Grace Chang’s Portfolio


Hi! My name is Grace Chang. I recently transferred from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg and am currently now a sophomore here at JMU. My major is Biology and I am on the Pre- Dental track. I am originally from Northern Virginia (aka NOVA). In my free time, I enjoy working out, playing softball, and playing puzzle games that I have downloaded on my phone.

I love solving all types of puzzles. I enjoy puzzles because I love the challenge and the rewarding feeling you get when the puzzle is completed. The reason I love puzzles in because I am very fidgety and I love to keep myself busy. I have a lot of experience with puzzles, but I do not have a lot of experience with 3D printing. I look forward to learning more about 3D printing in hopes of building my own awesome puzzle that I cannot put down.

Here is a picture of me at the JFK Center in Washington D.C. ūüôā

My Tinkercad is:

My Thingiverse is:

My Sketchfab is:

Initial Puzzle Research

One puzzle that I found is really unique because it is in the shape of an elephant. The puzzles crafted out of wood and the different panels are beautifully carved, different wood stains, and satisfyingly glide together. The elephant puzzle is crafted from Acacia and cherry wood which makes the puzzle hard to put down. The smooth edges unique shape and effortlessly glide together. Even the ears rotates and spin while the rest of the puzzle stays firmly in place. The puzzle is very fun to disassemble and equally as satisfying to reassemble. The difficulty is not hard, but it is simply a beautifully assembled.

This satisfying cube puzzle fits together very nicely. All of the corners and edges glide together tightly and smoothly. Similar to the elephant puzzle, the pieces are different stains of wood to distinguish the different pieces of wood. However, I believe the different pieces are made of plastic to imitate the look of wood because the wood would not glide together as tightly as the plastic.

Puzzles are good for your brain! They improve your short term memory by working by exercising the left and right side of the brain. Along with being a stress reliever as well as a meditation tool, it is said that puzzles will help you live longer if you puzzle regularly!¬†Studies have shown that people who do jigsaw and crossword puzzles have longer life spans and have less chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss, or dementia. One¬†study compared brain scans of 75-year-olds to 25-year-olds. The study showed that the elderly people who did puzzles regularly had brain scans comparable to the 25-year-olds. Isn’t that awesome!

Thingiverse Puzzle Print

I chose this 12 point star puzzle from Thingiverse. I thought it looked super cool and had a unique shape. When I first printed it, there was a problem when I attempted to put the pieces together because it was printed on such a small scale due to the time restriction of the class period. So, I came back to the lab the next day to reprint it on a slightly larger scale and the pieces fit together nicely. Each point is its own triangular piece. The difficulty level is not too complicated but the edges are very sharp and uncomfortable to hold. I used the Christmas Star Puzzle 55mm by atry. The link is below. Check it out 


Tinkercad Puzzle Cube


While designing this puzzle, I was trying to create a simple yet satisfying puzzle. This was my first time using Tinkercad, so I was mostly trying to figure out how to use the program. The pieces fit together somewhat loosely and not as snug as I would have liked. I thought the idea of using a piece in the middle that had a rounded edge to it was cool. I wish the pieces snapped together with a snug fit because they just rest on each other when stacked. I hope to design more complex and unique puzzles in the future.

Cube Puzzle Iteration

This was my original design, but I later decided to delete the bulky top pieces and to create a puzzle with 9 pieces instead of only 6 pieces. I simply just copied and pasted the pieces to make the puzzle more symmetrical. When I printed the puzzle the print was set to “generate support” option, I scaled it too small which also lead to the holes being filled in and it was a complete dud. I then reprinted it without the “generate support” option, but then the centerpiece also did not fit the top because the cylinder was set to the same size as the hole. I think all of the cylinders should be adjusted to be about 0.25 mm smaller than the size of the hole for a snug fit. I have printed it on a much larger scale and made sure to select the “no support” option. I also rounded the edges of the cylinder for a nicer hold.

While altering this puzzle, I wanted to make it more intricate with various shapes, bumps, and holes. I still wanted to follow the same idea that there is a somewhat round figure centering all the main pieces. I think the addition of a smooth round piece would add satisfaction in holding the puzzle to balance the harsh outer edges, and by making the notches smaller it made the puzzle have a satisfying snug fit.


