Archive for the 'All Roads Start at Foam' Category
Dhafer Almustanyir 1100

My design   was a lampshades , I was thinking of making a simple object because it’s my first time working in this program . The day before I work on it ,I was going to Walmart. I saw the lampshades and I think of making one for my project . I draw it , I find hard time to save it , but good thing the steps were write on the computer lab’s board . I went to cut it after I save it , and I’m sure I save it but I didn’t see it on the computer , then I asked Tom for help , he gave me a flash drive , and it did work . I cut them parts and I glued them together , the most hard step was thinking of what object should I choose.

basket – khalid almustanyir – T- R 11:00


In the begin i decided to make a mask and i started working on it but that time i was giving

 up of working on inkscape because i keep trying for more than 4 days and i go to the lab

and try everyday after my classes but i did not ask for help when i tried and i could not

 do it , when we started working on halloween project and we cut for the Coffin i got

idea about inkscape , then i change my mind and decided to do Basket , and that after

 when i went to the zoo and i saw alot of kids carry a basket for the halloween candy

 and we can also use it to put some stuff in it .

I started with cut 5  Rectangles and the size was like that length was 20 and the 

 Width was 16 then i cut the holder  after that i took them home and and i used

the hot glue to glue them and i cut 2 holes on two sides for the holder

 when i finshed that i put a black tape around the sides .

I really enjoyed working on this project and it was a good challenging with

 inkscape and i like the cutting Machine  it’s really really smart machine .

All Roads Start at Foam – Rakan Alyami – Th 9:30

 From the beginning the idea was taken from a toy contain a small plastic parts of plane. we collect the pieces and install it as described in the instructions which tell us how to collect the pieces to make the aircraft installation and it isn’t very difficult. I designed the plane to be similar to the F-15 aircraft so I did cut 4 pieces of foam was enough of making the plane that I wanted. I spent a little time on assembling the pieces to built the plane, but I spent a long time finding the idea. The first project, I used spray paint to color the plane, I did not know that spray paint will eat all the work I‘ve done and I learned never use spray paint on foam again.  


All Roads Start at Foam – Harrison Shellhammer – 1100


Well, figuring out Inkscape was a challenge in some aspects I must say. It was definitely more of a user error than a program error; I haven’t spent enough time with the program. Getting my model to scale seemed to be no issue that I crossed while designing and constructing. I searched online for some sketches and outlines of the beast, and imported these images to help my construction process! The more I used the program, the easier it became to move and configure shapes the way I wanted to. When the pieces were cut out, piecing it together went very smoothly. Coming up with the idea wasn’t the hard part what so ever. As a youngster, I had these archeologist toys where you had to chisel hardened clay off or around bones that were molded into them. Almost like discovering my own T-Rex on my kitchen table. As you dug the bones out, you pieced together a dinosaur. My inspiration is purely coming form my childhood. Great childhood right? -haha. The design was simple, yet took some thought on the notch placement. A challenge I overcame would have been with the ribs. I made one with a notch with a .17 width. As I scaled the others automatically, by copy and paste then making them smaller, I ran into an issue. The notches were smaller on each rib because I didn’t factor in that the actual piece was being reduced. I would call it more of  a lack of attention to detail. So to fix the notch problem, I used one of my fathers handy dandy files to make the notch bigger. I could have used and x-acto knife, but I like the file method better. I only made one cut, but I did observe other foam structures before thinking the design out. I had a pretty good idea of what would work and what wouldn’t. I learned that sometimes its better to work of projects as soon as you receive them, just in case your schedule changes. The main thing I took away form the foam cutting experience would be that Tom is a genius for coming up with a means of testing ideas, in such an inexpensive fashion. I also learned that trial and error is a key component to building efficient prototypes. You always learn how not build something before you construct it without error.

Note: In the beginning of time were “Tyrant Lizards” commonly known as the Tyrannosaurus Rex. Rex as you may know is Latin for KING! We all would like a king of some sort to be a mascot of our lovely engineering class! The T-Rex is a symbol of raw power.

My dog’s name is Cosmo, she is legit! To legit to quit!




Mascot Voting
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All Roads Start at Foam – Derrick Contreras – 9:30


When I first started this project, I wanted to make a mascot that visually resembled the overall engineering idea. The gearbox seemed to be a perfect visual representation as it shows efficiency, and we use them in a lot of our projects. Yet as I thought more bout it I realized that the gear also symbolized and engineering team. I like gear engineers are diverse. Some engineers how drive to lead the project and get everything started(bottom left gear) and some are good at keeping everyone working together at the same pace(big middle gear). Some engineers like to take on many small tasks in a project (upper left gear with flag),while other prefer to tackle one bigger,  more mentally exhausting task (wheel and gear). But despite their differences, engineers can all work together to solve any problems like gears coming together to lift, spin, pull, etc.


The Design Process:

 Because I needed the gears to mesh near perfectly, I decided to draw out a 1:2 inch ratio drawing of the gear set-up. This helped me make sure I had the right sized gears and it also allowed me to add things or take things out before I invested my time in making the parts. After the draft was complete, I just followed the schematics which made creating the parts easy, minus the fact that needed some help with Inkscape (Once again thank you Dom and Tom for the help!). The only major challenge that I had to overcome with Inkscape was getting the gears to properly mesh at different sizes, but with help I solved this problem.















