3d Models to prototypes with the Pepakura App

The old art of paper folding comes to the computerised rapid prototyping paradigm with Pepakura Designer.  Also if you are creating geometric structure that wont fit in the 3dprinter build space or a complex box that is not the simple ones available at boxes.py then consider exporting your 3d design to Pepakura so it can make you a laser cutting file. Pepakura Designer supports the export in several file formats, including BMP, PNG, GIF, JPG, EPS, DXF, and PDF.



  • Smaller wearable masks for safer bike travel


Read More

Kinetic Light Art

I got to extend my skills by building some flyByWire artworks for an Art Festival in Queenstown.

  • first test flight in basement studio

To create my first Kinetic Art work I had to get used to using the Fablab’s CnC Machine and our Water Jet Cutter. Motor selection and power constraints featured highly as each art work would be at least 8meters up in the trees.

Read More

Rear computer Light Display Project

This project was started to address the unattractive back of the PC in the tech office that is one of the first sights to greet guests to the Design Facility.

As well as making the space look better we could display students processing projects that are suitable for low resolution displays. Read More

DIY Arduino Robot Arm with Smartphone Control

Hey peeps, Steve here 😀

Here’s a side project I’m working on in the Design FabLab to learn how to use mechanical electronics, Arduino microcontrollers and coding.

A pretty big endeavour for me as I don’t have much background in this stuff but thankfully I’ve found a great tutorial that I will be following along with to start with, then deviating and customising parts and coding later when I fully understand the workings of the default example.

Here’s a link to the website and tutorial – https://howtomechatronics.com/tutorials/arduino/diy-arduino-robot-arm-with-smartphone-control/

Below is a photo of the assembled 3D printed parts with the servo motors installed.
At this point the arm doesn’t do anything and won’t support it’s own weight but I will be working on the electronics soon enough and powering it up!

If you want to see more or get involved, maybe build one too, come and have a chat 🙂

Circuit Mockups: TinkerCAD, Fritzing and Circuito


Designers need to communicate their designs to others. They need to be able to document their work so they can refer to it later or to allow others to build their designs. Regarding the design of circuits there is two great places to start to showcase your circuit design. If one solution does not completely fulfill al lot your circuit design it can be useful to use several to answer connection questions.


Read More

Building a tilt control bluetooth car with processing and arduino

Remote Control Car


This project makes use of an Arduino, a car chassis, a bluetooth module, and an android phone to make a Remote Control Car that is controlled by tilting the phone like a steering wheel. This post is a high level overview of the project and requires a solid understanding of coding.

Read More

RFID and Arduino

This is a basic access control project to read and use the unique IDs of RFID cards including the University of Auckland ID cards.

It uses an RFIDRC522 module that can read 13.56MHz cards and the code is based on the RC522 Arduino library found HERE. It can also write data to the sectors of blank types of these cards for offline data storage or counting, but for this project, we will just be reading the ID numbers of the cards.

Read More

Interfacing Arduino and sensors with Unity


For this project, we attempted to interface hardware sensors with Unity to manipulate virtual objects and give feedback to hardware.

Goals for this project; To use a sensor to control the camera position in a basic Unity 3D scene, and to turn on and off a LED, based on keyboard inputs.

This is based off a YouTube tutorial by inScope Studios.

Files used are available at the end of this post.

Read More

Hello World!

It’s alive!

Welcome to the Design tech blog. This is the virtual home of the design technicians and where we will be posting articles, links and general information related to design technology. Please check back on a regular basis and feel free to contact the design techs with all of your tech related questions.

Nga mihi