Sunday, August 17, 2008

ID1111: Cube Assignment

Cubed by a cube - First assignment for ID1111 is to construct a 10cm by 10cm cube from art card of thickness 0.12cm to 0.13cm. Sounds easy but its totally not. Throw in the difficulty of drawing exact 10cm squares (right angles!) from art card and cutting them (the thickness must be taken into consideration too) and you would probably waste tons of art card. Next throw in the difficulty of having just 0.1mm tolerance and you would be wasting even more art cards and start hating the vernier caliper (its wise to learn how to use one to measure). The way you start sticking the squares together also requires some planning because you might end up with gaps in between the squares which could affect the proper right angle you want for your cube. Super glue is used extensively but it led to some ugly stains on my cube. I managed to get a decent cube after my second trial but its not really a perfect cube because its not a clean end product and some parts of the measurements of the squares might be off but hey it wasn't easy (hopefully my cube will survive the grading if there's one). The person behind this assignment was this guy called Patrick Chia who apparently has some ties with Philippe Starck. Doesn't seem a simple guy at all so I better be on my toes during ID1111. Anyway here's some stuff that I've learned from this assignment:
  • Use a sharpened 2H/H pencil or clutch pencil for marking and using too much force to draw isn't a good idea because the marks left behind can be too thick which will affect the final measurements.
  • The proper way of holding a pen knife to cut is to have a support using your pinkie and similarly do not apply too much force while cutting.
  • Set squares are really useful to measure the right angles while drawing the squares and those plastic rulers widely used aren't really accurate compared to the steel rule or vernier caliper.
  • Try to stick the squares together at their contact point first before placing them to a jig for right angle adjustments because the jig tends to block out your contact points if you paste the squares directly on the jig. My cube got some squares which are slightly off position due to this.
  • White glue could be a good alternative to super glue because its white and the stains do not look as obvious as super glue.
  • Easier to start gluing from the squares that are not perfect 10s (due to the thickness of the art cards) and finish the cube by covering the side portion with the two perfect 10 squares so that you can achieve the exact 10cm measurement later on.

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