Tue Jan 17, 2023, 12:00PM to 1:50PM

Welcome! We will post a daily agenda page for each class; these will be your essential guide to the progress of the class.


  1. Your instructors, Olivia and Garth.
  2. Brief synopsis of the course objectives, topical themes for Spring 2023.
  3. Mutual introductions.
  4. Slideshow
  5. Syllabus and website
  6. Any questions?


  1. Laser cutter access for Spring 2023. 
  2. Lab access (A4, A5, A31).
  3. Computing needs.
  4. Please answer the brief course survey if you haven’t already.
  5. Please take a few moments to fill out the Office Hours Poll.

Heat Sealing Tools & Techniques

Today we will introduce the use of the impulse sealer to construct pneumatic actuators from polyethylene plastic sheets. You will be introduced to impulse sealers, plastic, heat-blocking stencils, tubing, and basic actuator design.



Optional Materials:

  • Parchment Paper
  • Ruler
  • Xacto knife and board (optional)
  • double-stick tape


  • Impulse sealing
    • Make a test weld with a small piece
    • Adjusting the timing as necessary
    • Blocking a weld with kraft paper
  • Plastic
    • Ways to cut the plastic
    • Marking the plastic
  • Heat Sealing
    • Drawing on lines to see through parchment paper
    • Folding over (or two layers of) parchment paper


  • Row of lines, squares and rectangles
  • Two-Sided Balloon
    • adding neck
    • sealing
    • Tubing to syringe
  • Hinge
    • Made from two-sided balloon
    • Changing the location and size of center hinge shape
  • Lift Muscle
  • Curved Bending
  • Others:
    • Push-Up
    • Multi-sided balloon


  1. Read the syllabus all the way through.
  2. The first assignment is due before class next Tuesday. Please sign up for impulse sealer time on our Google Sheet to avoid crowding.
  3. The second assignment is a brief report on a related project from outside the class, including a brief in-class presentation and a blog post. We will have three students present at the start of class each day beginning next Tuesday. Please sign up for a slot using Precedent Research Presentation Sign-Up.