Author Archives: joranwbooth

Laser cutting project

So, I recently learned how to use the laser cutter.  I wanted to see the limits of its capabilities, and so I focused on how well I could engrave a photo using the laser cutter. My wife is into board games, and we had just learned one called Coup.  So I set out to make […]

ME 444 Keychains

So I’ve recently learned how to use the laser cutter.  We were doing a workshop and research project with some school students from Chicago, and we wanted to give them something to take home with them.  In the workshop, we had them come up with ideas for toys, so I made keychain dongles for them […]

Sewing machine repair

A few months ago, when my wife was sewing something, the machine began to jam.  It turns out that one of the plastic gears had been eaten up pretty bad by a metal one.  So I went to repair it.  After all, I bought the machine for $5 at a garage sale, and the repair […]

Teaching awards 2015

I recently received two awards for my teaching at Purdue! The first is the Magoon award for teaching excellence.  It represents the top 5-8% of teaching assistants in each department, depending on how many TA’s there are.  Several of my lab-mates from the C-Design lab also received it (I am on the right). The second […]

Functional Analysis for Product Dissection

In this research paper (see at, we investigated which functional decomposition methods work best for developing an understanding of a product’s functions (i.e. which method best helps you figure out how something works?)  We evaluated a two formal methods, as taught in design textbooks, and the informal method of simply naming what comes to […]

Redesign for manufacturability of an R/C shock absorber

For this graduate course, we redesigned a shock absorber and chassis for the Traxxis R/C vehicle. This particular brand of R/C car uses a complex set of mechanisms and parts to simulate actual off-road vehicles.  The toys have generated a close-knit community of users who modify, repair, and other wise maintain their vehicles as they […]

Can-Collecting Robot

My mechatronics team was assigned to make a robot that could collect 5 bean-cans on a field and drop them into a hole.  The entire robot had to fit within a 1 ft^3 volume, but could unfold after it was started.  Although our robot was camera-shy for the competition (it ran fine between official trials, […]