 From Digital to Physical:

 The process cutting out the parts made from Inkscape and putting them together involved the most amount of problem solving in the entire project. I had to re-cut twice because of mistakes. Here is a list of problems and the solutions I had for them:

1. The gears from the first cut did not mesh together properly.

- I learned that the pitch angles of the gears needed to be the same. I reprinted new gears with similar pitch, and they meshed better.

Note: Gears still did not mesh perfectly.

2. Gears broke while putting the project together.

- I had to reprint the gears.










I believe the lack of problems with the digital-to-reality process can be explained by my drawing a scale model of the project before hand.


What I have Learned:


1. Always draw a schematic before hand to minimalize error.

2. Gears will mesh together if they have the same pitch angle.

3. Perfect of paper doesn’t mean perfect in reality.

All Roads Start at Foam – Heber – 11:00-12:15

For this project i decided to to try and build an Iron man. coming up with a design was easy since the computer did everything for me. All i had to choose was the size. While I was about to cut the pices out i decided to enlarge it by just scaling it up. That was a mistake cause when i went to put it together i realized that it was going to be short and fat because the design was for it to be 10 in tall, not 18in. I chose iron man because iron man in the Tony Stark is a great example of what an enginner is and does, and plus his comebacks are awsome. the biggest challenge was putting it together. There were so many pices to glue and on top of that i had to put spacers in between the layers so that it wouldnt look like the michellen man. So in order to give it some what of a stable core I had to stick toothpicks through the whole body to act as a skeleton. I learned that when building a figure even if its as simple as stacking layers on top of layers is a huge challenge to get things right. in the end my figure looks nothing like Iron Man and can’t stand either, but instead he looks like a mummy and can do the push up bridge for days!

All Roads Start at Foam – Marlo Griffith – 0930

My original idea was to have a standing fox costume a la “What Does the Fox Say?” Everyone loves foxes and I think we should strive to be more like the band Ylvis and be aware about what the fox says.* 

YouTube Preview Image

But I ran into some problems; I couldn’t really figure out how to make the snout and to make it actually look more 3-Dimensional while also standing up, so I decided to go for a normal fox. I decided to use this image to convert it to Inkscape by drawing freehand and also by tracing some parts of the image.

The first problems that I came across was to and try figure out how my fox was going to actually come together. When I first started with my stand-up fox I spent a while just trying to play around with Inkscape and learn how to use it and realized how difficult it is to imagine how to make pieces that would all come together and actually look like a fox. Once I was thoroughly frustrated I decided to find an image of a fox that was better suited for my abilities in Inkscape and work off of that.

Often times the shapes I had were not normal so I had to figure out a way to actually create them to fit my image. For the body I created a square using the “Bezier curves/straight line” cursor and then to edit the nodes and by sculpting the object. I wanted a general shape that when the head and legs would attach would look like the image. Every other shape was drawn using the freehand option and then editing by deleting and editing the paths. 


     Here are a few images of my process I went through to try and make my fox in Inkscape to try and make the face:


What would I have done differently?
I think I definitely first off would have spent more time learning Inkscape to get a better feel for it and then the next thing would have been to focus on how my fox would have came together. It is taped together and while it does stand up, I could have made notches for each piece to fit together while still standing up. I would have made my fox’s head larger and the body to be more like a fox instead of like a cat. My final thing that I would have changed would have been to start the project earlier and to have made the stand-up fox. I only did one cut of the foam and if I had had more time I would have tweaked my fox more to try and make it look more three-dimensional.



 Here is the finished product, not my best project:


*Just kidding

All Roads Start at Foam – Danny Seltenreich– 11:00

Tell us about your design/build process.

I decided I wanted to make a train for my mascot. I wanted to use four pieces that would run through the middle of the whole train and then make the all of the rest of the pieces fit into those four pieces. I pretty much just thought of how to make them all mesh in my head.

How did you come up with the idea?

Whenever I am with my friends and one of them brings up engineering we all joke about it being a train engineer and that is what i’m learning in school. So I thought it would be fitting and puny to make my mascot a train. 

Was it hard to figure out?

Once I had the idea it was pretty easy to come up with the design and how I wanted it to work. 

What challenges did you encounter and how did you overcome them?

Since I just guessed on the length of the middle four pieces (bad idea I know) when I got  to cutting them out i realized they were entirely too short and so I had to go and make them bigger. Also when i made my wheels I tried to put spokes in them and the foam cutter cut my wheels into small pizzas slices. So I just decided to use wheels without spokes.

How many times did you end up cutting/re-cutting?  

I had to use the foam cutter 3 times

What did you learn while doing this assignment?

If I had measured my stuff out before I cut my foam out it would have been a lot easier in the long run to line everything up and I wouldn’t have had to cut out my foam twice for a certain piece. Some of my pieces didn’t line up perfectly in the end but since I managed to get them to look good I didn’t worry too much about it. 

