Process: Outer Pyramid (Josh Roy)

Ellis Cordaro

Originally, we wanted the outer pyramid to be solid black on the outside with one red button. When this button is pressed, we wanted our pyramid to mechanically unfold, revealing a smaller white pyramid inside. We also imagined that the top half of the white pyramid would lift slightly higher, bubbles and mist would come out the hole, and the top half would shine lasers and lights everywhere. We also wanted there to be tubes on the faces of the top part of the inner pyramid that would shoot triangular projections.

We changed both the dimensions of the inner and outer pyramid many times and eventually agreed that the inner pyramid would have a side length and height of 12 inches. We also agreed that the outer pyramid would have a side length and height of 21 inches. In addition, we changed the light tubes to light pyramids and stationed them in the area between the side of the outer pyramid and the side of the inner pyramid.

One day, we decided to change our design so that the outer sides would fold down, but continue to unfold so that they would act as legs and raise the entire rest of the pyramid. We also realized that the bubble machine was way too large to fit on our design, and we moved the mister to the bottom of the outer pyramid in order to give it a rocket ship look.

In order to get the outer sides to lift the entire structure, I brainstormed and prototyped many different systems of pulleys and levers. Eventually, I created a full scale model of the outer pyramid with the lifting mechanism. The lifting mechanism consisted of pulleys, motors, and fishing line. The fishing line was tied from the top of each side to a pulley that was located next to the side across from the side being lifted. There was also fishing line that was tied from the top of side and threaded underneath the base of the pyramid and attached to the pulley. Each of these pulleys were controlled using a central motor. I tried to lift the structure by pulling on each of the lines of fishing wire, but the structure did not lift. When I pulled harder, the fishing line that was guaranteed to hold up to 50 pounds snapped. To make the structure slightly easier to lift, I added pyramidal legs, but when I tried the same test, the fishing line still snapped. After doing some vector physics, I realized that most of the force I applied was not actually lifting the pyramid. In order for half the force I applied to be used toward lifting, the legs had to be about one and a half feet tall. We then decided against having a lifting mechanism.

I then proceeded to make an opening mechanism, and it was successful! There was one central servo that attached to four pieces of aluminum wire through the use of a laser cut mounting plate. Each of the pieces of aluminum wire was connected to one of the sides. This mechanism was able to both open and close the sides, although it used a massive amount of hot glue. Once the inner pyramid was fully constructed, we tried attaching it to the outer pyramid, but we could not find a way to mount it without disrupting the opening mechanism. Since the inner pyramid was integral, we decided to scrap the opening mechanism.

Since the mist maker was going to be attached to the bottom, I had to 3D model and print a piece that would attach to the bottom and hold the mister and water. After this part was printed, I attached it to the bottom of the outer pyramid and turned on the mister. Unfortunately, it provided a very small amount of mist, due to the small size of the mister and the lack of holes in the holder. We decided that the mister did not provide enough smoke to be worthwhile.

In order to jazz up the outer pyramid, we decided to design some new sides. I came up with this idea, with the help of our coaches, on the last day before our presentations and the end of the studio! Each of the sides was going to have a piece of ultraviolet reactive acrylic that was a scaled up version of one of the sides of the light pyramids. This acrylic would be surrounded by a wooden frame and lit from the bottom by a strip of uv LEDs. The wood and acrylic would make up the middle layer of a side and would have a piece of black spraypainted polycarbonate on either side. The polycarbonate would have a hole that is slightly smaller than the acrylic so that the acrylic can still be seen, but will not fall out. I then spent the next two days, and some of a night, building these sides. On the morning of the day of the presentations, we finally assembled the pyramid in full. The lighting pyramids were placed so that when they rotated, they would knock down the sides of the outer pyramid.

Although we were not able to fully finish the wiring and programming, the top part of the inner pyramid moved up and down and the UV LEDs on the sides lit up. We also had a model of the light pyramids that projected triangles.


Scott Dolgov

The Octoparty is a device that contains all parts needed for a party condensed in a plywood box. The device contains a disco ball, an LED light fixture, a stereo speaker, and specially designed octopus arms for aesthetic. The disco ball is attached to a platform inside the box and is accessible by turning a pulley that allows the ball to ascend to the top of the box. LEDs are placed below the disco ball at a slight angle allowing the light to be exposed to the disco ball. The acrylic octopus arms are bendable via a gear system, which is controlled by another pulley system that makes the arms extrude and retract in and out of the box. The pulleys are controlled by a motor called a servo, which is controlled by a small computer called an Arduino.

Tuesday Updates / Micro Goals For Assembly

Ashley Newton


  • Overall structure:
    • Brackets printed
    • Remodeling box to have holes for brackets
    • Hinges
  • Discoball (Abby)
    • Test pully system
    • Figure out where lights going, which lights using, how attaching/providing fluorescent markers
    • Figure out where mounting light pointing at disco ball, where mounting black lights on outside
  • Sound (Evan)
    • Figure  out where speakers going/etc
    • Arms
    • Need to redesign some to fix spacing
    • Then laser cut a bunch of parts
    • How attaching platform
    • Figure out actual mechanics/what motors using/etc.


SnackCraftic Box

  • Overall design
    • Cut out rest of parts for table
    • Recut box so right scale
    • Figure out cushioning
  • Laser holders
    • Should be done 10 to print
    • Figure out how and where the laser pointers are going on the box
    • Then do LEDs - where attaching on box if at all?
  • Party favors
    • Almost done redesigning battery/LED/fiber optic holder

Yo Dawg I Herd You Like Trianglez:

  • Large Triangle:
    • Large triangle is almost assembled
    • Have figured out hinges but requires over 50lbs of force to lift off ground
    • Need to design holder for motor that pulls large triangle sides closed
    • Need to figure out poker/servo design
    • Cut final sides out
    • Make triangle stands larger
    • Print mist holder
    • Determine where projection triangles going and how attaching
  • Small triangle
    • Make hole in bottom for motor
    • Holes in side for strings to go through
    • Bracket holder
    • Laser cut wedges for panels of triangle -- figure out how wood + white HDPE designed for triangle; make brackets -- potentially bendable plastic
    • Figure out brackets for inside of triangle
  • Light projection triangles
    • Laser cut and assemble working version
    • Test if magnifying light fits/works