SOFTWARE: Rhino 6, Voxelizer, Polygon, Polulu Master Control

MATERIAL: PLA & ABS 1.75 mm, bolts, screws

MACHINE: Z-Morph, Picaso Designer 250 Pro, Raise 3D

CHALLENGES: To make a 3D-Printed thing


The task sounded quite simple: create something 3D-Printed. The teacher suggested making this robot for extra credits. I accepted the challenge.

The robot and all the files I took from the Instructables:


I transfered all the .STL files into .gcode and Polygon files to use two 3D printers, that we have in lab.

Unfortunatelly, something went wrong with Picaso Designer, that is why there was only one printer left.

PLA on Extruder of Picaso =(

I coninued printing all the parts on Z-Morph. There was a problem with the quality, that is why I got really easy-to-break details.

Low-quality deatil of the base.

The time of printing also was not so good for the details, that is why I had to print them in other places by ABS.

ABS-printed details.


After all parts printed, I started assembling all the details together. On the photo of ABS-printed details you can see the assembled base.

Assembling the robot

In 2 hours the Arm was assembled.

Assembled robot.

The next problem was controlling the servos.

I am using Pololu Mini Controller, that needs the outer power supply to have enough voltage to move all 4 servos.


It was a nice challenge for me and the quality of parts, their brakings did not stop me. I went to different places to reprint the needed details, servos.

Total expendutre on the project: 5000 rubles (including servos, Pololu and 3D-printing).

It is not easy to control the robot with Pololu application. I am going to write an app to control it by the phone via Bluetooth. Also, it is possible to make it work with Arduino.

As an overall result, I have a robot-arm and knowledge of 3D Printing by different printers, connecting the servos and some coding.

The task: Make a 3D model of a useful thing and print it

3D printer: Z-morph

Material: PLA

I decided to make a small flower pot for the kitchen. I started with a sketch of a model in Rhino.

I liked to work on small details of the cat figurine, for example, ears and paws

When the model was completely finished, I created an stl-file and imported it into Voxelizer

When I saw that estimated time is more than 81 h, I decided to change a scale of the model. And she turned from a flower pot  into a stand for egg. Voxelizer calculated a new estimated time – about 5 h. In reality it took more than 12 h.

Unfortunately the paws are printed not as good as I’d like, but ears and eyes are made good. 

And it works now 🙂

Assignment: to do the press-fit smth

Software: Rhino 5, LaserWorks

Equipment: Laser Cutting Machine

Material: 4mm plywood

I started with an idea to make something simple and at the same time functional. Thus, I decided to make an iPhone stand, which could be useful on daily basis. 

I sketched a laconic design consisted of 3 pieces. The angle of the main surface provides convenient usage of the device. It is easier to type, scroll and swipe through content and, last but not least, enables to unlock your phone through face ID without picking it up.

Further, I made a precise drawing of the stand in Rhino 5, which is compatible with a software for laser cutting machine (LaserWorks).

After cutting out the whole thing and trying to assemble it, I found out that press-fit joints are not tight. Apparently, this happened because of the machine’s possible errors. Gaps should have been smaller, while reply part, conversely, wider. Because I did them equal, I had to use a glue to fix this mistake.

↑↑↑(Btw, the ‘less is more’ logo is quite important here – it represents the whole concept :D) 

Eventually, I managed to get it all together and there it is in use!

The task: 

  • Construct a tower using press-and-fix technology.


  • Only three types of elements, not bigger then 150mm x 150mm.
  • All elements must be cut out on a laser cutting machine from a sheet of plywood in size 900mm x 600mm
  • The goal of building the highest tower.

Used equipment:

  • Laser cutter Raylogic AS-1290C

Used material:

  • Plywood

Team members:

Ilya – teamleader

Valeria – team member

Irina – team member

Process of working:

From the very beginning, the team was interested in the reliability and aesthetic appearance of the whole structure. The name of our laboratory reminded us of the image of the Shukhov Tower and we decided to use it as a prototype.

We cut out the first version of parts from thick cardboard for better understanding what form of parts is better to use

As shown in Picture 1, a 3×3 cm square was proposed as a connecting element. The team agreed that this connecting element would not ensure the reliability of the structure.

Therefore, the team leader suggested using a larger connecting element, and also introduce spacers as the third element, which would help fix the base of the structure.

In Picture 2 you illustrated the 2nd variant of the connecting element, which was cut from the defective material for the sample.

As a result, we found that we badly calculated the size of the grooves on the connecting element, where we planned to insert the beams. Fortunately, we found a hint due to the marriage of the material used: a small hole in the material turned out to be in the place of one of the slots (picture 3). We took this new groove shape to continue.

 To create the spacer, we decided to use the main beam, adding an additional groove (picture 4). The third detail of the design was the “leg” in picture 

During the work on the project, the connecting element received a new hexagon shape. This new form allowed us to save space on the workpiece to accommodate a larger number of beams.