All Roads Start at Foam – Scott Farwell – 1100

When the task of creating a mascot to represent the engineers of our class was quested upon me I beseech-ed all my peers to what would be a symbol of power, courage, and ferocity.   We all came upon the conclusion that there was one and only one such emblem that would be deemed appropriate, A fighting four leaf clover.  With the stem of righteousness, leaves of purity, and arms of strength and heroism.  Once assembled it becomes the greatest representation of our achievements.  After hours of treading through the mysteries ruins of the undiscovered world of Inkscape and countless seconds of forging my great creation from the depths of my mind, it was judgement day.  This would be the day that he was born through the mystical powers of the great foam cutter whose creator is known as only as Tom the creator.  Contrary to my initial thoughts this task would be a grueling one.  However after what seemed like an eternity in the fiery forge known as 323 Wallace hall the dead was finally done and a legendary creature was born, a creature that I hope and pray make my engineering brethren proud for centuries to come.  It will serve as a beacon of hope through our darkest days and a pinnacle of triumph during the times of prosperity.  It is the great, yet just, fighting clover, inspired and born through his ancestors who represent the engineering department today! <——He lives


All Roads Start at Foam – Zac Ellis – 1100

I had no idea what to come up with for this project, maybe because we had the choice to come up with anything! at first i made a sphere just because I had to do something, but then I saw the old TV in the engineering lab, and I had a tangible object to go off of. all I have to make is a box, I thought to myself but after a few minutes I realized how HARD it is to make 3-D objects. I struggled trying to make the pieces all fit together, and when I did think it was right something else went wrong. It’s a good thing foam is cheap because I made many re-cuts! finally I created my retro TV mascot, and I learned that you can never have too many prototypes.


All Roads Start at Foam – Britton Farney – 11:00

I took me a little while to come up with the idea for my mascot. As I pondered on possible ideas, a discussion about the next 300 movie and thought of my idea. I was going to make a helmet similar to the ones once wore by the Spartans. After picking my idea I then had to figure out how to create a 3D model out of 2D shapes. The part covering the face was easy I just had to draw the design. When it came to the side and back of the helmet though it was much more difficult to design. I couldn’t get a design that would have a solid part for the sides and the back. So I designed a piece that I could place the side panels on. The side panels have gaps between them but other wise I would of had to print a lot of panels to make it have close to no gaps. I was lucky enough to not have to re-cut anything and all my pieces fit good. I learn how to use inkscape to create a model which then can be convert into  printable pieces. I also learn a little creativity to create pieces to work and fit how I wanted.


All Roads Start at Foam – Nicole Ramirez – 09:30 am

Mascot: The Ultimate Engineering Box!

Meaning: Engineers are like  giant jack-in-the-box toys. We have a number of infinite ideas coming out of our heads at the same time.We are like  jacks-of-all-trades with our many different skills that combined together to create amazing inventions or modifications to the world.

That is what I wanted my mascot to be and represent. I created an engineering box that not only showed the overall picture of  engineering but  also represented each different branch of the engineering field. On the top of the box ,acting as the ideas and different fields, we have six images- each a symbol for the six different engineering careers possible here at WSU.


  • 1. The Airplane – Aerospace Engineering
  • 2. The Computer -Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • 3. The Wrench – Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • 4. The Hand with the Pencil – Engineering Technology
  • 5. The Car – Mechanical Engineering
  • 6.the Medical Symbol- Bio-engineering

The box itself represents the brain of an engineer and the pipe-cleaners are the crazy, yet awesome ideas popping out of our brains at fast speeds.



1.Not only did the initial design take me a lot of hours because I had a lot of pieces- that had to be cut and sized perfectly so that they could fit together in order to built the box- but it actually took me three foam boards to get all the pieces because the foam boards were not big enough and during the second trial the foam cutting machine stopped working correctly.


2. Once I cut out the box pieces form the foam and started to built the box I discovered that the pieces did not quite fit. Some of the edges were to narrow and the others were not deep enough. The only thing that I could do was modify and adjust each piece so that the box could actually be built. This was the longest and most torturing process, because I had to re-measure a lot and file each piece so that all the pieces could all fit perfectly.


3. I originally wanted six representatives of each field but I somehow missed putting my bio-engineering design into the final copy so that it could be cut out by Tom’s awesome cutting machine, thus meaning that I had to re-build my own and even though it does not have as sharp and perfect edges as it would if it had made the cutting board, it is made by hand and with lots of heart, which adds more meaning to the bio-engineering field.


4. Once I started hot-gluing the project so that it would be more sturdy I suffered quite a few burns, not only did they hurt but they also delayed me.


Lessons Learned:

1.Even though this was the second time that I work with the foam cutter( my first time was during the BEETS program), it was the first time that my pieces did not fit and that it took me a lot of hours to even complete the design. My lesson? Things never go as planned and that no matter how many time you have done something, anything can still go wrong.

2.I also learned that the acrylic paint that I own did work on the foam ( I was really worried that it would come off).

3.I was able to finally learn how to save my design and transfer it into the foam-cutting machine.

4. And finally I learned that A LOT of patience is needed for such a project.


In total I spent over 13 hours working on this awesome mascot, a lot of paint, effort and also about $3.00.

Please vote for it.

Special thanks to Tom, Dom and Samuel Schwartz for helping me in this project! 

