Class of 2022
Kevin Vucinic is a sophomore who is majoring in computer engineering. His interests include using the laser cutters, CNC machines and 3D printers to create great works.
Kevin used to regularly work with these types of equipment in high school and when he found out about iCREATE, he decided to get back into it. Knowing that his one year anniversary with his girlfriend was coming up, he wanted to make something unique and special for her. Kevin decided to bypass normal gift he could buy online and decided to make a wooden ferris wheel using iCREATE’s laser cutter. He wanted the ferris wheel to spin around to show off their couple photos on the ride cars and spent a lot of time using Autodesk Inventor to create this project. First he designed the wheel, then used the laser cutter in the Toolbox to cut out the base, and lastly supported the wheels with stands.
Lastly, Kevin engraved “Happy One Year” on the base and then assembled the ferris wheel by connecting the pieces together like he was building a sturdy shelf. Kevin’s girlfriend really enjoyed her present, “She would look at it and and she would see the silhouette of it and know exactly what time that picture was.” When asked about innovation Kevin chimed, “Compared to this project, we have a very simple ferris wheel and you take a very simple design and do what you want with it. So innovation to me was making this little design, adding your spin to an already simple design.” Kevin thanks iCREATE for making this gift possiblable because without access to the iCREATE spaces, he wouldn’t be able to construct such a wonderful present.
Class of 2020
Robyn Duncan is a senior English major who has been using iCREATE for two different projects this semester. The first is her thesis, which is a film exploring the boundaries of storytelling and narration. Robyn wanted to examine how narration implicitly causes fallacies in storytelling through making a pseudo-documentary about her own life. Robyn used the Surface Studio computer in the Greenhouse to edit her film because of its large memory capacity and Adobe suite editing software.
The second project Robyn spear headed was taking a delegation from Stony Brook to
the Global Climate Strike that took place in New York City. Because of her exposure
to iCREATE for her thesis, Robyn was able to organize for students going to the strike
to participate in an “Art Build” in which they collectively created posters, t-shirts,
and buttons to denote the group as a collective. Robyn used the Cricut in the Greenhouse
to cut out stencils for students to use, along with the fabric paints available in
the Innovation Lab, to make their own shirts at their leisure. The students also created
their own buttons for the event iCREATE’s button maker. Robyn finds iCREATE to be
an environment that fosters innovation, collaboration, and creativity, “Beyond the
climate strike, students realized that iCREATE existed and found a place where they
can be creative. iCREATE gives students a chance to get out of the academia of everyday
life and create something. It’s a fun thing that they can do themselves. It’s a quiet
place for them to go, but it also made them excited to be creative.”
Class of 2022
Cynthia Wu is a sophomore studying electrical engineering. In her free time, she loves to play boardgames with her boyfriend and his family and friends. Cynthia found iCREATE before she even came to Stony Brook as a student. She explained, “I found iCREATE on the Stony Brook website and knew that I wanted to explore it. I came for the first time my very first week of school.” Since then, Cynthia has come back to use the 3D printers, and more recently, the laser cutters. Her love of board games combined with her innovation skills and access to iCREATE’s technology led her to begin prototyping the AUG, or Alternate Universe Game. When initial attempts to make the AUG a card game failed, Cynthia prototyped a hexagonal board made of individual tiles using iCREATE’s laser cutters and the free wood and acrylic iCREATE provides to students. To Cynthia, “Innovation means to me coming up with interesting ideas and hopefully implementing them.”
Class of 2021
Joseph Mignone is a sophomore studying computer science and applied mathematics and
statistics, and taught himself how to 3D design for fun. Joseph heard about iCREATE
on his orientation tour of Stony Brook, and was excited to check it out when he started
at the university. In his free time, Joseph creates 3D models based on inspiration
he gets from TV shows and video games. His biggest undertaking was designing, printing,
and painting the courtyard from the television show RWBY. To Joseph, “Innovation is
thinking outside the box and doing something your way. If you think something is cool
other people are going to think it’s cool too.”
