Post 7 – Main Project Aesthetics: Plans and Alternatives

For my main project, I have committed to making the Sisyphus sand table. For those that haven’t heard of this before, a Sisyphus table uses a small steel marble that gets dragged by a magnet to draw designs in sand. The mechanism underneath works like a 3D printer with 2 degrees of freedom to position the magnet.

For the two aesthetics, I took inspiration from various furniture aesthetics because I feel like it is the most applicable to this project. The two that I landed on are modern Industrial and minimalist.

Modern Industrial:

The modern industrial style takes inspiration from the classic industrial style, with a slightly more refined and minimalist approach. It often uses raw materials, such as rough and distressed wooden elements, as well as exposed steel. While I think this aesthetic would fit the table very well, getting access to good quality distressed wood for the body and steel for the frame could be a bit difficult and costly. If I go with this aesthetic, I would most likely use cheaper materials and try to imitate the style of modern industrial.

Table in the modern industrial style:

Modern Industrial Side Table with Lower ShelfBuy Hand Crafted Industrial Style Reclaimed Wood And Steel Dining Table Or  Desk, made to order from Scott Valley Furniture |

Sketch of Sisyphus table with modern industrial style:


Minimalist furniture is characterized by smooth and flat surfaces, often times in simple black and white. If color is present, it is generally monochrome with no patterns, hue changes, or patterns. There is no ornamentation present, and the designs focus on form from function. I feel like this aesthetic would be easier to achieve, and would also allow me to incorporate some elements from my personal aesthetic. For example, the lighting and retro-futuristic styling from 80s/90s JDM cars.

Table in the minimalist style:

Modern Minimalist Tray Top Round Glass Coffee Table Black - Saracina Home, 1 of 11Modern Minimalist Design 31.5 * 31.5in Square Coffee Table with Detachable  Tray and Plug-in 16-Color LED Strip Lights Remote Control for Living Room

Sketch of Sisyphus Table in minimalist style:

One critique from people is that this project will require a lot of planning and effort, with all of the electrical and mechanical elements. This is something that I am aware of, and plan to work on it a little bit at a time over the coming weeks. Another advantage of this project is that I can potentially use it to fulfil my graduate project for mechatronics II as well. Another concern that people had was the difficulty of generating the GCODE and designs. Luckily, there is a website called that allows users to easily generate GCODE for any table geometry. They have preset shapes, or you can create your own complex paths.



Modern Industrial Side Table with Lower Shelf

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