Albert Chao
I'm a recent graduate of the Media Architecture Computing program at the University at Buffalo. I'm currently in NYC. I have experience with rapid prototyping and physical computing. I'm interested in helping develop prototypes for the egg. Let's get crackin'!

Eulani Labay
I'm a graduate student in the Transdisciplinary Design program at Parsons The New School for Design. I design experiences for city dwellers that foster creativity, learning and a sense of community. I'm inspired by the potential of this project and am happy to help make it happen!

Air Quality Egg (AQE?) Prototype Progress:

On December 17, 2011, Eulani and I (Albert) met to try and refine initial sketch ideas for the AQE prototype. I thought it was a great and productive meeting where we hatched out main ideas for the prototype. We discussed and refined details that had been sketched during the meetup. These include:
  • The design of openings for air flow and circulation through the egg.
  • Possible issues and solutions that deal with water or condensation if these eggs are left outside.
  • Strategies to hold the power/battery and nanode/sensors.
  • Connection mechanisms to attach different parts of the "shell".
  • Hanging mechanism.
  • Balance/weight of the components for the AQE (It would be fun if the egg could balance itself as opposed to needing a stand).
  • We are aiming to reduce the size of the AQE to that of a soda can (about 5 inches tall).

The following are images of the prototype in progress. I also took a crack at a possible branding strategy. These again are still preliminary sketches. Not all the issues are addressed yet.




PDF files of jpegs here:

Some main issues:
Currently, the digital model is about 8 inches (~200 mm) tall. If you look at the dimensions and the rhino screenshot, you will be able to see that the nanode and sensors still stick out. Several ideas to engage this problem:
  • We could possible shift the compartment divider. Currently, it is placed at the center so that, if left standing alone, it could rock back and forth in one direction.
  • Could the sensors be re-oriented so they are parallel (as opposed to perpendicular) to the nanode. I'm not sure how much room this could save.
  • The design of the egg could be more oval. This could potentially give us a little more room.

More questions and information will be updated soon. In the meantime, let us know what you think!


Prototype Progress Addendum

A bit more detail on some of the pressing issues on industrial design:
  • Airflow. What are the minimum requirements for airflow to the nanode, in order to ensure proper measuring conditions? For example, does it need to be in direct line with the airflow vent because air will stagnate in a pocket of the egg shape?
  • Battery requirements. We realize that the type of battery is still being determined. There are a number of issues around this that will impact the design: Dimensions? Ventilation (to accommodate heat generation)? Charging port (Dirk had suggested micro USB)? How heavy is it; could the battery be positioned to act as a bottom weight? If we could perhaps start with the maximum for these needs, we can start there and then scale down.
    Some thoughts: I feel quite strongly that the battery should be on the bottom. It will give a more natural feeling and will help the egg sit a level surface better (Dirk)

Next steps:
  • It will eventually be helpful to have a sense of overall timeline and goals. Are we still on track for "90 days" and what do we hope to accomplish by then?
    • Dirk: I think a good goal is to have the electrics sorted out, but not a system. By that I mean that all the parts exist, work together, but they don't necessarily all fit together - so the battery could be outside the egg, for example.
  • For the next NYC meetup in January, we would like to have: 1) a more defined rendering and 2) a physical prototype of the current iteration.
  • Hardware seems to be a critical and ongoing conversation, so we're staying tuned to the latest news on that end. Since it seems desirable to consider various scales/phases of the system at once, we're wondering if there are others here focused on the interface and distribution aspects of this project, so that we can establish a dialogue between the different areas of development.

Looking forward to everyone's input.


Albert, how soon could you send me a physical prototype of the egg? It looks awesome!!

There are still some issues in terms of the detailing. However, my guess is that it would be beneficial for you guys to have a prototype to use.
The Rhino file is close to done (perhaps a bit more tweaking here and there). I would just need to coordinate to get access to the 3d printer. Once I do that, I can have a prototype pretty soon. Let me know what you're thinking. In the meantime, I can finalize the digital file for printing.

For any prototyping tinkerers out there, here is the Rhino file for the initial Egg prototypes.

These are images of the first Egg that was printed at Eyebeam. The egg was printed with a Dimension BST 3D printer. I modeled the egg in Rhino and created a watertight stl file.

Production/prototyping has halted a little because we have not solidified the user scenario yet, and have not worked out the role of the button and LED. Let us hear your thoughts and ideas!
I am attaching a cleaned up Rhino file with the design of 2 eggs:Egg #1:-We 3D printed this egg at half scale just as a physical prototype.-This is the skinnier of the eggs.-The openings were initial ideas to create air flow and water circulation.-I designed a "locking" mechanism for this unit. However, the tolerances and design were too small.-This was initially conceived of the nanode and sensors being inside the egg.

Egg #2:-Instead of a locking mechanism, this has embedded magnets to hold everything together. In this model, you will see 4 small gaps to lock everything in place.-The egg has been re-conceived as a base station (no longer holding sensors). We may need to re-design the openings for air flow. However, I don't see why we can't also have smaller eggs to encase the sensors.