Class of 2022
Fnu “Skyler” Aliya is a freshman international student from China. Skyler heard about iCREATE through one of her tutors and thought it would be the perfect place to create her own costume -- a traditional Chinese soldier -- for a party she was invited to. Using photos she found online and the help of the student innovation specialists in the Innovation Lab, Skyler created her sword using cardboard and paint supplied by iCREATE. Since Skyler has visited the Innovation Lab she is eager to come back and try her hand at 3D design and printing by coming to one of iCREATE’s weekly trainings for the self-service 3D printers and new Autodesk Inventor workshops. Through these opportunities Skyler will be able to keep innovating.
Math Major, Class of 2019
Devon Wunsch is a 24 year old from California who transferred to Stony Brook University to continue her pursuit of mathematics. iCREATE provides Devon a space where she feels free to study in a way that is productive to her own personal style of learning and feels validated in doing so. The whiteboards in iCREATE’s Greenhouse allows Devon to think innovatively by allowing her to comfortably figure out proofs and problems. Her professors have even let her take pictures of the work she does on the whiteboards and submit it for homework credit. Devon has always considered herself an innovative person. To Devon this starts with “...the space and the freedom to be creative without traditional constraints on how something should be thought of or should be done.” iCREATE has provided Devon with the space and means to let her innovation flow.
Physics Major, Class of 2020
James Rizzardi is a junior majoring in physics at Stony Brook University. He is a research assistant in a nuclear physics lab on campus.
When James heard about iCREATE and 3Diatrics, a club that is partnered with iCREATE to 3D prints toys for children at Stony Brook Hospital, as well as teaching the basics about 3D printing and innovation, he knew it was something he wanted to be a part of.
James saw this and wanted to take it a step further. He envisioned going beyond toys to using 3D printing as a way to help children with special needs.
James designed and 3D printed custom bracelets with faces displaying a range of emotions on them -- from happy to sad to scared to neutral -- to help children on the Autism spectrum.
This works in two ways. Firstly, children who are nonverbal can use the bracelets to communicate to others what emotion they are feeling by pointing to the corresponding face. Secondly, children who have difficulty reading the emotions of others can use the faces as reference to better understand social cues.
Moving forward, James hopes to work more with iCREATE to continue developing and improving the bracelets, such as designing and printing a slide indicator for each face and coating the bracelets in smoother materials so that kids with hypersensitivities will be able to wear them as well.
Hypersensitivity, or Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) can be experienced by children on the Autism spectrum. This is a manifestation of the overreactivity of sensory cells. Sensations such as the rubbing of a tag from a t shirt that wouldn’t bother the average person become extremely uncomfortable or painful for children experiencing SPD. This can be further exacerbated by an inability of the child to communicate their feelings.
James is hoping to further innovate to help children with SPD by designing and printing surfaces that go from smooth to rough to help in desensitization. Both of these projects can greatly benefit children with special needs.
After finishing at Stony Brook James hopes to pursue work in cognitive enhancement. This is similar to his work with iCREATE as he is aiming to help who have some sort of impaired functioning. However, James wants to go beyond simple communication devices like his bracelets and towards a more biomedical engineering standpoint.
James wants to help as many people as possible with his innovation and ingenue. He plans to do this through both his current work with iCREATE and his future work in neuroscience and biomedical engineering.
Masters of Fine Arts
Jasna Boudard is a 31 year old graduate student pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts at Stony Brook University. As an undergraduate, Jasna attended the University of North Texas and graduated with a degree in International Relations.
She wanted to do something practical that she could make a career out of, although art has always been her passion. When she decided to go back to school she knew she wanted to pursue her passion of photography, but with her own contemporary spin.
Jasna’s art deals a lot with taking 2D photographs of 3D things, and then turning that image back into 3D art. She works mostly with installations involving projectors, screens, shadows and movement.
This melding of art and technology led Jasna to the Innovation Lab. She started off by creating laser engraved stills from her interactive experience “Ma.”
“Ma” used projectors and billowing cloth to create the illusion of dancers moving throughout the exhibit. Jasna used the laser cutter to etch of shadows of dancers and their movements into acrylic sheets. She then moved on to translating some of her other prints and sketches.
She then began creating works specifically to be laser etched instead of just translating previous images. She also has been experimenting with etching the images into the backs of mirrors.
For Jasna, there is a fine line between technology and art. Too much technology creates passivity, whereas having too much beauty leads to its underappreciation.
