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Bits to Atoms: Logo and Fabrication

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Saved by Josh Burker
on January 26, 2017 at 8:22:30 am





Logo is a programming language developed to teach people to think about thinking. Perhaps you remember programming Logo yourself as a student, drawing geometric designs with the turtle. Logo remains a viable, low-floor/high ceiling learning environment for people to explore programming. Logo also provides an interesting basis for personal fabrication projects. Ranging from low-tech to high-tech, these fabrication projects are remixable projects that transform your digital designs into physical artifacts.


Turtle Blocks


Turtle Blocks is a Java implementation of Logo that runs in a web browser. It uses a familiar block-based programming model to create art, program robots, and to explore more advanced computer science concepts.


By snapping the blocks together you can create procedures that cause the turtle to move around the screen and draw a design.




Fabrication 1: T-Shirt Designs


A low barrier of entry project to begin exploring Logo and fabrication is to program designs that you print to use as t-shirt designs. Target makes a surprisingly good iron-on transfer paper.


You should use two "special" blocks when creating designs for t-shirts:




Print the design on the iron-on transfer paper. A smaller design works best if you are using an iron. Befriend a t-shirt shop owner and use his or her heat press for bigger designs.



Fabrication 2: 3D Printing the designs


You can also use Turtle Blocks to create designs that you can then 3D print. 


Again, you need to use a couple of special blocks when creating designs for 3D printing.






You import the SVG file into Tinkercad to extrude and size it.



You can create simple ornaments from the design.




Alternately, you can stack designs to create 3D printed sculptures that would not be possible to print "whole."



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