For anyone interested, definitely take a look at the Rhino and STL files. I'd like to hear other ideas and thoughts. If you are familiar with 3-D modeling, it'd be great to see also your prototyping tweaks and designs. Also, for anyone who doesn't have a 3D printer but is interested in tweaking or designing the egg, we have the capabilities to print it. Let me know if you have any questions.

April 7th, 2012

Some initial renderings of the design. My apologies, I have not really messed with the lighting and material. These are more to get a sense of the progress.
There are also 2 attached STL files. These are probably still a work in progress.

In relation to the STL files, I'm doing some research and quotes for injection molds. I have experience casting (bronze, plaster, wax). I'm looking at the positives now and am wondering if the forms can be improved upon for better casting success. I will continue to work on the model and am open to any advice or suggestions.



Rhino Model. Warning, it's a little messy.

April 9th, 2012

Updates to the 3D model in Rhino and STL files. This file is quite a bit cleaner. The locking mechanism is also redesigned to be simpler and cleaner. I think things are becoming a bit more refined...

May 31, 2012 - I used the above files to make a prototype with a professional FDM machine using ABS plastic. Some quick thoughts: shell thickness is about right, but could use ribbing to increase the stiffness of the case. The magnetic tabs do not fit together as currently dimensioned -- perhaps make the holes in the bottom half larger a bit to allow for tolerances. Also, the bottom needs more "flat" area to be nicely stable. If you'd like pictures just get in touch through the wiki. - erickphd

(My apologies Erick, for not having responded. This is long overdue, but I would love to see pictures!)

Erick, here is our 3D printed Egg from Shapeways:

August 7, 2012


Enclosures are one (or several) steps closer...

Definitely a long overdue update. This will be quick, though, I'll try to collect all that has been happening in multiple posts.
Lots has been happening on the Egg ID front. We have multiple versions, but this is the one we are working on getting to our Kickstarter supporters.

The PCB, sensors, antennae, add-on boards, etc. are being finalized. I have modeled these in the attached files.
The STL files are ready for 3D printing!
The antennae may change the layout a bit.
We still need 2 more add-on boards.
The fan and dust sensor is currently interfering with one another. Need to fix that.
We need to think about the radiation sensor. It's big. Where will it go?
This is my first pass at some sort of locking mechanism - definitely still a work in progress. It's these little notches along the edge... Does anyone have suggestions or recommendations? Especially if it's going to be injection molded?

This is NOT ready for injection molding. In fact, I got an interactive PDF from Protomold (pretty cool actually) of all the problems with the model. Epic fail... still, the overall form is somewhat finalized, which makes it much easier to work on the details. I'm attaching the PDF - if you don't have Rhino, check this out!!!! Interactive 3D maneuvering. You will subsequently also see everything that is wrong with the model. I'm new to injection molding, but I am a quick learner :) Protomold has also been super super helpful.

If anyone does 3D print using the STL file, you should theoretically be able to snap them together. Definitely post pictures here! Would love to see them.

Screen Shot 2012-08-06 at 1.27.39 AM.jpg

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Rhino file:

IGES converted file:

STL file (print two of these to see if they snap together):

August 8, 2012

Attached is another version of the Egg. I was working on this last week.
Screen Shot 2012-08-07 at 9.46.53 PM.jpg
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3d prints of first one from Shapeways - these are not in my hands! I wish they were!

Some notes:
---Wiki is distorting the pictures, so I can't actually shrink it down. My apologies for some of the gigantic pictures.
---It's a bit flatter.
---Will need to make it wider, taller, or thicker to fit everything inside.
---The August 7 model is already thicker but has angled cuts (where the egg is flat) to alleviate the flatness of the pancake version.
---Not sure which is nicer.

Would be nice to hear some thoughts!

Rhino file with comparison of the two eggs:

STL file:

August 24, 2012

New Rhino file

October 26, 2012

Final files for injection molding. Note, the tolerances on these digital models are really high for the fabrication of injection molds. I would love to explore the tolerances on another 3D printer like Makerbot and tweak the digital file.

New Rhino file (this is not the full file (with sensors and both half of the shell):

Anyone can 3D print Eggs now!
New STL file for 3d printers:


The design looks awesome, but this STL isn't quite ready for printing. In particular:
- It's units are inches, and all 3D printers use mm, so the model comes out tiny. People can scale "inches to mm" before printing, but it's be easier for them if you have it scaled in mm.
- It's not oriented to be printed. Specifically, it's vertical, and the flat side is some unknown angle. I don't know Rhino well enough (I just installed it) to get it to do the rotation properly, but if you could rotate the egg so that it's lying on the flat side it would make it much easier to print.
- Consumer 3D printers can't print shapes with a more than 45 degree angle without support, as the plastic bends down without support. This means that if the egg is printed flat on the side, the gently curves from the flat side (which are beautiful, BTW) won't print properly. One way to address this is to tell people tp print "with support" which will generate support structures. This tends to leave little bumps on the surface where the supports are broken off, but it'll work. I'll point out that the earlier designs, which had a flat side and then a 45 degree angle to the rest of the egg's surface, while not as pretty, is much more 3D printable. But I'm sure I can get it to 3D print with support.

If I can get rotation in Rhino figured out, I'll upload a properly rotated STL here. But I bet since you're a Rhino expert you could do it before I do. :-)

Air Quality Egg - Timeline Update.png