Projects from the Hack Arts Lab, University of Chicago

LEGOs and Laser Cuts for Data Visualization

compileHer is a UChicago student organization that engages Chicago middle school girls with computer science. Their recent Capstone event featured educational activities created with various UChicago faculty. Prof. Gordon Kindlmann designed an activity to teach elements of data visualization, involving building a terrain out of LEGOs, covering the terrain with a box with a grid…

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Vacuum Chamber with X-Carve

Michael Junkin, a scientist with the Institute for Molecular Engineering, recently used our X-carve to create this project. He says, “the project was to machine a few pockets and an o-ring groove for a plastic (acetal) chamber that is used as a vacuum chamber to treat silicon wafers for making microfluidic chips used in systems…

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Protein molecule model

UChicago Physical Sciences Division graduate student Remington Carey printed this model of a biological protein on HAL’s Object 30 Scholar 3D printer. It was a birthday present for a fellow scientist. Here’s part of the model in our power washer, surrounded by discarded support material:

Smart Lamps for Energy Engineers

The Energy Engineers Pilot Program at Dunne Technology Academy, a program of RDCEP and the Computation Institute (one of HAL’s main sponsors) recently wrapped up. Students were tasked with building and programming the desk lamps’ Raspberry Pi controllers, which permitted the lights to respond to data streams. This project grew out of earlier CI work…

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Woodcut Printmaking Using the Laser

Here is another group project for Professor Jason Salavon’s class, Data and Algorithm in Art (ARTV 22502). Students Edouard Bordeau Brooks, Kyle McCornack, and Annie Asai teamed up to create a serial progression of laser-etched geometric designs in plywood. These designs were then printed onto paper using a traditional woodcut process. Lastly, the resulting images…

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Arduino-based Sound Installation

For professor Jason Salavon’s DoVA course Data and Algorithm in Art (ARTV 22502), students Gabrielle Bernard, Anthony Crespo, and Jonathan Kyl teamed up to create an arduino-based sound project. The interactive sound installation uses an arduino, laser, and optical sensor to trigger audio clips in response to audience movements. Here is a video of the…

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The Cult of ASDF

The Cult of ASDF is an art project by DoVA MFA Ben Nicholson. It contains several elements, including game pieces created on the Makerbot 3D printer at HAL. Nicholson created “a large pyramid and set of small pyramids that read “asdf” around the outside; large piece was a model for a monument (designed by “The…

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Table with Laser Engraving

UChicago undergrad Rachel Jackson created this small table for the DoVA course, Shopcraft: Methods and Materials. The bulk of the wood processing and joinery was done at the Logan Center Shop, but the leaves design in the top was created at HAL on our VLS6.60 Laser. This is an example of the raster etching capabilities…

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Model Printing Press

This project, by Uchicago undergrads Evan Mayer and Andrew Jaffe, was a class assignment for HIPS 17400: Science, Culture, and Society with professor Adrian Johns. Evan says: “Andrew Jaffe did all of the 3D modeling except for the movable type (by me). His design is based on a combination of a few types of 17th…

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