To introduce our faculty and staff to the new learning spaces, Creator's Studio and PIRL Terrace, I offered to guide those interested through a small project prior to the winter break. It is a holiday house, designed in Adobe Illustrator, cut on the laser cutter, and outfit with a simple circuit that allows the house to be illuminated from within. The workshop should take two sessions, but I am opening a third in case extra time is needed for final touches. There are about a dozen teachers that are participating in this first round, and an equal number will partake after the holidays.
Below are pictures of the original house design, including the circuitry underneath that connects to an LED inside.
I designed a very simple house in Illustrator using three colors, black for engraving, green for cutting, and yellow for the border. I chose to engrave shutters and shingles, while cutting out the door and windows. Since Illustrator and other vector-based programs like Inkscape can be intimidating applications, I wanted to provide a starting point from which my teachers could branch out and personalize, rather than start from scratch. While most are using this "template" to get started, some have chosen to make an object of their own, such as a chess board for the chess club, or a star ornament for the Christmas tree to be laser cut in acrylic. If you would like to see the original house design, you can download the Illustrator file here:
Session 2: Building the Circuit
Next week, I will guide participants through the creation of the circuit. After a brief overview of how a circuit works, teachers will build one using an LED, a switch, a watch battery, 22 gauge wire, wire cutters, and a soldering iron (optional).
With the circuit ready, and the house materials cut, teachers will build their holiday homes. More details and photos to follow next week.