Final Project – Inflatable Helmet by Jerry Wang


Not all the people are capable of multitasking. I’m one of those who can only focus on one thing, otherwise, I will just mess up all. Thus, I want to make an inflatable helmet that inflates according to the sound level to show the level of anxiety when I’m in a noisy environment or when multiple people are talking to me.


The design inspiration is from an inflatable bike helmet. The use of velcro to form the neck is very clever here.


Taken from the inspiration, I decided to use velcro to connect the neck as well. For the helmet itself, since I need to inflate and deflate with an interval, there are several things to be considered. The neck and the head part should be separated. As the neck is the support of the structure, it should either be always inflated or be inflated in a fixed frequency. As for the head, that is the interaction part, so it should be a very big part that is inflated based on the sound detection.

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Assignment7 – Making a Mold

In this assignment, we should make a 3D model, 3D print it, and then duplicate a copy by making a mold.

For me, I decided to further develop the character that I made for the last assignment, the dog fork. I used Cinema 4D to create the model. I first made the dog head and the fork individually. Then, I used the bridge tool to connect the two parts together.

When I was 3D printing, I found out that the end of the fork was too thin to print. Thus, I thickened it a little to keep the fork looking as well as making the model printable.

The model was printed with other models at the same time.

After getting the model, it took me a while to get rid of the support. Some of them are easy to do, while the others, especially for those that are attached to the details, are hard to remove. I used the nipper first and then used the abrasive paper later for the details.

After polishing the model, I started to work on the mold. To keep as much detail as possible, I decided to use a two-piece mold.

To begin with, I used the cardboard to make a box that is slightly bigger than the fork. I measured the size of the fork and then cut off the cardboard, sticking them together with the glue gun.


Then, I used the clay to make a fake mold at the bottom. I also attached four chopsticks at the corners so as to create the connection of the two pieces.

I used the white silicone to make the mold. I first made the first half with the help of the clay. After the first half dried, I pulled the whole thing out, put the first half as the bottom, and made the second half. The thing is that besides putting oil in the wholes, DON’T FORGET THE VASELINE!!! I had to cut it in half since I forgot to put vaseline. Also, the chopstick thing didn’t work as well.


I then made two copies for my former roommate Kevin! May the force be with him!

Peace man!


The Uncanny Toy – Breatherry


According to my Final Project Proposal, I want to express “the uncertainty within the certainty” from our daily experience. When the reality seems to occur in the dream, the existence of the reality will become uncertain. Similarly, when people see someone who looks extremely like him/herself, the existence of the self will be uncertain as well. The uncanniness of these uncertainties is actually because of the suspicion of a supernatural force that is brought up by these scenarios. Thus, for my toy, I want to create a duplication of myself with non-human features to create a double of myself.


Besides the concept, I also got the inspiration from the models in the shopping mall. These models are a very good example of the double of the human-being with the unrealistic body parts.

At the same time, I got the inspiration from the bubble wrap that was a stress toy for me when I was young. The concept was also taken by a Japanese company and the company made a forever lasting bubble wrap toy. (I didn’t find the picture for that toy so I just found a toy that shared the similar idea )

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Experiments in textile pneumatics – One of the four readings that would help with my final project

The reading I chose is Experiments in textile pneumatics

This reading introduces the process of making cheap and light pneumatic parts out of fabrics. Even though the product itself might not do a lot of help with my project, there are many that I can learn from it in speaking of the test of material and the tools to use.

For my project, the material of the helmet itself would be TPU because of its half-transparent color. However, we don’t have TPU tubes, which means that I have to figure out a way to combine the TPU helmet with the PVC tube. I can use glue but then it will be very messy, and it’s hard to stop the gas from leaking.

Then, I saw this in the article that might be the life-saver.

They use the pen for soldering in this case so that the sealing can be more precise. This can be the tool that I use as well.


A Interesting Inflatable Product

The first thing that came to my mind when I saw the homework is this inflatable ball or the inflatable roller that floats on the lake.