All Roads Start at Foam – Kip Landwehr – 0930

My design is the word IDEA formed into the shape of a light bulb.  I got the idea for this when I was scrolling through images of dragons on Google and for some reason there was a random picture of a light bulb and I thought, “Light bulbs were a great engineering feat. It would be cool if I could incorporate them into my project.”  Then I remembered some of the older cartoons I used to watch as a little kid and how whenever a character got an idea a light bulb popped up above their head.  And that is basically how the idea arose.  To convert  the idea into a physical object I asked Dom to help me because he knows a lot more about the tools in Inkscape than I do.  Basically, we choose a text font that we thought would be easy to reshape without losing comprehension of the text.  Them we created a light bulb shape by forming a union between a rectangle and an ellipse.  We then just kind of formed the text to the shape of the light bulb by dragging the lines around. (I’m over simplifying that last step, it was more difficult than I’m making it sound, but that is essentially what we did.)  The hardest part to figure out was how to put the word into the light bulb so that it could be shaped but without losing the comprehension of the text. It took a couple attempts but we finally figured out what worked.  I only cut this particular design once but I cut a total of three different designs.  While doing this assignment I learned how to use the foam cutter, the design lab is a really cool place, if Dom isn’t busy he will do his best to help you with whatever you are working on if you ask him to.  I also learned that Dom made a version of Mario where Mario has a portal gun which is totally awesome. (I know that isn’t related to the project but I learned that when I was in the design lab working on the project and thought it was really cool and information worthy of being shared.)

All Roads Start at Foam – Austin Bright – 1100

As soon as I heard that we had to make a mascot for the class I knew exactly what to do. Dom is always talking about his cats and he even did our SLAP project about his beloved cats. So I decided that the perfect mascot for our class could be a cat. I used the design tools on Inkscape to design the entire head but when I tried to configure the body I could not figure out how to use the curve making tool so I got lucky that I have a touch screen laptop. I was able to draw the body and legs onto my cats head with my finger. Then I used the union button in the path section to make my object one solid figure. I only ended up cutting twice because I needed to cut the same figure out twice so that I could connect them in the middle and make them 3D. From this assignment I learned that I am not the most artistic individual of all time but that I am completely capable of producing an image on a program that I had never heard of before the project started. Also I learned how to successfully navigate myself through Inkscape and how to use the foam cutting machine.



All Roads Start at Foam – Benjamin Fillipi – 930

When coming up with a design, I tried to think of something related to or built by engineers here in Wichita. The obvious thing that came to mind was airplanes. I looked up images online and used these pictures for inspiration.  I started with the outline of the fuselage by taking a rectangle and rounding off the corners, then I bent several lines using the slope tool in order to make it resemble the profile of a passenger liner.

After that I traced the vague outline of a tail and then went back in and adjusted various parts to better resemble the picture I was working off of. I then cut slots for both the main wing and horizontal stabilizer.

Next, working off of a picture I had, I traced the outline of the wings and then did the same for the vertical stabilizer.Next, I began to work on the engine design via first cutting notches in the wings, then by creating two rectangles to represent the engines and cutting matching notches in them. Finally, I created another pair of rectangles and cut interlocking notches to fit them to the  other set of engine rectangles.


The biggest challenge I ran into was understanding how to tweak the geometry in order to make both sides of the wing and horizontal stabilizer symmetrical to each other. 

All Roads Start at Foam – Binh Dang – TR 930

When I was trying to come up with the idea for the project. The first thing that come to mine was to create a mascot that have include objects that would represent the major fields of the engineer. But when I was trying to trace the outline of the character that I want, it wasn’t turning out the way I want it to. After a while, I decided to go with minion. I went online to find a minion character that I can trace in order to cut out. Thank you to Tom wonderful invention, my minion was cut out the way that I want it to. 

I pick minion as our class mascot because I love the ideas of how each individual minion are unique and together they can create anything they want to. Each field of engineer are different from each other just like how each minion have a unique part to them that separate them from the rest. When I first found out about the class, I was expecting a fun and exciting class. That is what I got out of the class, every time a new project is introduce to us. We get to use different tools and learn more about what it takes to be an engineer. 

I think one of my challenges was to come up with an idea. I spend most of my times on Inkscape trying to figure out what I really want to do for this project. Even after cutting out my minion, I still wasn’t sure if this is what I wanted it. What I learn from this project is to not get rid of your first idea and actually finish it to the end. I learn how to use Inkscape and how amazing the foams cutter is. 

All Roads Start at Foam – Husnain Shafqat – [TR 0930-1045]

First i had no idea what i am going to make for this project  i searched on the internet but was unable to decide any thing. I wanted to choose something that will be creative and interesting. Finally i decided to make Pikachu. Pikachu is popularly know as the mascot of the Pokemon its also a major representative of Nintendos collective mascots.

So now began the hard part i wanted to make a pikachu but dont knew how to make it i had to restart several times. I had problem in the size because i was making the ears and the tail separately and then stick it to pikachu but failed several times with this then i decided to make all the things together and Dom helped me in making the correct size. I was making a very big pikachu that would have been  almost 30 inches high.I also made a base for it you can also say as the dance floor for the pikachu which can spin.Well it was an awesome machine invented by tom we should all appreciate it.

All Roads Start at Foam – Jacob Marler – (0930 -1045)

When you think Engineering, what pops into your mind? Why yes, a super awesome robot IS the correct answer! Please say hello to Rodrigo the Engineering Robot. 

 One of the biggest challenges was making all the pieces fit together to create one piece of artwork. I didn’t really have any surprises while creating my project. While doing this assignment, I learned that it is extremely important to analyze what you are trying to create in order to get a successful final product.

