Monday, January 23, 2017

That's a Wrap!

When I came into this class, I had no idea what to expect. All that I knew was that I had walked into a room full of things that I didn't know how to use. The 3D printer was a foreign concept and I'd never even heard of the Silhouette Cameo or Little Bits, but I had to start somewhere. I remember bringing out the huge "How To" binder, and I was horrified because it was so unorganized.

Nevertheless, I had to learn something from it. I saw the little drawers with the circuits, and wondered what someone could even make with those. They turned out to be the Little Bits, which I learned more about in the binder. They were like little puzzle pieces, but the end product was up to you. You could put some together to make a prank buzzer,  a "massager," or a little fan! As I had mentioned in a previous blog, I understood how to operate these more than an actual remote operated vehicle. This was the start of my fascination with the technology in the Hack Shack.

After conquering the Little Bits, I had moved on to explore the Green Screen. It seemed simple enough, until I actually started using the software. I didn't think it would be so difficult to change the background. I don't know if the app was just glitchy, or if I was just being stupid. But I had to refresh the app a few times to actually get it to work, but the important part was that it worked. My friend Holly came in, and we spent about a week just messing around with different backgrounds, and ended up taking some weird pictures. My one regret was not figuring out whether we could upload GIFs as backgrounds, like a GIF of snowfall to use in a video.

The Silhouette Cameo has become my favorite piece of technology in the Hack Shack. I spent the most time with it, and ended up learning how to use it in various different ways. I was too lazy to even read the manual, so I tried to learn it using the best method I had up my sleeve: winging it. It didn't work too well for me because there were weeks where it seemed like I couldn't accomplish anything with it. The cuts were either too deep or too shallow, and the paper that was cut wouldn't come off the way I wanted to.

So I abandoned my method of winging it, and actually started to consult the tutorials. I learned about changing the blades, cut mat settings and the design page settings. After every week, the projects started to improve, and the feeling was priceless. I've learned how to cut out vinyl stickers, make stencils, and even make temporary tattoos (which I didn't even know you could make on your own!).  This semester, I have learned so many things that I wouldn't have if I hadn't taken this class. I'm so excited to see what the next group of Hack Shack staff members have in store, and to also bring this new knowledge into my life.

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