For this inflatable product, it always appears in the tourist scenes. There can be one or two people in the ball or the roller. Then, the thing would be pushed far away from the bank. People inside would try their best to go back to the land. As they are moving back, because of the shape of the inflatable, it would keep rolling on the lake, thus, people would fall in the roller or the ball. For the people by the lake, it’s very fun to watch these people struggling in these inflatables. Whereas as a person playing inside, I would say each time, even though I was tired and looked ridiculous, it was always very fun.

However, for the inflatable ball, it’s still hard to image how is it kept inflated. It seems like there is only a rope attached to the ball in case it goes too far away. I suppose each time a new player get inside, they would inflate it and that’s all the oxygen we have in the ball?

Reading Presentation Summary

The Reading I choose is 3D Printing Pneumatic Device Controls with Variable Activation Force Capabilities. It’s a paper documenting how a team developed rich haptic pneumatic buttons.

The two most important features of the invention are “not expensive” and “rich haptic”. The reason why it’s not expensive is that the production process mostly relies on 3D printing, which is time-consuming but cheap compared to go to a factory. In the rest of the paper, it introduces the design behind to explain how the rich haptic is reached.

The design – Preparation of the Production

The structure consists of a pressure source that provides gas to the system, two valves that are activated based on the user reaction, a pressure sensor that detects the user reaction, and the 3D printed chamber that functions as the user interface. When the sensor detects the pressure change, the valves will be open so that the button can be inflated and create the different resistance to the button.

Considering the conductivity, the team decided to use some components that already exist in the market since it’s hard to 3D print conductive thing nowadays.

The team explored several ways to inflate so as to give various haptic feedback to the user. These are for different interfaces, like slides, switches, and buttons.

There are also several shapes designed. Different shapes have the different capability of holding the pressure, thus, they would be used in different situations. Normally, a rounded shape can hold more pressure than an angled shape.


After this detailed preparation, the fabrication is needed. The main technology the team uses is Multi-material Photopolymer 3D Printing. However, a problem is that for 3D printing, the machine will automatically (or has to) build some gel-like support for the empty space of the structure, which means that the team has to tear off these parts afterward. It would be easy to do for the outside, but for the tube, it would be a disaster. Thus, the team comes up with four methods to solve this problem.

The first method is to divide the piece into several parts to 3D print. This would ease the work of tearing off the support, however, the hermeticity of the structure would be a problem. To avoid that, the team came up with the second method. Instead of 3D print the tube and some other structures, they could find these components from the market. The advantage is that since these components are from the market, the size will be fixed and it will be easier to control the size of the whole thing and it will be hard for the gas to leak.

For more geometric shapes, the team decides to use auxiliary support made from acrylics, this would not only further ease the job, but can also give some support to the structure so that it’s more firm.

The fourth method is very straightforward, which is to create a personalized tool to help tear off the support for the printed structure.


As shown in the picture, the final product is a combination of 3D printed components and found materials.


Besides using them in a toy, it can also be used in many other interactive devices that uses haptic interaction. In addition, because of the way it’s produced, it can also be duplicated by ourselves just by using silicone or 3D printing as well.


Lab 4 – making a dome

In the last lab, we made a dome by using plastic, heat sealing, and the amazing gore calculation tool.


Lexi, Emma



First, we decided the scale of our dome, for us, we decided to make the diameter to 20 cm. By putting the diameter and numbers of gore we need into the gore calculation, we got an output of the marks that we can make to get a gore shape. We drew all the marks on a paper and used the paper as the model so that we can get each piece of gore of the same size.

Then, we cut off 8 pieces of gores. We left a tail at the end of one gore so that it could be further developed into the tube. After getting the individual pieces, we took turns to seal the gore. We chose to seal them in pairs, and then combine the pairs together.

For sealing, there are actually many things to notice. First, the temperature of the iron should be kept at 150 degrees. Then, when using the iron, the time of staying in the plastic is tricky. If staying too long, the plastic will be melted and it will create a very bad smell. It staying too short, of course, the plastic won’t be sealed.