And it’s our result. We also want to say thank you to Alexey, Maxim and Semen for the help!!!

Limitation of the work:

Our team faced the problem with laser. Half of the details were not cut. However, overall we like the look of the tower and its stability. 

The main idea in the task of creating a tower was stability.

Actually because of lasercutter issues the result is not so stable as it should.

Paper & first prototype.
Rhino drawings. Versioning.
Hand working 🙂
The main advantage of this prototype is that it’s built
actually out of only one universal detail.
Thank to Alexey Smirnov with finalizing of this idea.

Team Members

Julia Baystrukova, Andres Gomez, Renata Abdrafikova


To construct the highest tower possible using press-fit technology with following limitations:

  • Only three types of elements are available, each not bigger than 150mm x 150mm.
  • The size of the plywood sheet available for cutting is 900mm x 600mm.

Software / Materials

  • AutoCAD
  • Rhino 6
  • Laser Works
  • Plywood


  • Laser cutter

Sketching & Drawing

To develop a design we started by sketching our ideas, at first each member of the team proposed a design. From the three of them we choose the one we thought it was going to be the tallest and the most stable.

After having the design on paper we took it to a drawing software in order to make the design more precise.


During the production of pieces we faced a problem:

It took us some time to adjust the laser itself for a precise cut. We changed the speed and the power of the machine a few times, but still, we weren’t satisfied with the result.  Only after adjusting the focus of the laser we managed to get a fine incision without burning plywood.


For joints we left the space of 3mm, while the width of the material was 3,9 mm. This made or joints quite tight, but we had to widen some gaps with a rasp and attach them with a help of a small hammer.

We managed to make our tower as high as the ceiling height in our lab. But, unfortunately, it was standing only because the construction abutted the ceiling.

Final Result

That is why the design of the tower deviated from the original plan during construction.

In the basement we changed 45-degree trotters to 90-degree and connected them at the bottom. This solution gave our tower more height in the basement part and, of course, more stability. In the upper part we managed to balance it with a square element. It was still leaning to the side but stood properly.

At the end, even though it was not as high as the first variant, we managed to get more or less stable construction.


Machine: Laser Cutting Machine

Software: AutoCad, Rhino 6

Material: Plywood 900 x 600 x 4 mm

Team members: Alexey, Daniil, Alyona.

When our team had been told that we needed to compete other teams to build the highest tower, the main problem was to make ours be stable enough in order to resist the interfering gravitation force. Thus, we decided to implement the padlock bracing system:

 Padlock bracing system

So, we started from marking in Rhino App the rectangle form limited in size
90 x 60 cm because of the material size limits

The most important thing that features our tower building principle from other teams is that we made the trial elements of the tower to understand the strength of their bond. By this we did analyze, that we’d better make the fastening port of 3mm which is 1mm thinner in comparison with the thickness of a plywood (4mm, correspondingly).

The laser machine we used to cut out our tower

Apart from that, we understood that in order to make out tower quite stable in horizontal flatness we needed to add some horizontal stiffness diaphragm. Thus, we concluded to make circle-formed diaphragms.

Our team decided to create the tower elements in Rhino 6. It was quite challanging because we hadn’t used the programm previously. Overall, we managed to make the tower from 3 typical elements :

Finally, the tower turned out to be quite stable, but still we tower’s body needed more stiffness. To solve this problem we came up with an idea to add these cruciform reinforcement :

After all these manipulations, we achieved someting like this:

Now the tower is ready!!! Enjoy!!!

Ps: Finally, it turned out that we do have more spare parts. What does it mean? In case other teams will try to overtake us, we have a backup plan!!!

The task: Construct «some useful thing» using press-and-fix technology and cut it using a laser cutting machine.

Used equipment: Laser cutting machine. Model A3-1200C.

Used material: Plywood.

Process of working:

I like art-deco. So I decided to make some accessory for home in this style. For example, a pen box.

I started by creating a layout in Rhino. The result was this side of the pen box.

When one side was ready, I began to do slots. And here I discovered my mistake: when I was making creating the pattern, I didn’t take into account the size (material thickness 3.8 mm) slot.

Because the work on creating a picture in Rhino was very painstaking and difficult for me (after all, this is my first independent experience of using Rhino), I decided to get out of this situation by increasing the scale of the thing itself.

For this, I increased the width of the part from 8 cm to 11 cm.

Create coupling elements was not such an easy task. I couldn’t move edge joints from And I did them by myself. As a result each side of each detail was unique. I placed all parts on the layout in sequential order to avoid build errors.

Because I cannot work with the Laser cutting machine for reasons of health, Alexey and Valeria helped me with cutting. I am very grateful for their help and understanding. Here you can see how they were cutting my model.

And it’s a result.

It was an interesting task, but there are a number of drawbacks when working with the laser cutting machine:

  • It can be useful for creation really unique things if you need them. The task takes a lot of time and it can be not economically viable – if you just need a pen box you loose less resources when you just buy it in a shop.
  • You need to use high quality materials and equipment.

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