Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    The Fly

    Laney students build giant insect using wood and computers

    by Michelle Snider

    15 ft wide x 20 ft long and weighing 120 lbs, the finished fly lands at the Tower Building after being moved from the Laney FabLab. Laney students used 3-D sculpting technology to design and build the fly. The new technology allows students to learn new engineering techniques. (Photo by Michelle Snider)

    Sculpting professor Leon Dockery of Laney College built a new curriculum that exhibits “trans-disciplinary” thinking using reverse engineering.

    “ ‘Trans-disciplinary’ means we are bringing together a variety of focuses to achieve a goal,” Dockery said, while sculpture students worked on the structure in the FabLab area in late April.

    The first sculpture to exhibit this new engineering is called “The Fly Project,” a large-scale indoor public art piece made of wood.

    The sculpture class is collaborating with FabLab to make 3-D sculpture by mixing “Autodesk Technology,” a 3-D sculpting technology, with traditional sculpture techniques. Students also use computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) software to deconstruct a pre-existing sculpture, scan its content, and scale it down. Then, they cut out a “maquette,” which is a small preliminary model.

    A Computer Numerical Control router, or “shopbot,” cuts the sculpture material, which is then assembled by Dockery and FabLab students. Once they have determined that the design is functional, they increase the scale to the desired size and do final cuts and assembly.

    Learning the new technology is useful in architecture, industrial design, and commercial design. “It’s about students taking ownership of how the planet’s going to look, and how we cure the things around us,” Dockery said.

    Students from Professor Dockery’s sculpting class position pieces of the giant fly’s head at the Laney FabLab. (Photo by Michelle Snider)

    Dockery’s students carry the body of the giant fly into the Tower Building, where it is now on display. (Photo by Felix Solomon)

    Dockery’s class positions the fly in the lobby of the Tower Building. (Photo by Felix Solomon)

    Professor Dockery shows students how to screw together pieces of the giant fly. (Photo by Felix Solomon)

    A sculpting class student works to finish assembly of the fly. (Photo by Felix Solomon)

    Michelle Snider is a staff writer at the Laney Tower.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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    • D

      Derek FisherSep 13, 2023 at 2:35 pm

      I am over in the Uk and would like to make a version of ‘The Fly’, are layouts available?