Video here: IMG_3680

After finish sealing the eight gores, we then made the bottom with the other side of the tube. Then we seal the gores with the bottom. When we were halfway through the sealing, we flipped the whole thing. Unfortunately, the tube seemed not to work. So we got a straw and used that to inflate. Pretty cute.


Final Project Idea (Final Project)

The topic for the final project is uncanny.

Theory Support

The first thing to know is what is uncanny. According to Freud’s theory, there are many different things that can cause an uncanny feeling.  Castrate, repetition, the return of the childhood fear, and the double are the main four causes of the uncanny feeling. According to my own experience, I don’t think that castrate is persuasive enough regarding the cause of uncanny feeling. Thus, I would build my toy based on the repetition, the return of the childhood fear, and the double.

Among the three ideas and the related situations, there are three situations that are the most uncanny for me. First is actually the return of the dream in the reality or the repetition of a dream. This repetition reminds me of a supernature power that I can’t change, which can make me feel bad. The other uncanny one for me is the double personality of a character. The uncertainty of a certain character is uncanny because you would never know which kind of personality it will react to you. The third thing is similar to the second one, which is being notified the coming horror. This is also an uncertainty in the certain outcome. This is also a technique that is commonly used in horror movie as well.


Based on my own experience and the theory, my final project would be something related to the uncertainty in the certainty. It can be the uncertain personalities of one certain toy character, it can also be the uncertainty approach of the certain outcome of the character. Or maybe it can be the certain reality that appeared in the uncertain dream.

For my toy, I would probably develop it from an existing doll. Initially, I was thinking about making something from Annabelle, but after considering what happened in the movie, I gave up…. Then, I think I might buy a random human-like doll, or maybe I will get a plastic model that is in the shopping mall and put a mirror on the face cuz it somehow creates a double of the view. Then, inside the model, I will probably attach an Arduino board, a speaker, and some motors to make it partly movable and soundable. It can randomly move or make a sound.

How to play

There are two ways of playing with the toy. The first way, as what I might do is to is to make a notification right beside the toy saying that the toy is gonna frighten the user. Then the users would probably look in the mirror (as instinct), expecting something happens. However, that is not actually the case, the really uncanny thing is how uncertain this toy frighten you, unlike the certain way you might think.

The other way is the just putting it aside. The beauty of the uncanny toy is that it is abandoned, which makes it even more uncanny. When there is a story added to it, it makes it more uncanny. Thus, probably I will just randomly put it somewhere as it’s abandoned.




We dismantled the toy, and we reassemble it (Jerry)

The process of our work can be seen in this video. Crap timelapse warning!!!

Partner: Zixin

Marcela asked us to choose a toy and dismantle it to figure out how the mechanism works, and we were the last pair to get the toy, so we got this…..

Well at the beginning I thought the arm and the head are moved by gears that finally attached to the button, but then I realize the rotation of the head is actually too fast and smooth to be driven by gears. However, we couldn’t find out how it really works (omg this is such a small toy), so we dismantled it.

This picture shows how the arm is attached to the joint. Actually, the two joints have different outlines so that the user can never plug the wrong arm into it (Very Clever Design). I didn’t expect such a small detail in a cheap toy (at least I thought it is cheap).

It seems like the front and the back are stuck very firmly that it took us a lot of strength to pull them apart. As shown in the picture, these are all the materials the toy is made of.

Obviously, there is no gear for sure. Instead, the only two energy source of this toy is the press of the user and the spring.

The biggest T-shape is the most important part of the toy since it connects the two arms with the spring so that the two arms can move back and force. At the same time, there is a small bulge that can spiral sunken part attached to the head so that it can push the spiral to spin. The T-shape activates the toy!

Then the two spoon-like parts are also attached to the T-shape so that when the T-shape moves up and down, there will be a certain degree rotation added to the two spoon-shape parts, which leads to the waving of the arms.

The most difficult part is to reassemble it, the inner part is so sensitive that it falls apart even with the slightest touch. It took us about 30 minutes to assemble it. Thanks god finally Zixin came up with a brilliant idea. She is a life saver!!!!