All Roads Start at The Legend of Zelda – Michael Acker – 11:00

I present to you, the TRIFORCE SIERPINSKI TRIANGLE HAT! This new innovative triangle hat is certifiably the most triangular hat ever created! 

I decided to make a sierpinky triangle for several reasons. One is that i quite enjoy fractals, and this is a fractal that isn’t too hard to print out. Another is because it is reminiscent of the Legend of Zelda.


Once I had decided on a zelda fractal for my hat, I used Inkscape (with quite a bit of assistance) to trace an image of a zelda fractal into triangles. Once that was done, I went in and individually modified the triangles to make them mesh together well, and then I cut the pieces out of the awesome foam cutter.

After that I had to hot glue all the triangles together, and place it on my head.

Overall things went smoothly, I never had to re-cut my pieces and aside from some software troubles (mostly cause by me being a Linux noob). I learned how to use inkscape, and i got a chance to take a closer look at the foam cutter, and took note of how it works. 

I think you should consider my creation as the Engineering 101 mascot on account of it being Legend of Zelda and fractal themed AT THE SAME TIME. 


Me and my hat

Me and my hat

All Roads Start at Foam – Luis Cancino – 1100

My design is a mythical creature from the ancient Greece. Its name is Centaur, heads , arms and torso of a human and the body and legs of a horse. I first knew about this creature while i was playing a video game called God of War. So when the opportunity to build a mascot came out the first thing on my mind was Centaurus. Thinking about doing it and actually designing it is very different. Is easy to easy i want build that but when you actually have to design it, you see is not that easy. My biggest challenge was to scale the horse equally so that some parts of the body are not bigger than other parts, making the horse look ugly.I was asking many people how long should the body be, how long the legs should be, how long the arms, i needed as many opinions as possible. As i predicted it will be the arms of my mascot where the worst part. I think it was because i didn’t put that much effort into them and because i just couldn’t figure it how to fit them in the design. But hey my horse is flipping you off!!!!!!!. What i learn from this project is that sometimes things look really hard to do but when you actually work on it and do it, you realize its very simple.

All Roads Start at Foam – Jublain Wohler – 11:00-12:15

I decided to create a Magnamite to be our mascot. The reason for my choice is because Magnamite is a electric pokemon. It can generate electricity to power pretty much anything. And since engineering generally uses electricity, it seemed like the perfect match. To convert my idea into a physical object, I made on solid circle for the main body with other half-circles of various sizes that would be glued perpendicular to the full circle. From there I designed the magnets that extend out of the body of Magnamite and act as its arms. To attach these, I used the foam cutter to make notches that would fit over the perpendicular half-circles. Glue was used again to ensure the magnets would stay in place. The main challenge was figuring out how I wanted to make the main body. I was lucky enough to have to cut my design out once. I wasn’t expecting the foam cutter to mess up a few of my half-circles so that was a set back. From this project, I learned the importance of using foam to create prototypes before making the actual thing.

All Roads Start at Foam – Corey Cranmer – 0930

When our assignment was given to us, I didn’t know what to do. A mascot for the class that didn’t have to be an animal? We were free to do whatever we wanted. And for me, that wasn’t a good sign. I’m no artist. So for my project, I decided to go with Mario sprites. That way, I didn’t need to be an artist, and it would be something I’d enjoy doing.

I traced Mario sprites from google on Inkscape to turn it into a physical object. It wasn’t too hard to figure out once I turned snapping off.

My only “challenge,” aside from making sure my dimensions matched between the base and the characters/objects that would be fit into it, was time-management. Since I knew I would be busy on the weekend, I got my cutting done on Friday.

My only surprise after the cutting involved the two goombas.

  Goombas are supposed to look like this, right? 

 I didn’t leave enough space between the corner of his eyebrows with the rest of his head. I actually noticed this on Inkscape, and I did move the eyes down a few pixels, but clearly that wasn’t enough.

My solution? Toothpicks.


The eyebrows had to be sacrificed, unfortunately.

I only went in to cut once. Everything came out just fine (Aside from the goombas, but that was my own fault).

Finished Product:


If I learned anything from this assignment, it would be to have more fun doing them and not worry so much about it.

All Roads Start at Foam-Muhammad Jahangir–ENG 101 TR(09:30-10:45)


The original idea was to create something that promotes happiness and friendship.As i am an international student from Pakistan and since i am here at WSU, i’ve made so many friends who are from different countries so i wanted to make something for our class too where we are studying together as friends.As ivy leaves are symbolize long and lasting friendship so made an Ivy leaf.

One of the main challenges were creating the exact shape by using the bezier curves tool because we were not fully aware of how are we going to  use Inkscape different tools.

I hope this will become our class mascot!

Lucania – Andrew Burdick – TR 0930

The idea for the stag beetle design came from using the beetle’s distinctive shape and symmetry. I knew both of these elements would complement the advantages of Inkscape and the foam cutter over other manufacturing processes. Multiple layers of  the beetle’s body segments would be added together to give a feeling of depth while still working on a single plane. To design each piece I traced a half section of the beetle with paths and performed y-axis reflections to mimic natural symmetry.  I am fairly handy with the bezier curve tool, and I was able to finish the beetle’s-worth of paths during the class work period. 