“We react more passively to images because of screens, and this affects how we interact with the world,” says Jasna, “after realizing this, I wanted to make people care about images again.”
Therefore, Jasna’s goal is to make art more experiential. Jasna believes that, “the future of art is definitely going to involve more technology to create shared experiences and less so about collection of objects.” Innovating with the laser cutter is an important step in this process. By using the laser cutter as an artistic medium Jasna is going beyond the typical when it comes to photography and has brought a new spin to what it means to be an innovator.
Mechanical Engineering major, Class of 2020
Jeremy Nielsen programmed his first robot at 8 years old -- an orangutan that climbed a suspended wire. He programmed it from an electronic toy to respond to ultrasonic sensor.
Jeremy is now a junior at Stony Brook studying mechanical engineering, and his passion for innovation and creation has only grown over the years. He is also an undergraduate researcher at the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center. There, Jeremy works on applying microscale heat transfer to manufacturing processes of photovoltaic cell films.
Jeremy is very interested in environmental engineering and joined the club Centriseed his freshman year. Centriseed’s goal is creating and managing engineering projects in sustainability both at Stony Brook and abroad. Centriseed often partners with iCREATE in hosting club meetings, trainings, and workshops for its members, and this is how Jeremy found iCREATE.
Since being introduced to iCREATE Jeremy has been a frequent visitor of the Innovation Lab and the Innovation Greenhouse.
He has also gone beyond just club work and used the Innovation Lab to design and create
a walking robot with collision avoidance systems for one of his mechanical engineering
classes. Jeremy developed the walking mechanism, an 8-legged Theo Jansen linkage system.
This particular walking mechanism has a very natural gait in that it has continuous
motion and can overcome obstacles that are considerably large compared to the legs.
The downside is that it is more difficult to create.
Initially, Jeremy used the Greenhouse to design his robot. He used the whiteboards for notes and ideas, and the space itself to collaborate. Jeremy then successfully made his robot using the 3D printers, arduino kits, and laser cutter from the Innovation Lab.
Jeremy has found that his work with iCREATE has helped him with every aspect of innovation. The spaces provide an environment conducive of coming up with ideas and collaborating on how to make them better. It has also given him new skills to prototype and bring his ideas to life.
iCREATE has given Jeremy the tools to succeed in the classroom, and far beyond.
Physics and Math major, Class of 2019
Shane Andrewski is a twenty-two year old senior majoring in physics and math. His specialty is in quantum computing.
Shane works in a physics lab at Stony Brook that is working on creating a portable quantum computer that runs at room temperature. IBM and Google both have created quantum computers, however they are very large and need to be run in rooms with extremely low temperatures.
The field of quantum computing is still in its infancy and thus there is a lot of ground to cover. Shane’s lab is attempting to utilize different aspects of quantum mechanics than Google or IBM with their research and computer building so that it may be smaller and run at normal temperatures.
There are many parts that go into the idea of quantum computing, and Shane’s specialty in the physics lab is quantum optics -- the concept of transmitting light at the level of a single photon at a time.
Shane was first introduced to iCREATE through his friends. When he visited for the first time he was excited to learn about all the free services offered to students, including 3D printing and laser cutting.
He has been using iCREATE’s 3D printers and laser cutter to create pieces for the quantum optics. These are not for the optics themselves but for the containers in which they reside, stands for parts to rest on, and even a custom designed fan to cool down the circuits.
Shane insists these parts are essential. If it weren’t for iCREATE, the lab would have to custom order parts and rake up bills in the thousands of dollars.
In the long run, Shane is being both prudent and innovative.
Shane may love physics but music is his true passion. When Shane graduates from Stony Brook in the spring he wants to create a start-up to build and market optical music devices.
Of course these things exist in simpler terms, but to Shane innovation means “having an original thought about something already created, and improving on that creation.” Whether this means music or physics, innovation for Shane is all encompassing.
