This assignment was to make five of something. While an abacus is only one thing, my version of one has 21 rods that hold 5 beads each. 


I decided to closely model my abacus after ones used at the school for the blind I attended in Brazil. It turns out I brought one from there last time I went, so I can go on more than just the memory of what they looked like.

This project was my first laser cut project ever. I worked on the design with a sighted person who assisted me with drawing the desired lines in Illustrator.

I had to acquire some materials before starting the design because the design would be based off of those materials. I got some 14-gage bendable wire, (the word bendable will be relevant later.) I also bought round wooden beads measuring roughly 10 mm. in diameter, and a rubber mat to place below the beads so they don’t move freely on the wire rods.

Abacus beads loose inside a bowl.


I designed, laser cut, and glued some of the pieces together, then moved to assembly 

Antonio putting beads through wire to build abacus.


Three of my panels have 21 holes each, for holding the hods in place. This means that the rods must fit as straight as possible from one panel to the next. but I had only this bendable wire. Remember the bendable wire? This made it impossible to fit the top panel over the rest of the assembly with all 21 rods inserting into their respective holes on the top panel.

The abacus did not get fully assembled, but I’ve since purchased some stainless steel straight rods to try again.

Close up of abacus inside locker.


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