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Applied Fabrication for HCI

Fabrication Portfolio


Spring 2020


Chris Fulton (Maze Table),
Denny Check (Maze Table),
Karan Ahuja (Maze Table)


Laser cutting, CNC wood

cutting, 3D printing

During the Spring 2020 semester, I took a class called Applied Fabrication for Human-Computer Interaction where I learned how fabrication techniques such as 3D printing, laser cutting, CNC machining and related computer controlled technologies can be applied to problems in Human-Computer Interaction. Below you will find the work that I completed for this class! 

Laser Cutting

Olaf's Business Card

This introductory assignment to laser cutting had me create a business card of my own design. The requirements were that there needs to be one etched portion and one portion that was etched all the way through. This assignment taught me how to:

  • Learn how to operate the laser cutter

  • Learn how to cut and etch on a material

  • Learn the fundamentals of a 2D vector drawing package

Tangled & Moana Acrylic Cube

This assignment was to create a laser cut acrylic cube that fit together and hold together without any form of adhesive. I drew my cube in Adobe Illustrator and put my names on the top and bottom of the cube. I also put Pascal and a cast iron skillet for Tangled, and Pua and Hei Hei for Moana. This assignment was a great learning experience to:

  • Learn the fundamentals of joints, kerfs, and detailed sizing

  • Create a 3D object using laser cutting

  • Practice with Acrylic

CNC Cutting

Maze Table

For this assignment, my team and I had to build a piece of furniture constructed from CNC milled wood. My team and I decided to build a table with a magnetic maze on top. Further, our table would allow interchangeable tops so someone would be able to switch mazes. For this project, I learned how to:

  • Learn to operate the ShopBot CNC machine

  • Practice constructing a substantial object from CNC cut wood

  • Gain experience with 2D design for panel joinery (or related techniques)

Before my team started creating the table from wood using CNC techniques, we laser cut a miniature model to ensure that the table was structurally sound and that we liked the design.

The following images contain a time lapse providing a snapshot of the CNC machine cutting out our table from plywood, and the finished product of our table without a maze top.

These final two images are of our table with two different mazes on top. The first maze was cut with a laser cutter, and the second maze was cut with the CNC machine.

3D Printing

Anet A8 Assembly

The printer that I used for this class was a Anet A8. This printer came as a kit, so it was a fun project to be able to put the printer together. You naturally get to know something if you build it, so I found that building this printer helped me learn the details of how your printer operates.

Progress after 1 class

Progress after 2 classes

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19, I was unable to finish building my printer as I was unable to return to Pittsburgh. However, this is still a project that I want to finish and I will update my website when I am able to continue building my printer.

To finish the assignments in this course, I purchased a Monoprice Maker Ultimate. 

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