Biology and Economics major, Chemistry minor, Class of 2018
Brian Yang is a senior with a double major in Biology and Economics and a minor in Chemistry. If that’s not enough, Brian also has recently taken up additional innovation projects -- the biggest of which is building his own 3D printer. Brian received a commercial 3D printer as a gift, and began to learn more about 3D printers and the technology behind them. When Brian realized this is something he wanted to do, he knew that the Innovation Lab was the place to go. He designed all of the 3D printed parts of the robot himself using Autodesk Inventor and went to the Innovation Lab to physically print, as well as utilize other tools such as soldering irons, screwdrivers, pliers, and general help from the Innovation Consultants. Brian wanted to make his printer different than others already out there. His printer is a parallel robot instead of the typical serial robots on the market. By using a different layout, he was able to both reduce the amount of frame and open up the print surface. Brian is currently applying to medical schools and in the future wants to work as a doctor rather than an engineer. However, he recognizes that the fields are merging. The world of technology is growing and expanding and Brian feels that, “Because of my work with 3D printing and iCREATE, I feel more prepared to deal with medicine in the 21st century.”
Computer Science major, Class of 2021
Everett Yang is a freshman studying computer science. They want to pursue a career in video game design - blending art and technology. Everett visited the Museum of the Moving Image, specifically its permanent installation dedicated to famous puppeteer and Muppets-creator Jim Henson. The museum works to foster an understanding and appreciation of the melding of technology and media. Everett was so greatly inspired by this they decided to utilize iCREATE’s Innovation Lab to make a puppet of their very own. Everett wants to do more adult-geared comedy with their puppet, starting off with small-scale projects like creating lip-syncing videos or sketches from The Muppets, using the multimedia tools offered in the Innovation Greenhouse.
MBA Student, SBU Photography Club president
Marvin, an MBA student and Photography club president, experimented with custom bokeh shapes in his photography using the vinyl cutter. He heard David Ecker, the Director of iCREATE, speak about the free spaces and technologies offered and available at his MBA orientation. Despite having the background of an electrical engineer, Marvin always had an interest and passion for photography, which is where he wants to further develop his personal style.To make the bokeh filters, Marvin finds a shape that he outlines on the vinyl cutter’s software, and fits to the size of his lens. He shoots with copper wire string lights, attached to a battery for portability, to achieve the effect. Each light, when rendered, appears as the blurred light in the desired shape. “I would’ve loved these spaces so much as an undergraduate … I’m a commuter and have made the iCREATE Greenhouse my second home here on campus.
Electrical Engineering major, Class of 2020
Yehonothan built his own drone in the iCREATE Innovation Lab from personally selected specific parts to tailor exactly to what he visions. He sources his supplies from various locations over the internet like Amazon, Ebay, and Newegg. “Building the drone is easy. Coding them, and making them fly is the hard part.” He goes through several different prototypes of his drones before he gets to his “final” version. Yehonathan 3-D printed stands for his drones in the Innovation Lab’s Self Service, and soldered the components together with the lab’s soldering kits. Currently, he is working through his 4th prototype of his drone
Chemistry Major, Class of 2020
Jackie Zheng is a sophomore Chemistry major who discovered the Innovation Lab at the end of his freshman year. Since then, he’s been involved in the 3D modeling and printing in the Innovation Lab’s Self Service and print queue. As the event coordinator for ACS (American Chemistry Society), Jackie handles a portion of the community outreach that has events with elementary school children that teaches and demonstrates different chemical reactions and explanations. For 2017’s National Chemistry Week, themed “Chemistry Rocks”, Jackie has printed a “Buckyball” model, the structure for bronze, as well as a model of a crystal. Jackie finds that models are a more effective way to both teach and learn chemistry to the younger kids and students, with hopes that they want to pursue chemistry in the future. “You can always draw a molecule on the board; it might be cool, but it’s not real as seeing how it is in front of you. Having the model is the starting point to learn, and most just through memorizing.”
Math and Philosophy Major, Class of 2019
Sweater weather is in full swing for the semester, Spencer Jarrad, a 3rd-year student and transfer from San Diego City College, has been hard at work in preparation. Instead of going shopping for new clothes this season, Spencer goes shopping for fabric. “I was bored over the summer while waiting to move, and I wanted to learn all the machines.” While he had no background in sewing, Spencer decided it was time he took the particular style he liked into his own hands. Spencer bikes to a local fabric and craft shop, and buys fabric by the yard. After obtaining the fabric, he uses a template that contains all the pieces of the shirt, which he traces and cuts out. Spencer then sews each piece together on the sewing machine. So far, he has made shirts, sweaters, and shorts. “I want to eventually make peacoats and overcoats, and elevate my clothing to a level of couture.”
