FableVision Learning Intern Spotlight: Patrick's Fab@School Maker Studio Journey

Hello FableVision Learning friends and fans,

Allow me to introduce myself - I am Patrick McDonagh, a marketing intern at FableVision Learning studying English Creative Writing at Endicott College. The gamut of work at FVL challenges my formal degree skills in a fun professional learning environment.

Now at the end of my internship, it’s time to put the lessons I’ve learned into action. I have been challenged to create an easy-to-build Fab@School Maker Studio project for kids ages 5-11 for construction in a library setting. The result of this challenge, after many iterations, is a turkey mask designed in Fab@School Maker Studio and ready to debut at the Dedham Public Library.

Make A Mark

TurkeyMaskDesign1.png

I will be honest, my first iteration of the mask did not resemble a turkey. I set out to work on my laptop early in a Peet’s Coffee tinkering with the software tools for hours trying to find shapes to form my vision. Coffee fueled my design, frustration, and perceived failure - my goal was perfection. I used the oval shape tool for feathers, then dragged and manipulated shapes for the turkey's snood. I asked a neighbor what animal they thought I had made. The response was unflattering.

Create Bravely

TurkeyMaskDesign2 [Crop].png

For my next iteration, I focused on what I had done well. In my hours of welding and manipulating shapes in Fab@School Maker Studio I grew more familiar with the tools. I made a first mark in the creative process. I paused to assuage my initial frustration by focusing on what I had learned. These were my notes:

  • I achieved a stylized and symmetrical 2D turkey shape by modifying Shapes with the Reflect, Align, and Weld features.
  • Used the Ruler, Grid, and Magnetize tool to visually interpret dimensions and distance between objects and snap them together.
  • Developed an understanding of each individual piece’s form and assembly across a project with multiple sheets of paper.
  • I saved helpful design elements for later by positioning them on the outer edges of the edit area.
  • Fabricated often and attempted assembly to refine project design across multiple iterations.

The first test mask I fabricated measured five inches in width. Only after I fabricated a mask that barely covered my face did I know it needed resizing. Supplies for Fab@School Maker Studio are inexpensive enough that I was able to incorporate fabrication into my prototyping process. I realized it didn’t need to be perfect right away.

Perfect-Ish

I felt more at ease creating without the inhibiting goal of perfection, and instead shifted focus to simplifying the design. Each remaining shape needed a critical purpose. Project refinement is a productive exercise for students forming foundational knowledge of iterative design and fabrication with Fab@School Maker Studio. Transitioning from concept to a recognizable design was exciting.

This is the final product. I am proud to share my mask in Fab@School Maker Studio as a 3D Ready-Made project for students, teachers, and makers to fabricate.

Get Involved

Are you in the Dedham area? Join us on Thursday, Nov. 16, at 3:30 p.m. at 43 Church St. for a hands-on Fab@School workshop. Remember to #CreateBravely!