Top 5 Specifications, Top 5 Constraints

Joshua Beijer

Top 5 Specifications, Top 5 Constraints


1. Professional Design

My ultimate goal for this project is to make something I am proud to display on my desk in my future career. For this to happen, the artifact will need to look professional in quality and design. I will need to make a desk toy that looks like I bought it from a reputable company. This has the potential to create a lasting impact on my employer and coworkers. However, I do not want this artifact to reflect poorly on my engineering or design capabilities. The rest of the specifications are how I will accomplish this. An example of a professional-looking orbital spinner can be seen below.

DALLE-3 – Copilot Designer – AI Generated

2. Near Frictionless Spin

Since my desk toy is a spinner, the most important specification is that it spins well. I will accomplish this by using grease and metal dowels. If the wood proves to have too much friction I will either make the rings from acrylic or put acrylic inserts into the dowel holes. I have already sourced small dowels from the Idea Forge. If they are too small I will need to increase the thickness of my rings and then drill bigger holes. I have access to bigger dowels if this does happen.

3. Near Flawless Resin Clarity

The quality of my resin clarity will be what makes this design look like it was done by a professional. If the resin is bubbly or cloudy, it will make the artifact look cheesy and low quality. To make sure I accomplish this I have acquired high-quality resin and molds. I will follow all of the instructions to ensure I get the best results. I may need to purchase a skull if I cannot get the resin one to come out how I want it. I can also pivot and use any other spherical object if the resin is a total bust.

4. Non Visible Fasteners

Another aspect of creating a professional design is hiding my fasteners. This will be fairly simple since the dowels will hold the rings in place and the largest ring will be sunk into the base. The most difficult part to fasten will be the sphere in the middle of the spinner. If I cannot press fit the sphere into the center ring, I will add a smaller ring on either side of the side of the sphere to sandwich the sphere in place. I will use wood glue to fasten these extra rings.

5. Skull Recognition

The least important specification is that the skull is instantly recognizable. While this is still important for the overall aesthetic, and I will treat it as such, it would not be the end of the world if it was not recognizable. It would then look like a gold flake blob in the middle a share which is still aesthetically pleasing. I will accomplish this by using a mold for the skull rather than forming it in another method. An image of a clearly recognizable skull in a clear ball can be seen below.

DALLE-3 – Copilot Designer – AI Generated


1. Skills

The biggest constraint that I have been running into is my lack of skills when it comes to resin molding. Even after following the directions as closely as possible, I have been getting vastly different results between molds. My biggest problem, pictured below, is when they do not fully cure. This creates a half-cured mold and half-viscous mess that is incredibly sticky. If this half-cured resin gets on your clothes or hands it does not come off. This has caused some strife between me and my roommates. I am worried that I will not be able to remedy this in time. I believe the batch of molds that is currently curing, and will continue to cure over break, will be solid enough to use for the final artifact.

Half Cured Resin Artifacts – Joshua Beijer

2. Room

Unfortunately, I do not have any space available to dedicate to the molding process. This has forced me to house the experimentation to half of the desk in my room. This has become a problem due to the aforementioned sticky situation, Once I am done with the resin process, the project will take up significantly less space.

3. Other Commitments

One of the bigger constraints I have run into is my other commitments. The time I had originally planned on dedicating to this project, has been encroached on by senior design and other life commitments. I have been abe to mitigate this by doing the resin pouring in my free time, since it is quite entertaining.

4. Time

Since the resin has been taking 4x times longer than expected to cure, it has created a constraint on the time this will take. Luckily I have spring break next week to help with the curing process. I just need to make sure all the resin is poured before I leave for break.

5. Money

If money was not a constraint, I would buy more resin of different types to experiment with clarity and cure time. However, because I am on a tighter budget, I will stick with the resin I originally purchased.


Previous Post
Planter Box: priorities and constraints
Next Post
Post 9: Top 5 Specifications, Top 5 Constraints

4 Comments. Leave new

  • Hi Josh,
    This is a really exciting project and very unique. I think that you are on a good track having already identified what issue you are running into. It is interesting how you are running into different issues with the resin despite following the same process. Do you have any concerns with the environment that you are trying to cure it in? Are there any changes in the temperature or humidity? I hope it turns out well!

    • I think that it may be due to temperature since that has varied and it was curing near a window. I will be leaving it near the heating and cooling vent in my house on the next attempt.

  • Adlai White
    April 2, 2024 6:59 pm

    Hi Josh, this idea is super exciting, I can’t wait to see how it turns out! I am really excited to see the skull in the resin mold. A question I have is about the resin, I saw that you said that the type of mold is important to ensure no bubbles, and I was wondering if you would potentially be using a vacuum pot, as my friends who make dice professionally live by that machine, as it allows all the bubbles in the resin to be sucked out.

    • I think a vacuum pot would definitely help eliminate bubbles. However, I do not have access to one so I have been using a heat gun to try and remove bubbles. This has worked pretty well so far.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.