glass, working up from paperweights to cups to pulled-neck vases.
After staying at MIT for grad school, lightning struck twice and I got into the Spring 2019 Glassblowing class. I was surprised how much muscle memory stayed even though it had been nearly two years since I got to be a gaffer. I definitely felt like I had significantly more control over my pieces and got to practice more on making the entire process faster
Since I lived in Random Hall and East Campus, both East Side dorms with a culture of building, I was used to building little improvements to my room - whether a shelf or a loft. Although those "pieces" are mostly just from scrap wood from whatever fort or rollercoaster East Campus decided to make this year, I have a few nice woodworking pieces with actual finished wood.
Although the main thrust of 2.75 is the medical device that you work on for the entire year, there are side projects as part of the class. We were tasked to make any project that involved a kinematic coupling, a way to exactly constrain (instead of overconstrain) two components, thus ensuring precision layout. I decided to make a kinematically coupled tea set so that my tea-loving boyfriend could host tea parties more easily. My report can be found here.
I'm overall very pleased with how my project came out. I used the Hobby Shop for the first time, an extremely nice and friendly machine shop on campus, and learned how to use wood stain and sealant. I used a band saw + jig to cut out the main circles, a CNC router for the inset circles, a router + jig for the V-grooves and the Random Hall laser cutter to etch the characters.
I got to take the Introduction to Blacksmithing class over IAP 2016 where I got to learn basic techniques such as how to make tapers, scrolls, and twists and how to build up more complex pieces from there. I ended up making a snail doorstop which involved forge welding two pieces of metal together into one shape. I also went to Open Forge infrequently through 2016 and 2017, where I tried to make bottle openers, forks and spoons.
2.670 is the introduction to machining class for mechanical engineers. I took it in IAP 2015. There, we followed the Edgerton Shop training which is to build a flashlight using a mill and lathe. I had never used a lathe before, so this was a good class to take before taking 2.72.
As part of 2.008, in addition to the main yoyo manufacturing project, there was the paperweight project. We had to make a yoyo of our own design that would use both a CNC lathe and mill. I chose to make a paperweight that had the logo of the Super Smash Bros. game series . From this project, I learned how to use MasterCam to plot out the machining paths as well as write up a process plan.