Design Review: ‘The Illusionist’ Necklace

For the final project, I want to try and make the necklace pendant from the movie ‘The Illusionist’. After I first saw that movie, roughly ten years ago, I really wanted the necklace that was in the movie. Even though that was a really long time ago, every time I see that movie I still like that pendant. Now, however, because I’m becoming an engineer, it occurred to me that I could make the necklace myself (even though it will probably be a fair amount of work). I’m really excited about making this. It is something that satisfies the project requirement and is something that I have really wanted to try and make. Below is a picture of the necklace from the movie:

My project is to make a pendant like the one in the movie The Illusionist. The top constraints that I will need to overcome to complete this project are as follows:

  1. Because this isn’t my only class and the project I’ve picked is a lot of work, one big constraint I will need to consider is time. I will have to be efficient with my time in order to complete the project.
  2. Another constraint is achieving the aesthetic that I want, which is for the project to look similar to the original item I’m getting my inspiration from. I also want this to be something I am proud of and will actually wear.
  3. I have little experience using the laser cutter which is something that this project will require heavily. So this inexperience will be a constraint.
  4. The schedule is another constraint, with the prototype do on Monday and the fast paced schedule. I will have to be careful and make continuous progress to keep on track.
  5. The last large constraint I will be facing is inexperience in woodworking with small piece. This pendant should pretty small and building such small complex parts will be difficult.

For the prototype, I decided to 3D print a larger version of the pendant. First a made a CAD assembly. That can be seen in the images below:

Then I used a 3D Printer to come make the prototype. Below is a short video of my prototype.

The next step of the project is to alter the CAD design to be with wood and change the mechanism for sliding and rotating locket. After that I will start to cut the wood pieces.

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8 Comments. Leave new

  • Marcus Gurule
    May 8, 2017 7:16 am

    I have never seen the movie, but I am fascinated with the way that this locket works. I think that you are well on your way from the video of your prototype. I am interested to see if that will be exactly how you make it out of wood or if you will have to make some accommodations for the different material.

  • Errol Romero
    May 1, 2017 3:21 pm

    I have not seen this movie before but the neckless does seem familiar. This design is really cool because of the simple dynamic design that changes the shape. Making the piece look like the one in the movie may prove to be a little difficult because some of the designs that I saw online look pretty complicated. I am looking forward to seeing the final produce.

  • I appreciate that despite time being your number one constraint, you have chosen an ambitious and very cool project. If you do plan to use wood, I would plan for more time than you may initially expect simply because of the tight tolerance in this design. If this is a factor, I would recommend improving your current part file and 3D printing it still. Magnets could also be helpful for holding the lid and base of the locket together. Even though its plastic, you could still achieve the wooden aesthetic with some painting techniques such as roughing it up with a brush to add grain. I very excited to see what your final design utilizes!

  • Sara Palandeng
    March 19, 2017 11:22 pm

    Hi Katie, I think your idea to recreate this locket is very cool. First of all, I think 3D printing your prototype was an awesome way to test out the functionality and mechanics of the locket. Like I said in class, I’d look into the cool Lulzbot filaments that are available online if you want to avoid actually making it out of wood or if for some reason it didn’t turn out as expected. But I’m very excited to see the end product! Great job on the presentation.

  • Dean Alibrandi
    March 19, 2017 10:43 pm

    Katie, this is a really cool dynamic piece to choose for your project. I like how at a first glance it just appears to be a an oval looking design that does not appear to be much and then with a slight movement it turns into a completely different shape and even has room for storage. I would recommend using a dremel to carve the shape you need and also cut holes for the hinges and other mechanical parts. There are a ton of carving bits for the dremel and it is a very versatile tool especially for carving and engraving. Good luck!

  • Blake Arellano
    March 19, 2017 10:31 pm

    Its good that you have got the function of the device worked out, but I am a little confused on the aesthetic that you are looking for in the final design. Are you going to make this out of wood? What stains and textures do you plan on using? Mostly I am wondering if you plan on basing your aesthetic off the model from the actual film or are you going to try and make it into something a bit more original?

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  • Kira sadighi
    March 17, 2017 9:54 am

    Hey Katie,
    just one little thing first, I don’t see a citation for the first photo, just a quick fix. I really like the idea of this project, I saw this movie too, and it is still one of my favorites. I wish you could have brought in your prototype, but I understand the fragility, and so I thought your video was a nice touch as a substitute. I think your prototype gave you a better idea of how the mechanics of the locket work, which is valuable. However, I think their are big differences between 3D printing and manipulating tiny pieces of wood, so I might recommend playing around with that a bit more. Maybe you could kind of combine the two? Like what if you used the laser cutter to do really thin pieces, and then you could glue them together to add 3D features? That’s just one idea. It would have been cool to see a little bit more in your presentation about the aesthetic. What type of wood? is it going to be stained? will it feel smooth? Are you going to use the same pattern on top as in the movie? I’ll be excited to see the final project!


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