11.16.10 – UCube Update

After spending most of the day on the laser cutter, inhaling what are undoubtedly toxic fumes, I have made some progress on the UCube. Nothing terribly exciting, but I did cut the rest of the Z-Axis poles, and improved the stability of the base board by adding some dowels, as well as another board layer to help keep the poles upright and give a better tactile response.

Some pics from today:
These first three are of one of the z-axis poles inside the laser cutter while being cut. The masking tape is to prevent smoke/burn marks from appearing on the acrylic (protip #1), and the wooden dowel is to prevent the laser from cutting through to the other side (protip #2).

I also finally submitted my application for the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF GRFP). It’s a prestigious award for graduate study in the sciences/engineering – they give you $30K a year for three years to basically pursue whatever research you want. Happy to be done with the essays, transcripts, and letters of recommendation, and back to staring at lasers all day!