I mean failure in a good way.
These are the results of my proposed midterm project.
When you look at the photos you will notice that the arc and the base are separate from one another. Well, that’s because it did not fit. It dawned on me about 3/4 of the way through the construction of the contraption that in its current design it would not and could not be assembled the way I had planned. Let me highlight the reasons why this project was destined for the scrap pile. Not really. I plan to put it somewhere in the apartment where it will stay only briefly until the fiance notices it. At which time it will end up in storage. But it will have good company. There are a handful of my sculptures already in there.
Back to the highlights.
1) I had prepared the design of the arc for laser cutting with 3/4″ masonite board as the material. I did buy 3/4″ board but it was actually slightly thinner than that. Considering there were over 100 pieces used in the construction of this piece it did not take long for the dimensions to get screwed up. Lesson learned: know your materials. Measure, measure and re-measure.
2) For whatever reason, I completely failed on the design of the base and how it would fit into the arc. Initially, I thought I caught the problem in the beginning of the construction and thought I had a solution but in the end I was still wrong. The base does not allow for the rocking movement of the arc that sits on it. And when I say “does not allow” I mean it just does not fit at all. Lesson learned: When working with multiple complex shapes consider using a 3D program to really “see” how it all fits together.
3) It’s awesome that ITP will write a grant check to you to cover the costs laser cutting at AMS. What they don’t tell you is that it is not a check to you at all but some sort of funny-money arrangement between ITP and AMS as way of paying for services. Lesson learned: Don’t assume you can simply pay out of pocket for the AMS laser cutting and go to the bank and deposit the check. The bank teller thought I was giving her a fake check.
4) Masonite is great to work with. Cuts accurately and really holds its shape. The downside is that it really can’t be overworked. Drilling, for example, really does a number on the material. One drill and one shot at setting the screw is ideal. Anything after that and the stuff starts to fall apart. And I had the good stuff! Lesson learned: Really consider the drilling into the design. The AMS laser cutter can cut some pretty tiny (and very accurate) holes in places where there needs to be a screw.
All in all I was happy with the project simply because I learned some valuable lessons. I do plan to rebuild this and really get it working for the final. Using all that I learned from this go around I think the next will be much more successful.