Archive for 12.02.2018
Scope of the Assignment:
Assignment II is an assignment in which we were to make items of our choosing using the basics gained up to that point in time, these being the laser cutting process as well as the basics of press-fit. Inception: The process of 3D printing is fast gaining popularity especially with regards to prototyping where it has become a must have component if one is to make a prototype. Having a prototype printed out is essential to the process of design since it helps to actually feel and see the item being prototyped. In anticipation of various items to be used in the "City Project" field, I chose to focus prototyping on components related to the "City Project" Troubleshooting: Duration of 3D printing Process. Depending on the complexity of the item being printed, the process can either take just a few minutes, to several hours.
The modeling of the above captioned palm bracelet was subsequently instrumental in determining the ridiculousness of our initial assumption both in terms of utilitarian inconveniences as well as ease of use, not to mention the fact that it just failed to serve its purpose. Subsequent modifications forced the team to think more organically. This hands on approach enabled the team to acknowledge and understand the scope and limitations of the technology in use. Depending on the task at hand, I was able to optimize and subsequently better choose the means with which to make each respective prototype component. This outside the box approach to the prototype (heck, the box was thrown out entirely) was one of the issues in that it presented a steep learning curve to me personally. The optimization of the design is enhanced by the fact that the item becomes tangible and it can be tested (if printed to scale). This is one of the few shortfalls of the virtual environment and simulations in CAD software as a whole. The printing process is also limited by the dimensions of the printer used. For instance, the Ultimaker 2 Go has a build volume of 120mm x 120 mm x 115mm. Materials Used: Printing was done on Ultimaker 2 Go, using PLA (Polylactic Acid) which as it turns out, is one of the more commonly used 3D printing materials. The model was saved in STL format and was prepped for printing using Ultimaker Cura.
Lessons Learnt: The prototyping process is made much easier with the use of 3D printers. The choice of materials (of the prototype) should be taken into consideration during the printing process. The use of a resin laser 3d printers is a more accurate method of 3D printing.
TOWER – GNM
The assignment was to construct a tower using press fit laser cut modular pieces with a dimensional limit of 150mm on the length. Materials: Modular patterns were restricted to 3 patterns or modular units.
Pre-Design - Conceptual approach: The concept was based on attainment of the maximum height without compromising the structural integrity of the tower frame. with these two parameters as the basis, it was evident that additional stability could be attained by the use of a cross-pattern of "beam" structures. Horizontal elements were left out. Iterations and Re-Design: In line with the initial concept of simplicity, there were few iterations between the initial design and the final version.
Troubleshooting: The initial design had stability issues due to the initial proposal of framing the beams using continuous interlocking. This made the initial design heavy. Whereas the interlocking pattern was maintained for the base in order to keep the structure stable, the interlocks were discarded at the subsequent upper levels, making the structure lighter and allowing for attainment of increase height. Cutting & Assembly: Cutting out of the modular units was done using a laser cutting machine. The cutting process took about 45 min. The Team Credits: Whereas the final product was a product of active team work on the part of all team members, the cutting work was conducted under the guidance of the course supervisor Ivan Mitrofanov since at the time non of the team members could conduct the cutting works independently.
The programming of Arduino is essential to the prototyping process. It forms the neural network of most if not all commonly used prototypes. A wide range of applications can be and are being developed using the Arduino platform. It serves as an ideal introduction into the world of prototyping of electronics.
The basics of programming for the Arduino were elaborated and demonstrated with the ease and simplicity as only one proficient in the subject can do. For this, credits go to the tutoring staff on the subject for a first rate and most efficient skills transfer in my personal experience. This can be attributed to the hands on approach as well as an open door policy that facilitates enquiries in the event that one is not clear on the process. It is as close as one can get to a one-on-one experience with the brilliant minds that facilitate this course.
I started programming for Arduino in the standard way, with the blink command. However, the simplicity of the programming language and the ease with which one adapts were instrumental in enabling quick transition upwards to the more complex stuff. The possibilities are endless and the only limiting factor in this instance is the imagination of the inventor. However, it should also be taken into consideration that the sensors used and other components such as transistors, resistors capacitors, to mention but a few may vary in price, size, efficiency.
The Learning Curve.
Like most novices, the idea of programming electronics seemed quite novel initially, but that was only before I was able to bet a full understanding of the way Arduino works and the possibilities that it opens up. The rest was a matter of curiosity and an insatiable appetite for Making Things. This made an otherwise steep learning curve much more effortless to overcome. The skills thereby attained are applicable in the real world for solving a wide variety of issues both within a home environment as well as on the larger scale within the City.
The skills attained were and continue to be instrumental in the search for solution in a wide variety of City-wide and domestic