Digital Design Hell

In the fall term of 1995, I took a class at MIT called 6.111, which has a very free form final design project. I chose to design a digital vector graphics engine as my project. Due to a number of factors, including my project partner withdrawing from MIT and my own life becoming difficult and complicated, I did not finish the project until the spring of 1996. However, I did manage to finish building and testing the project with remarkably good results.

The project in its original form allowed for user entry of objects that could be superimposed on each other and manipulated in a variety of ways. I settled for reducing the project to a simpler form, limiting path storage to a pre-programmed Flash ROM and creating a transformation module that could do clocked rotations and translations.


Images drawn on an oscilloscope screen by the project

These are some of the more complicated paths stored on the Flash ROM that I programmed for this project. Unfortuantely the refresh rates on the images were much lower than the shutter speed that I could use on my camera, so the lines do not appear to be all of the same brightness. Each one of these thumbnails is a link to a larger JPEG image.

The letters "MIT".

A triskelion.


Pictures of the actual kit

Some pictures of the completed kit before I took it apart.

The main part of the kit after I removed the external protoboard.


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updated on 960705 / tlyu@mit.edu