3D Project 3 – this makes no sense – The Jabberwocky

Rube Goldberg machine, a machine where you perform a series of complex tasks to have a simple end result. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting The Jabberwocky, a nonsensical poem by Lewis Carroll. Does that mean I can make something that doesn’t seem right to go along with the theme? Hahahaha

Here is a visual interpretation of the poem. I split the poem up by stanzas and tried to emulate each scene that appears by picking up certain key words and phrases.

Beginning from the head, we have a curved slope. Simplified, the first/last stanza really just says “it’s 4 p.m. and things go round”. Hence I start and end off the machine with the metal ball going around.

Next is the warnings, followed by the description of the claws that catch. I created a sudden fall of the ball to show the immediate danger of the motion, and made a small claw on the second platform to emulate the “catch that catches”. In the third stanza, the vorpal blade comes into play. In the poem the vorpal blade is the key item which slays the Jabberwock, so I wanted it to stand out and appear soon. The vorpal blade here is a spinning fan with razor blades attached to it. It was intended to create the mysterious design and the ability to cut, which was an intended feature later in the project. Initial prototype involved the falling ball to flick off a cap which held the blades. Apparently if the fan is turned on, but you have a cap loosely put in place, the blades will not spin, so I could create a delayed activation of the blades. Certainly it seems dangerous playing with spinning blades, but I was pretty careful when handling and testing it, so I made a blade that has the cutting ability, yet stable enough to not fly off and injure someone. After the mention of the blade, the poem describes searching for the Jabberwock, hence I placed a curvy path that goes left and right to emulate the search, followed by a short fall to show a break in motion in the X and Y axis – before the Jabberwock shows up.

The dominos in play hide the face of the Jabberwock. It will only be apparent when they have fallen, thus creating the illusion that the Jabberwock finally “appears”. The final piece of the domino will hit a contraption, a band that holds the vorpal blade in place. Upon so, the blade will fall towards the Jabberwock, which is held up by simply a single thread. The Jabberwock will collapse and fall towards the ground, hitting the second ball below it, bring it into a curved path and to the end. The domino pieces which represents the head of the Jabberwock will also fall into the “home” as shown in the fifth stanza where the head was brought back.

A look at the final outcome as the Jabberwock collapses and the head falls.

Considerations: using materials such as wire to build the frame. The design was revised several times, previous models had trees and such in the scene the Jabberwock appears. While they look nice, I felt that they spoiled the immersion of the dream world that Alice (from Wonderland) enters. I decided to go with a minimalist approach and cut down things that make the work messier, and even the slopes the ball falls into paths made of only wire. I could have used cut paper rolls (which was much cheaper and easier to use) as shown in the above photo but I wanted to preserve the airy dreamlike sequence hence decided not to. Suspending the second platform in the air and actually having the ball flow took alot of work, but it works (mostly). The other easy path I cut was to have the ball move left and right only with a wall to support everything. Since it was a 3d project, I wanted to play with space and have the ball move in both the X and Y axis as it drops via the Z axis while it moves, hence the structure is formed as it looks like now.

I had quite a bit of fun during this project. It was interesting to see what I could do with a three dimensional space within a frame, and what I could do by starting simply with a metal ball. The theme of Jabberwock was also interesting as there were many ways to approach it; if I was given the same assignment again with the same theme, the final outcome will probably look different altogether.


3D Project 2 – An art of cryomancy and pyromancy

Project 2, to emulate an object with another. My object of choice was something rather common. It’s a paper clip.

But not just ANY paper clip. It’s a paper clip I have kept for six years.

For reference, the paper clip is almost 8cm in length. So this flexible piece of metal has more solid grip to it than it seems. It is actually feels more comfortable to hold than a pen. Back in secondary school I bought it to use as a fidget toy. I can open the paper clip up, use it as a rod, fold it into a star, fold out a edge; the paper clip can be more than just a paper clip.

How I wanted to emulate the paper clip: using ice. Why ice? Ice has an oddly large number of similarities to a paper clip. Both have an original purpose, to hold paper, and to cool objects. Both here however will be used for a different purpose, through a transformation. The paper clip can become a 3d model or shape, used for fidgeting in the hand or to observe. Ice can be molten to create water, a process which can be made visually appealing if the process is hastened… specifically by burning. Both objects that go through a transformation will also no longer be able to change back, hence here I will present the one-way transformation of ice to emulate the paper clips I obtained six years ago.

First we get ice. I tried experimenting with various colours of ice with various liquids to attempt different burning effects. The photograph above for instance, shows ice made with water and red and green alcohols. But in the end I decided to pick a green mixture which seems the most icy.

Attempts with various amounts of regular ice and mixture ice. I scattered more alcohol around the glass to have a sense of burning outside the ice; I figured it looked more visually appealing that way. Weirdly enough, I could create ice that doesn’t melt rapidly when lit, so I can take more photographs and a video.

Video link: https://drive.google.=sharingcom/file/d/1Z4BIbdGr8NYQ5TyKda0Txs19sZRdM9YR/view?usp

Sometimes the burn fades out, sometimes it regenerates. The ice is like our life; we can live it the regular manner, or we can ignite it, which may lead to interesting effects.

The project was flexible and interesting, I quite enjoyed it more than the last (my fingers were only scorched, but at least they weren’t pricked). Being able to pick a medium and direction I wanted to attempt was also nice since I could freely experiment with different mediums to create different results.

Anyways if you were wondering about the glass, I did attempt to make the glass out of ice, but molding was different and mistakes were made. Here’s the last mould I attempted to use before I decided to use a regular glass to hold the ice instead.

3D Project 1 – String Project

Project 1 was to work with strings, to create a 3d model

My thoughts on the project was that it was going to be annoying, and indeed, it was! Sewing with a needle and thread goes under the “meticulous work which is easy to mess up and undo” and “self-harm” category which I’m not a big fan of. Here, I plan to create a mythical wyvern, which will look like a hybrid between a lizard, a scorpion and a seahorse.

The first step begins with imagining the shape and drawing an outline on the plastic sheet. Then I cut it out and prepare to create the structure.

Next we  poke holes. Poke poke poke.

To give the structure more form, I begin sewing the ribs of the wyvern. The wyvern is becoming increasingly visible as I do this.

To complete the shape of how I pictured it, I used a red string to flesh out the body, the red string resembled body muscles and also gave the transculent wyvern more colour; white string which was less visible was used to bend the limbs, body and tail, this allows the wyvern to curl inwards, creating it’s final pose.


I have mixed feelings about the project. While it was freeform, the restrictions to a sewing medium sure brought a lot of pain (emotionally and physically, needles are prickly). While sewing does create a unique since of a product, I’m not the dexterous person around, and I spend almost as much time repairing broken threads as creating new ones. I do enjoyed working on most of it, but I’d appreciate if I never have to sew another project again hahahahahahaha.