The real struggle began when I arrived early last friday to get my beetle cut out nice and early. After making the final adjustments and exporting my first .hpgl, I went to get my shape cut. My first file was completely blank due to an export error. Many of the typical troubleshooting problems were solved by Dom, but to no avail. Even after the .svg file had been transferred over to a normal machine, the exporting process still refused to work. Despite all the different ways Dom tried to fix my file, we had to resort to the bitter solution of amputation. After two hours of running into brick walls I had a cutout. The curves had been simplified and two of the legs were missing, but I had a physical beetle that was ready to assemble.

I ended up sticking the pieces together with fragments of toothpicks instead of the built-in tabs of the original design. It seems to be holding together well enough.

Toothpick assembly. Simple but effective.

The most valuable lesson learned on this project was the necessity of practicing with a system before tackling a complex problem.  I spent so much time drawing out the complex shape, and time was lost that could have been spent on using the foam cutter. I would have not had the beetle I have now if Dom did not devote two very painful hours of his time to my project. I cannot say this enough. 

Finished Lucania.


The name comes from the beetle’s scientific name. I have decided that the two-legedness sets the design apart and represents this class’s quirks as well as the challenges we set for ourselves. 


“(Stares at the .svg) …I think it’s got a bug in it.”  -Tom McGuire

All Roads Start at Foam – Thomas Simpson – 11:00

Well my first choice for design was originally going to be a bunch of different things that represent Engineering, but I soon found out that someone else had a similar idea to that. So i changed it. I wondered what would be both cool looking and somewhat challenging since choosing something simple would most likely lead to a poor grade. Also a challenge isn’t a bad thing. After a bit of brainstorming I came up with the idea to do a snake, then I thought “Even better, a cobra.” So I set about trying to find an image of a cobra at an angle that I liked. I found one and set about drawing it in a more familiar program, Painttool SAI, I soon found that this wasn’t really a smart choice. The program I used turned out not to save in the proper format that was needed for Inkscape. Luckily, Dom was able to help me with this and after a bit of work it was fixed. The drawing of the project took me around four hours to complete. The printing and constructing of the cobra took me about two and a half hours. After I was finished I was very proud of the work I had put into it.

Some of the issues I ran into was well as I said not using a compatible program, will have to check that before hand in the future. Another issue was removing the small pieces of foam that would form the roundness of the snakes body, they were the things that took the most time to pop out of the sheet of foam. Due to their size they were pretty fragile and I did actually break a couple. The completed foam snake stands up very well wit no help however the top tends to sway when wind blows or what it’s sitting on moves just a little, so stability is a slight issue. Other than those I really had no issues with this project.

All Roads Start at Foam – Chandler Bolen – 1100

              As you were showing us how to use Inkscape on Tuesday I was trying to figure out what would be the best representation for our class. I decided that I should choose something that showed many different types of engineering. My final project is a pedestal (because it looks cool) with a wrench and airplane on top to represent mechanical and aerospace respectively. I began designing my pedestal on paper. After spending about 4 hours in Inkscape messing with the sizing options I realized that I needed a way to make the designing process much easier. On Thursday in the lab I asked Tom if there was an easier way. He showed me Autodesk 123D. I then used a model for a pedestal, plane, and wrench and converted them to layers. Even though it was much easier to create the pieces it came at a cost. It was much more difficult to put together and edit in Inkscape. As I put my project together there was something I noticed, the more layers you have the tighter every subsequent piece you put in. This occurred to the point of having to shave pieces to get them to fit. The program we used to cut with also put some kinks in the design. If everything is not pathed correctly then the machine will start cutting through your pieces or off the foam. I ended up having to cut everything four times to get it right. This project was a great introduction to the foam cutter. I learned that sometimes while something sounds easy in your head it can take much more time and work than originally intended. 


Here is a video of the Foam Cutting Machine in Action

YouTube Preview Image
All Roads Start at Foam – My Dang – 930

When I think about engineering, the first object that appear in my head is gears. I think of gears because I view engineer as people that are always coming up with new ideas to build or improve on. Therefore, I thought about creating gears as part of a human head. The gears stand for an engineer’s unique mind that is able to come up with great ideas to advance on technology and improve our daily life style.

In order to convert my idea into a physical object, I took an image of a side face on google to trace it out. Then I used the gears tools in Inkscape to automatically create the gears for me and I do not have to trace the gears and worry about the gears not being able to rotate with each other because of uneven teeth in the gears. However, even with the Inkscape tool, I still had a difficult time utilizing the tools and making the gears work together like how I want it to be. I had to re-cut about three times because my gears did not rotate with each other on the first try. On my first try, I guess the number of teeth of the gears and re-size it to the size I want. That did not work at all because each gear have to have the exact same circular pitch size in order for it to rotate with each other and not get stuck in between the teeth. I still did not know that each gears has to have the same circular pitch size, so next I made all of my gears have the same amount of teeth but different circular pitch to make my gears bigger. That was also a fail. After two fail, Dom helped me figure out that the circular pitch have to be the same and it does not matter on the number of teeth.

