Main Project Final Report: Part 2 – K. Gresh

Puppy Palace

The puppy palace project was designed for a miniature French Bulldog.  The inspiration arose from the cutest, adorable Frenchie puppy which was chosen for his small size, non-barking nature, lovable, sweet, easy, and mellow attitude.  The puppy’s size allowed him to be taken everywhere so staying at home, or restricted to a crate/area of the house, would be a short duration occasional occurrence.  Frenchies are meant to be spoiled and are bred as companion dogs.  They are costly, trendy dogs which often live in apartments/condos and smaller homes and owners love to spoil them and care a lot about aesthetics.

The puppy palace aesthetic was envisioned in French palatial Louis XVI style.  Other aesthetics considered were colonial, modern, and organic.  For the specific puppy, breed, size, and space the Louis XVI aesthetic was chosen as the best fit. 


To meet the aesthetic the following characteristics were defined:

Colors: The primary color scheme was gold and white

Decoration: The royal aesthetic needed bling – Lots of bling and sparkle

Architectural Details: The palace needed palatial details, a fountain, a gate

Scale: The different components all needed to have a small scale to be cohesive

Some details of the palace were done to meet the general concept of a palace and be more aesthetic.  This includes the blue/gray roof, tower, and flag which was inspired by the following photo: 

Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria


Design Sketches

Materials Procurement





Cost vs Budget

The most expensive cost in the project was the materials necessary to meet the aesthetic.  The rhinestones for the fountain cost a lot and so did the fountain, but the original concept was modified to use less rhinestones and incorporate paint.  Several different rhinestones were evaluated for cost and to meet the aesthetic and the rhinestones chosen were the most cost effective, look the highest quality, and provide enough varying detail to be most aesthetically pleasing. 

Paint ~$ 4/can: 6 cans

Rhinestones ~$12/yd: 3 yards

Gate Front ~$7

Gate Bricks ~$1.85: 2 plus practice pieces

Gate Sides ~$3: 1 plus practice pieces

Tower Materials ~$12 for a sew kit, fabric, and velcro

Pillars ~$19: 2

Fountain ~$35: 1

Dog House ~$15: 1

Misc: High Temperature Glue Gun ~$20

Budget: As inexpensive as reasonably possible

 The products not used, such as the actuator, was the next largest cost – while it was difficult to have a design change, the final product is better.

Lessons Learned

Inspiration is the cornerstone for personal projects that take personal money and time.  Only use spray paint with a comfort tip (I ended up with a huge blister) and not all spray paint has good coverage.  Amazon has a lot of great products at such great prices that it is easier and less expensive to purchase items than to make them myself.


T. Mironuck: tools and final stretch schedule motivator

What’s Next

Next steps include finding a puppy and using the puppy palace.  The gate needs to be re-attached with nuts and bolts because it broke during transportation to Expo.


Reality vs my vision matched excellently.


The semester was great, and I learned a lot.  The projects were fun and gave me the chance to use Makers Space and the tools offered at CU.  Something I possibly would have done differently is order a smaller more expensive actuator (but I can find another use for the larger, more versatile actuator I have).  The focus on aesthetics is extremely worthwhile, and my favorite aspect of the class.  Taking a project from a completely original thought and making it a vision and then producing it is very challenging and rewarding.  I especially enjoyed how the class allowed the integration of engineering and aesthetics into our projects and we could personalize them completely to our own original designs and needs.  Thank you Prof. Hertzberg!

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