Javier Vicente Sáez

FabAcademy 2018 [How to make (almost) anything]

Weekly assignment

Final Project


Javier Vicente Sáez was born in Barakaldo (Bizkaia, Spain) in 1978. He finished his studies of Industrial technical engineering at University of Deusto in 1999. After that, he obtains the degree of telecommunication engineering in 2001. Since 2001, he is lecturer of the telecommunication department at University of Deusto.

At the same time, Begoña Garcia Zapirain and he form the Advanced Signal Processing group, in which he works as researcher. He obtains the Phd in computer science in 2016.

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Principles and Practices

On Wednesday 17 we assist the First lesson with Neil Gershenfeld. It has been a pleasure to meet the MIT Team, other students and FabLabs. In that first day we had the opportunity to receive information about Principles and Practices, everything about FabLabs global network main idea. We find also the Fab Charter in the class schedule, FabLabs rights and responsibilities.

The assigment this week was to plan and sketch a potential final project, so I made some sketches around my idea. Basically, the main idea for my final project is: Modular Robot Curiosity.

In these times there is a lack of interest of the bachelor students in studying engineering. The students in bachiller have to choose between the human and the scientific branch. If they do not choose the scientific branch they can not study engineering. The few students who want to study engineering face another problem, they do not know how to differentiate each type of engineering. In Spain there are a lot of diferent engineering degrees and the studend don´t know to choose between them.

To avoid this problem my faculty is planning action to achieve three goals.

  1. Encourage interest in engineering
  2. Explain the differences between each engineering
  3. Present Deusto as a possible university where study

My idea is to design a practical workshop based in a modular robot. In each workshop five groups will contest to see who sets the best robot. There will be tree diferent challenges: velocity, strength and agility. The students can change diferent items in the robot:

  • Wheels
  • propulsion
  • Sensor location
  • Software parameters
  • ...

The teams can choose between different types of wheels (Diameter,thickness, material..). So the will have to argue which is better for each of the challenge. The same for the propulsion system, they can choose between different types of gears. They will have to discover which one provides more velocity or more strength. These changes will have to be quick, so a plug-and-play system will be used, probably using magnets.

In the market exists a lot of educational robot kits, but all are focused in programing. None of the kits in the image allows a quick change of the components, without using a screwdriver or other tool. What I want to achieve in a modular system that allows to exchange the parts and modify your physical behavior, be quicker, be stronger... In this form in a two-hour session students can discuss aspects of engineering such as:

  • Mechanic
  • Design
  • Electronic
  • Software Development
  • Telecomunications
  • Management

You can find my final project scheme in the image below:


Project Management

This week we have been taught how to use a version control systems, GIT in particular. Git is a free and open source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency.

Personally I have used many times svn as a version control system, but git is not unknown to me.

The first thing I did was generate a certificate using puttygen, this certificate serves to identify you on the gitlab platform of the fabacademy.

Once the certificate was added to the gitlab platform, I installed git and Tortoisegit on my personal computer. TortoiseGit is a Git revision control client, implemented as a Windows shell extension. This tool show context menu items for Git commands in Windows Explorer, making git very easy to use. I have choose this tool because it´s the one that I use with svn, so it´s very familiar to me.

Once the setup of the git repository was finished, I started with my personal web development. I have searched a bootstrap-based template and I have started to introduce my content. I´m using notepad++ to write de html code. After I have finished the initial modifications I have sent all the content to gitlab doing a commit and a push, using the tortoisegit client

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Computer Aided Design

The work done this week was to learn how to use computer aided design tools. I have decided to practice with solidworks. The program allows you to model parts and assemblies and extract from them both technical drawings and other information necessary for production. It is a program that works based on the new modeling techniques with CAD systems.

It was important to use parametric design, so I have designed a parametric gears that I will used in the final proyect. I have added a design table to my gear model in witch I can change the fundamental parameters, such as:

  1. Module
  2. Tooth number
  3. Pressure angle
  4. thickness

To design the parametric gear, first I create a sketch with a circle with the outer diameter and extrude it with the thickness. A name was given to the dimension of the diameter, to be able to vary it with the design table.

In another sketch the primitive and interior circumferences have been drawn. On these the profile of a gear tooth has been drawn. To finish, the cut has been extruded. The dimensions of this sketch have a name, so that they can be used with the design table.

Finally, a circular matrix has been used for the complete the gear.

Once the gear design has been completed, a design table has been added to automatically generate all gear variants.

In the row of this excel sheet there are the variants to create, the dimensions of the design in the columns on the left and design parameters in the columns on the right. I introduced as many rows as diferents gears I want to design and y the columns of the right the parameters of each gear.

