CS 448M Spring 2019

Assignment 1: Make something!

We encourage you to work through the assignment in pairs, though we expect each person to create something individually.


This assignment has two main goals:

  1. Design and make something cool!
  2. Get a deeper understanding of a particular machine: how does it work, what are its strengths, what are its limitations, how can it be hacked, etc.

In this first assignment you have a choice between two machines: (1) the Brother embroidery machine or (2) the Silhouette Cameo craft cutter. You will use one of these machines to make something of your choosing. Details of how to use them are given below.

Machine Guides

Getting Started

  1. Choose which machine you want to craft with and sign up at this Google sheet.
    Note that we want to keep the number of teams on each machine evenly distributed, so you may not get your first choice.

  2. Decide what you want to make. If you need inspiration on what you can make, visit the craft inspiration page on the course website, or do a little more digging online.

  3. Consider your materials. We provide basic materials to work with each machine (listed in the guide to each machine). You’re welcome to use materials outside of what’s provided, but if you choose to do so, you will have to acquire and pay for them out of pocket. We will not reimburse the cost of materials outside of what is provided.

  4. Design your cut or stitch template(s). This part has two requirements.
    1. Use a tool that is transparent to you. You should not use the commercial software that comes with the machines to create your design, and should instead use programs like inkstitch, inkscape, illustrator, etc. that are more familiar to you.
    2. Design your templates manually. We want you to come up with your own designs! This means:
      • Do not download templates from the internet and use them.
      • Do not take pictures from the internet and just image trace them.
  5. Send your design to the machine. This may require some hacking! Follow the instructions in the machine guide to send your designs to the machine. Do not use the commercial software.

  6. Use the machine to bring your designs to life!

  7. Create, Explore, Refine. Iterate on your designs and algorithms!


Online deliverable:

  1. A photo of the things that each of you made. If you have photos of your process, that’s a plus.
  2. A write up, which should include:
    1. The names of the people in the group.
    2. A description of what you made.
    3. A description of your process — how did you make what you made?
    4. An analysis the the machine and the technology. What can the machine do? What can’t it do? If you were to make this by hand, what could you do that you can’t do with the machine and vice versa.
    5. Answer any additional machine specific questions stated in the machine guide.

In person deliverable:

Drop what you made on Anh’s desk in Gates 398 by Thursday at 5PM.