This post was written by Advanced Technology Center’s media liaison Ann Marie Garvey as well as ATC student Logan Freebourn.
Meet Logan Freebourn, an Advanced Technology Center, Engineering Technology (ET) student who was inspired by Da Vinci’s cryptex, a specific type of lock that can hold paper and made famous in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.
A cryptex is a metal combination lock that uses letters of the alphabet to create a unique code that only the right combination can open. Seeing a picture of a similar design spurred her desire to design a 3D maze on the computer that she could then 3D print.
Her creative journey involved problem solving, 21st century skills, precision in measurement, accuracy and, of course, patience in trial and error as she completed this project. Freebourn found a 2D maze with the right dimensions that she chose to use as a model. It had a starting point on the top and an ending point at the bottom. After finding the maze Freebourn wished to use, she was then tasked with actually building the maze in the computer. This was the most challenging part of the entire project. Contrary to what people may believe, the budding engineer couldn’t wrap the picture around a cylinder, and then cut out the lines. Freebourn constructed the entire maze level by level.
Using Autodesk Inventor she designed a base sketch used for each level. Using that sketch she then extruded up each individual block on every single layer. The hardest part of the project according to Freebourn was extruding the correct pieces because if she didn’t she may have to start from the beginning again or as we say…”back to the drawing board.” As for the best part of the project…it works!
So what’s next for Freebourn? She plans to major in engineering or manufacturing in college next year….with a little more lean to manufacturing. As for her maze, she’s redesigning and thinking up ways that might make it possible to bring her mazes into production. So many people, children and adults alike, enjoy her 3D maze that she would like to be able to bring it to others so that they may also enjoy figuring out this puzzle.