Innovation Lab volunteer, Summer 2017
Daniella Chernoff, a volunteer at iCREATE and a rising Geology senior at Hofstra University,
a Sound Cloud as a new addition to iCREATE’s Greenhouse. She has been a volunteer since 2015, and was helping with the Augmented Reality sandbox. The Sound Cloud runs off of an Arduino, a microphone, and some LED’s that are all connected to a running program on the computer. It responds to sound in terms of volume and flickers, changing to the sound environment it is in. As the volume increases, the colors change from blue to green and purple in response. “Combining the software was the hard part, but there is a lot of help to do it online. I didn’t have any prior knowledge when working on the sandbox either.”
Faculty/Staff, Summer 2017
John started on this project in May 2017 while following up on AV’s other previous projects with iCREATE. After a couple of weeks in the Innovation Lab, John was able to fashion a wooden box with lights and switches, connected to a power source (battery). iCREATE was able to supply the balsa wood, which our staff member Ahsanul Torza helped to cut into the box template using the laser cutter. “If the employment of this project works well, we’re planning on coming back to make more of these for the rest of the facilities.”
Electrical Engineering, Class of 2017
Jerin George is a second-year engineering student at Stony Brook University. On January 31 of 2017, he was building a book with the pages glued together, holding a secret compartment at the lab as a gift for his girlfriend. Special projects such as these are no stranger to the lab.
He said, "As an engineering student, I always have different ideas for development and innovative designs floating through my mind. But the limited availability of physical resources on campus id a hindrance to transform my ideas into reality."
Jerin, like many of our iCREATE members feels that this space has helped his academic career and personal growth during his time at Stony Brook University.
Luca Agozzino and Evan Philip
Physics graduate students Luca Agozzino and Evan Philip do not have any previous experience with astronomy or photography. But a single long exposure shot with a newly-purchased Canon SL1, and the two were seeing stars.
Luca and Evan worked on a personal project pursuing this interest, constructing it from its base materials, right here in the Innovation lab.
Night sky landscapes and photography are difficult to capture perfectly, even with the best settings and cameras. The right atmospheric conditions need to be present, with a location where lights and objects (such as trees) will not obstruct the view.
One clear night around Christmas 2016, Luca and Evan, who live in the same house off-campus close to the Stony Brook, were testing out the new camera. They pointed it upwards, at the sky, expecting just a black screen playback.
“We put the setting on for 30 seconds, and saw that it [the result] was really amazing. You don’t need fancy equipment for this,” Evan said, “but you need a tracker, or you will only see lines.”
The problem with taking pictures of these night landscapes is the rotation of the Earth. When looking up at stars in the night sky, they change position over time because the Earth is turning, which drives our 24-hour day-to-night period. As a result, when long-exposure shots are taken, depending on the amount of time, “star trails”, lines of these “moving” stars begin to appear in the photograph.
To counter this, “star-trackers” exist for this niche of astro-imaging, often being on the high-end scale of photography equipment, costing at least several hundred dollars. The two decided that they could build something they could use the same way, but wouldn’t be out of reach for a graduate student budget. “It’s a camera on a box!” Evan said.
Luca describes it as, “a barn-door sky tracker to do astrophotography; it is a device which can hold a camera and at the same time make it rotate around an axis which is parallel to the Earth rotation axis, which is fundamental if you want to photograph stars and planets at long exposure and avoid trails.”
The personalized sky tracker was built with a wooden box that was purchased off Amazon
for about ten dollars, and assembled in the Innovation Lab. To construct it, a mount
with a screw underneath that could move and bend was installed to hold the camera
inside. An old table lamp was used as a tripod. The lab’s 3D printers were used to
custom print the gears. Here, they also programmed the Arduinos controlling the attached
motor that allowed the box to open very precisely such that 360 degrees would be covered
over 24 hours.
“In both cases I realized them for the fun of a DIY project and because buying them would have costed me several hundred dollars, without any possibility of personalization. The Innovation Lab was crucial to realize it, because I needed 3D printed components (though I wish I could set up the printing myself to fine tune it) and especially to solder all the parts