After going through the difficulty of figuring out how to make my gears work together, I had to go through the challenge of putting the gears together that will rotate in the way I want it to be. Since I wanted to have 3 gears rotating under 1 big gears that is rotating on top of it. I had to figure out how high I need to attach my biggest gear so that when it rotate, it does not touch the gears under it and stop the rotation of the rest. It was more challenging then I thought it would be to put my gears together the way I wanted it to be. While trying to put all of my gears together, I accidentally glued the smallest but the most important gear to the wrong place. I had to take it out and since the gear was so small, the teeth nearly broke off and it gave me a mini heart attack. I was able to unattached it safely and hot  glue the almost fallen piece of teeth together.

This assignment had taught me that when something look simple, it does not mean that it is simple to make. I thought making gears would be really easy and never thought about the process of making it and what kind of problem I may encounter in creating gears.



Without Main Gears To Rotate

All Roads Start at Foam –Michael Kay – 11:00

For my design I chose something fun and creative. After thinking up several things that I could do I finally decided to build a boat. I thought of doing this because I figured it was something that no one else would do. So I decided to make it a flat bottomed boat, and have it be long. I used mostly just straight lines to freehand draw the boat. I struggled to size some of the peace’s so that they would fit together, so I had to restart several times. When it came to the WSU logo on the flag I pulled the image off of the internet and traced it on the computer. I later found out that there is a tool that will trace images for you. I only needed to cut once, but I did have a piece break that I had to hot glue back together. The pieces in the slots however seem to be too thick and bend the sides of the boat. Other than that it work out as well as I planed.

All Roads Start at Foam – Rochell Delevante – 1100

What path will you choose?

What Path will you take?

My idea is simple but profound.  I created a face and added four arrows to it: one at the top, bottom, left and right.  The face signifies the human being, the arrows signifies choices, directions, paths, etc.  The greatest gift we have as humans is the opportunity to make choices and direct our paths.  And as a result, we must understand that our choices comes with consequences.  

I came up with the idea because our teacher wanted the class to create a mascot. It was challenging to figure out what mascot I should make because I wanted to make something simple, but something that people will be able to relate to.  Engineering 101 course enlighten me to understand that engineering is not about having a great career or working for an impressive company, but a responsibility. My role as an engineer will affect many lives; whether it’s creating something or modifying a creation.  

To create my prototype, I only cut once.  I was familiar with the foam cutter because I used it for a prior project.  It challenging part was just coming up with an idea.  Unfortunately, the top arrow broke in my backpack and I had to glue it back on.  I wanted the prototype to spin since it’s a circle, but I did not find the correct tools to make that happen.  

Most important lesson I got out of this assignment is that I can be as different and simple as I CHOOSE.


All Roads Start at Foam – Alex Hohler– 11:00

Going into class Thursday I had no clue what I was going to make. At first I was going to make a tiger. Then I thought a giraffe would be kind of cool. While trying to make the giraffe, dragon popped into my head and I thought that would be way better than an average zoo animal. I am no artist, so I googled dragon silhouettes and found one that I thought was cool. I traced the body, side wing, and legs in Inkscape. I used the Bezier tool to trace the outsides, then adjusted the lines to fit to the outline of the dragon. At first I thought using inkscape was a little difficult, but then I got used to the layout. The only problem I ran into was designing mechanisms to attach the legs and wings. I designed an arch that would attach to the dragon’s back and be able to hold the wings at an angle. The wings have notches on them so they slide on easily and stay. This ended up working perfectly. I designed three different types of attachment mechanisms for the legs to see which one worked best. They were all different sizes and I decided to go with the smallest one because it held them on well. It can be a little hard to balance the dragon on a tabletop, so I plan to attach some string and hang it instead of let it sit. Surprisingly all of the parts fit together after the first cut. Dragons are legendary creatures with the ability to breath fire. They are associated with wisdom and commonly possess some form of supernatural power. Dragons are not only awesome, but smart as well, making the dragon a great mascot to represent our class.


All Roads Start at Foam – Ryan Robey – 11:00- 12:15

I decided to design a pokeball. The first step I took was designing a sphere on inkscape. That was a complete disaster. I then made a sphere in Autodesk 123d which was way easier. I then took the sphere and chose the amount of layers, the height/diameter and size of notches. I went with a 4 in diameter 10 layers and a .17 in notch size. 

This went up in flames and died. I changed the amount of layers to 7 and all i had to do was assemble.

All Roads Start at Foam – Grant Neumann – 1100

At first I was unable to decide what to I should choose as a mascot. I finally decided that I would choose an animal. After narrowing down my choices further I decided on the bald eagle. I chose this because this is America! Plus the eagle is a pretty interesting animal. The bald eagle builds the largest nest, 14 feet across, of all North American birds. This makes the bald eagle an engineer. Therefore it is a great mascot to represent our class of future engineers. 

To design the eagle I looked at various 3D puzzle models of bald eagles.  I was able to find a blueprint of each piece used to create the 3D eagle puzzle at I imported this into Inkscape and outlined the body, wings, head, tail, and the connecting pieces for the wings and head with nodes. To smooth out my sketches I used the auto-smooth and auto-curve feature to edit the nodes. After I smoothed each piece I used the rectangle drawing key to make the cut outs for the grooves where the pieces would meet together. I measured the width of each rectangle to be 0.71 inches. I then placed these rectangles over the pieces I had sketched where the grooves were needed and used the difference feature to cut out the groove. Once each piece was ready I used the foam cutter to cut out each piece. 


