The _ whole _ story

Seven days before we came to the Student Center to take on the challenge of MakeMIT, Grace and Christine, two members of our team, were sitting on the floor as they learned how to quill. Their fingers were growing weary from the constant rolling, and another of their peers had suffered a papercut. They had been rolling paper for at least an hour, forming circles, teardrops, marquis, squares, and hearts from the colorful pieces of paper, unable to begin forming the bigger picture since the components were not yet finished. When they returned, the team began brainstorming for the big day, pondering various challenges to solve during the 16-hour Make-a-thon.

"Any ideas?" Austin asked as he began scrolling down the Google Doc on which the brainstorming had taken place. He paused. "Quilling?" Shahul and Miles looked confused and asked...

"What even is quilling???????"

Quilling is an art form that involves the use of strips of paper that are rolled, shaped, and glued together to create decorative designs.

What does Quilled It! do?

Quilled It! takes care of the tedious task of rolling strips and strips of paper so that users can focus more on their design and placement to create complex quilling designs with ease, with speed, and with joy! After rolling a paper into a tight coil, Quilled It! loosens the coil and places a small amount of glue to the end of the strip, creating the perfect coil to be shaped and placed in the final design.

How we built it

We used stepper motors to create the various degrees of freedom for our spinning contraption, a photodetector to stop spinning when the end of the paper is reached, a syringe to release controlled amounts of glue, and 80/20 and wood to create the frame of the machine.

Challenges we ran into

Creating a machine that performs a variety of tasks means that we had to think about the design and placement of each omponent such that the various movements (back-and-forth, around, up-down) did not result in a collision.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud of coming up with a unique idea that was inspired by everyday things that happen in our lives. We also am proud of our teamwork, dividing the tasks to conquer this project.

What we learned

"Make-a-thons are a lot harder than a real-time design process." - Austin

"This is an illusion. This isn't real life. Dude it's not working again." (but she persevered and made it work!) - Grace

"Teamwork." (makes the dream work) - Shahul

"How to compromise when things don't work out (making the stepper motor driver fit into the breadboard after imprecise soldering... oops)" - Christine

"It's not about the winning or the losing. It's all about the team bonding. Together we worked hard and bonded like two pieces of wood and epoxy." - Miles

Built With

  • blood
  • sweat
  • tears
  • arduino
  • 80/20
  • wood
  • acrylic
  • patience
  • stepper-motors
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