Click here to download de solidworks file of the parametric gear.

Once the parametric gear was designed I decided to design a gear box, so I can advance with the final project design. Click here to download de design files of the gear box.

To implement this gearbox 4 different gears have been used, using the parametric designed. The first gear is a 15 tooth's gear with a 2 module and 3mm of thickness. In the center there is a gap with cross form. The shaft will be introduced in his gap the.

Click here to download the DXF file.

The second gear is a combination of two gears. One of this gears have 25 tooth's a 2 module and 3 mm of thickness. The gear has a gap to insert the next gear and press fit then.

Click here to download the DXF file.

The other gear have 15 tooth's and 8 mm of thickness. The gear has a circular gap this way the shaft can rotate free.

Click here to download the DXF file.

The two gear together are shown in the nest figure.

The last gear have 25 tooth's a 2 module and 3mm of thickness. The gear has a gap in the center with cross form.

Click here to download the DXF file.

For the box 3 pieces have been designed

Click here to download the top DXF file.

Click here to download the side DXF file.

Click here to download the front DXF file.


Computer-Controlled Cutting


My FabAcademy mate is Leire Bereziartua in Deusto Fablab, and we have the pleasure to work with the EPILOG Laser FUSION CO2 75 Watts Machine.

This machine allows us to cut and engrave different material, always "soft" materials, which can be woods, PMMA, cardboard or leather, among others (but never PVC, be careful due to its toxicity). Its work maximum area is about 800x500 mm, and we can work in it with two CO2 laser lens, which are replaceable. We call them short and long lens, and normally used is the short one.

The works we can do are cut and partial cut in Vector operating mode, and engraves in Raster mode.

As we have several types of material in the laboratory, comes well to have samplers and one of the work to do is to try different settings, we have made the following DM engrave sampler (prepared first in Rhinoceros):

Rhinoceros File to create the sampler

DM different engrave settings sampler

We know that this setting are just for that material piece today (due to its humidity and hardness), but the idea is to create samplers to all materials we have, over time. We think is good to have an idea around what values we can begin to make tests when we are going to use the laser-cut machine in the future.

You can find the complete files (.3dm and .dxf) here.

First of all we took the .dxf file we found and we prepared it by layers to be able to send the different works to the machine: Cut (red) and Partial Cut (blue). The other layer we had to create has been Material (black) one, with No Print setting, to help us centering the designs in the material we have. See the image below:

Parametric Kerf Templates prepared to send to Laser Cut Machine

We send the Partial Cuts first. For woods is better to do first this kind of works (like engrave) due to the machine Kerf. When we "cut" with the laser the material is volatilized, and remains a gap between the cut pieces, so that with the movement of the subsequent works they can be moved, and we are not interested on it.

The values we used to this work are: Vector, 60 Speed, 30 Power and 85 Frequency.

1st work to send to the machine: Vectors to Partial Cut

The values we used to cut, later, are: Vector, 8 Speed, 90 Power and 85 Frequency.

2nd work to send to the machine: Vectors to Cut

Its important to prepare the origin of the machine (0,0,0) in the place we have defined it in the digital file, so we have to make the focus (set the Z axis in 0, to tell the machine the thickness of the material we are going to use) and the Jog (X and Y axis in (0,0), up-left corner in our case). For all these settings we have the command screen with a Joystick in the Epilog Laser Machine.

Close the machine door, switch on the fans and GO with the works!

After finishing the Cut work is good to check if the pieces are well cut, but carefully not moving the different parts, because if we have to repeat the operation we need it just in the same-same place.

In our case the edges were well cut but maybe too much because they are so burned. :S

Parametric Kerf Templates being laser-cut

In the two images below you can see the 9 Parametric Kerf Templates made in 3mm thickness DM wood, and me testing them and having fun with it!

Parametric Kerf Templates finished

Testing different kerf elasticity

In these days we have found another Parametric Kerf Templates, Living Hinge Swatches (see the image below). We have prepared the Rhinoceros file with all layers to made them in the laser cut machine when we have more time. Work to the future!

Another templates we found

To see the complete files (.3dm and .dxf) click here:Parametric Kerf and Living Hinge Swatches.


First I started with the vinyl cutter. I designed a text label for my final project, with the text "DeustoRobot v1.1". This label was designed in Rhinoceros. Click here to download the file.

Laser Cutting

Press Fit


Project Name

This week the assignment was practice with computer controlled cutting systems and implement a press fit object. I decided to design a gear box, so I can advance with the final project design a.


Project Name

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