The most challenging part of this was figuring out how to use the different parts of Inkscape, luckily YouTube was able to help me out with most of my problems. This assignment helped me have a better understanding of Inkscape and what I can do with the program and the knowledge I need to use the foam cutting machine.   


All Roads Start at Foam – Zak Hassouneh – 1100



 The mascot I decided to engineer for this class is a black stallion with a dark knight on him. I thought this was a cool idea because I love the olden days where war use to take part with horses and swords. The building of this process was pretty difficult because of all the sharp and small lines throughout the design, but of course I overcame the adversity! I just started to draw different shapes of horses on inkscape just messing around to see if I could actually make something cool, and I sure did! Drawing it on inkscape was pretty hard just because I wasn’t familiar with the program whatsoever, so that added some difficulty to it! I overcame the challenges by using the motto “When in doubt, try something!” That motto got me through the program by just trying different stuff, and seeing what worked and what didn’t. Some surprises throughout the project was using the foam cutting machine because I had no idea what to do, but with the help of other classmates, I was able to figure out how to use the machine. I actually ended up only cutting my warrior one time because I was satisfied with the way it turned out, so I was very happy and relieved! I learned a lot from this project such as: using inkscape, the foam cutting machine, and of course try and its ok to fail! Overall, I was very happy with this project and had a lot of fun designing it!


All Roads Start at Foam – Samuel Schwartz – TR 9:30-10:45

When the assignment was given to make a class mascot, I had already decided on what to do: an engineering duck.  After raising ducklings for several years, the duck became my favorite animal, and the fact that ducks are group creatures relates to the fact that engineers must apply teamwork at one point or another.  The first image in my head was a duck wearing safety glasses and holding a power drill.  However, the construction of a passable power drill seemed difficult, so I settled for a screwdriver and gear.  As for the duck itself, seeing the examples of foam creations in class presented the idea of a duck frame of its side, connected by pieces laid perpendicular to it.  The bill was first going to be a single piece, but I decided to be more realistic and make a two-piece bill.  This meant making them angled toward each other (so the duck wouldn’t be gawking), so I guessed an angle to put the top bill piece at.  Three body connectors would be attached to the back side of the duck to hold both side pieces together.  The legs, wings, and tools were planned with simple slot connections, and the safety glasses would just slide onto the duck’s head.

Despite the simple idea process, actually applying it proved more challenging.  Though I had set the grid scale to be spaced the thickness of the foam, I failed to realize that I was so far zoomed out, I could only see the major gridlines.  My first attempt resulted in parts five times larger than they should have been.  With help from Dom, I realized my mistake and re-drew my parts in the correct scale.  Unsure of how long to make the bill parts so they connected properly and unwilling to do any math to find out, I guessed, just as I guessed on the length of the glasses so they would go around the duck’s head.  Luckily, both guesses proved true, so my second cutting proved successful (you could say I was a lucky duck).  Also, the tail feathers, quite accidentally, gave the duck a back support against its center of gravity which I had misjudged, so I had unintentionally solved an unforeseen problem.

Duck without accessories



Complete Engineer Duck


If I learned anything, it is to make parts bigger for the sake of less-fragile parts.  A broken wing joint added gluing to the final touch process.  The legs connected fine to the body, but removing them to paint showed how close they were to snapping.  Also, I think more connector parts at other parts of the duck body would have been beneficial in supporting the frame.

All Roads Start at Foam – Jayme Fuentes – 0930


My design is a head shot of a Jaguar. I got the idea for this design from my favorite football team, the Jacksonville Jaguars!!! Woooooooo go JAGS!!! . In my pictures you can compare the design with the original as well as tell that I have too many items of my favorite team. I was able to convert this idea into a physical object by using the Inkscape software and a foam cutting machine. Using the Inkscape software I was able to draw over an image of the Jaguar logo to get the precise outline. The software itself was very simple to use, but I did run into a problem with an earlier idea I had for my project. Orignally, I wanted to make a head shot image of Squidward from the Spongebob Cartoon


BUT, unfortunately the foam cutter is unable to cut into the foam without cutting through completely in an area where you have different shapes layered over each other. So, I decided to go with the Jaguar  logo as my design which does not require shapes layered over each other. I only had to cut the design out with the foam cutter once. I learned how to use the Inkscape software and the basic functions of the foam cutter.

All Road Start at Foam – Dien Kien – 1100

Design/ Building Process

            One day I was sorting thru  books I came across an old calculus book. On it was  picture of a Nautilus, while it look pretty cool I wonder why it came to be on a math book.  I look further into it and found out that the spiral of the shells represent the Fibonacci spiral/ Golden spiral. Fibonacci spiral arise from a property growth call self-similarity or scaling. I first started to draw using free hand tool on Inkscape , it did not turn out the way I wanted, the spiral tool does not do it justice, the ratio was not static, so I google it  to find and image of a nautilus shell, save the picture and then  I manually trace the shell. After the tracing was done, I proceed to covert the file to .hpgl so the foam cutting machine can understand it, the process went smoothly with the help from Dom.

Why Nautilus?

            Here are some reason why the Nautilus will be a good mascot for our class. Nautilus represents Mathematic ; Hate it or love it , as  future hopeful Engineer  it is our foundations, our backbones. Growth; like the nautilus, it can grow spiraling  round and round but retain it shapes. Hopefully we will continue to grow and succeed in our future endeavor but never forget where we come from.