Fab 1: Welcome to the machine

For our first “Intro to Fabrication“ class assignment, we had to make a light-switch. The rules were pretty simple:

  • It should be portable.

  • It should create light.

I went through all the other weeks’ assignments and I realised that it was going to be the most open ended assignment that we have in Fabrication. So instead of working with wood, acrylic or any other material that is going to be used in the class, I wanted to use something that I will not be able to use again. I had some silicon lying around after my mid-term adventure and I was like “Why not?“. What I wanted to do was make a silicon shape that looked with no exposed electronics outside but it lights up once you touch or squeeze it.

As a first step, I cooked up a batch of silicon and added acrylic color to it to create a batch of colored silicon.

All the material in the picture above were found in the junk shop. YASS.

All the material in the picture above were found in the junk shop. YASS.

Adding the color to the silicon made it cure faster. Weird but I wasn’t complaining. Some That ITP friends pointed out a thai sweet called Khanom chan. The next step was to figure out how to cut it and that’s where I made a big, big mistake. Cutting silicon with a cold razor was a bad idea and I completely messed up the cuts.

Physically hurts to see this disaster of a cut. Ugh.

But Anyways, I soldiered on and cut a small air-pocket inside to fit the LEDs, battery and wire. the Leds were packed on top of a battery and i made a copper contact that hovers over the battery and gets connected when you squeeze the top. With some trial and error, i got it working and slathered some fresh silicon in a clamp and prayed.

4 hours later, It worked! Here’s the video:

Woohoo! Pretty satisfying except the shitty shitty cuts. Oh well, Onto the next one!