Cube Puzzle Wrap-Up

For the final wrap-up, I decided to add a couple of extra pieces to the design. So that the final cube puzzle consists of 9 pieces in various colors. The 8 square pieces are all centered around the cylinder piece in the center.  Throughout this process, I learned how to use Tinkercad and how to design and alter the shapes, which is something that I have never done before. I also learned how important precision is when building a puzzle to achieve a satisfying hold or fit. At first, I would print all of the puzzle pieces at the same time on one machine, but then I realized that I can print the pieces on various machines at the same time. This was a real time saver! I really liked the idea of having rounded-edges somehow involved in my puzzle and I learned that you have to set some of the over-lapping pieces a quarter of an inch larger. in order to achieve a snug fit. Overall, there was a lot of trial and error, but I eventually altered and set the printers to a specific setting to accommodate my puzzle. Thus, the final cube puzzle was created!

Personal Project Pitch

I really would like to design a puzzle that stands more as a decoration or a piece of art rather than something that looks boring but is fun to play with. The idea is that once the puzzle is completed, it stands as a decorative trophy. I really like the idea that the outer pieces encase or almost stand around a smooth or rounded centerpiece. One thing that I really liked about my cube puzzle design was the holes that the cylinder bumps would fit into. It took me a while to get the sizing just right for a snug fit, but these little bumps stabilized the puzzle a lot. It took me a while to get the sizing just right for a snug fit. I have no experience with 3D printing or puzzle building prior to this class. I do have a lot of experience with art such as painting, drawing, and sculpture which I think could aid in the creativity aspect of this final project. I really would like this final piece to be bigger than handheld size as well, so I think scaling it to make sure that all the pieces are able to and fit together nicely will be a struggle. I think I am going to have to learn how to make the pieces smoother with some loops for a sleeker design and finish. I would really like the puzzle to look like a piece of art that is highly detailed and unique.

20 Forms in Fusion 360

While using fusion 360, my favorite tools to use were the fillet, chamfer, and the sketch technique. The shapes I used here was the sphere, pipe, coil, and a freehanded sketch. I used.  tools such as the hole and the fillet.With these shapes,  I used a lot of squares and rectangles. I practiced creating more unique shapes by stacking some shapes together. I think my favorite tool is the hole cutting tool because it is simple to use and it adds dimension to the shapes. One of the pieces that I really liked was the crescent moon looking piece. I was pretty simple to make because it was made using a ring shape with a hole cut out of it.

For these shapes, I mostly used the sketch tool to create a unique design and then I extruded the shape to make it 3D. As you can see, I attempted to create a lightning bolt, and a heart using the sketch tool.

I ran into some problems printing this lightning bolt. I tried to export the file as a .stl from fusion 360, but for some reason, it would not allow me to because I have a MAC laptop. I then opened the figure through Meshlab and exported the file as a .stl.  Finally, I was able to print the object.

Digital Fabrication in the Makery

I visited the Makery in Rose Library on Monday after class. I worked with Artem to use the 3D turntable scanner, which was super cool. The turntable scanner helped me to scan my clay frog figure and turn it into a .stl and .obj file. The process took about 30 minutes because the scanner took at least 48 pictures of the image on the rotating table to piece together the figure. First, the frog was placed right side up and 16 pictures were taken for the scan, and then the frog was placed on his back and side for the additional shots. This is what the turntable scanner looked like and Artem told me that it cost around $2,600.

 Here is the frog when it was made out of clay.

And now here is the frog post scanning process now transformed into a .obj file saved in google poly.

I also have a .stl file saved to my google drive because I did not have a flash drive with me. As you can see, the figure that the scanner created is quite blobby and needs a lot of touch-ups. I am very excited to get started using Mesh Lab to blend and smooth the figure in order to break the puzzle down in Tinkercad for my final project.

10 Things in OpenSCAD

This was my first time ever coding so I created very basic shapes in Openscad. I learned how to do so by watching “how to” videos and reading instructions on help websites. I mostly tried to mess with various shapes by changing the amount of sizes or the angles.


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