We did this intro project as a way to familiarize ourselves with the tools we would be using during this internship period. The goal was to make a 30 second animation using the tools in the maker studio.
We brainstormed a couple of ideas and eventually we settled on making a video about an astronaut and his misadventures.
We used 123D design to make our astronaut. This was our first time using this software so we had a simple astronaut made from basic shapes i.e. spheres, cylinders, prisms and cubes.
We then had to 3D print our astronaut bit by bit using the AFINIA 3D printer.
Laser cutting both wood and acrylic made the props for the setting. The wood was used to represent the lunar landscape, a rock and an alien. The acrylic was used to represent the space ship.
Arduino kits were used for the lighting used in the film.
We used Adobe illustrator to design the scenery.
The whole process had a few setbacks. For starters the 3D printer took almost two hours to print our astronaut. We also had trouble peeling the astronaut from the 3D printer’s base. A solution for this is to heat up the base slightly.
The laser cutter also couldn’t cut some of our props. We found out that it only accepted lines with a thickness of 0.001 inches.
Initially our Arduino kit didn’t work. We had to test the software on three different computers to get it to work. Consequently, we run out of time and had to make a short animation way below the 30 seconds allocated.
We also noticed that the joints in our astronaut didn’t fit perfectly. This might be as a result of the small errors in the 3D printer that were magnified. Printing bigger objects might reduce the effects of this problem.
Once we had settled on making an animation about the astronaut, we needed to create with a plot to draw and an alien. This picture shows hour our alien liked like on paper as well as the main parts of our storyline. We also planned out which tools we would use to create each aspect of our story.
Our final astronaut design.
The head, torso and limbs would all attach to one another using a series of ball and socket joints. The astronaut is made from simple shapes.
The final 3D printed astronaut parts on the 3D printer base.
The base had to be warmed up in order for us to easily remove our astronaut. We then had to scrape off the residue plastic from the astronaut using a box cutter and a scissor; a process which might have contributed to the difficulty of fitting the arts together.
We designed our scenery and alien character in Adobe Illustrator. We created each drawing using two layers within Illustrator: one layer which the laser cutter would cut and one layer which the laser cutting would rask. We then used these files to make the pieces with the laser cutter.
Using the Arduino, we created a circuit that lit up either a red LED or a green LED (depending on the part of our story). We used a soldering gun to connect the exposed wires to extend the LEDs away from the Arduino and into the view of the camera.
Finally, with our character 3D-printed, our scenery cut out, and our LEDS configured, we added a few printed our textures to make the scene more realistic. Then, using the HUE Animation camera, we created a stop-motion animation movie about the astronaut and the alien.