Going into the final project of the semester I am looking forward to seeing what I am able to accomplish. However, while trying to do so, there will be a number of constraints. The top five constraints I have are as follows:
- Electrical Components- I have nearly no experience in electronics besides my circuits class that I took sophomore year. It can potentially slow the progression of the project having to learn while working.
- Machining or 3-d printing – The outer shell of the box will be easy to design, but it could take a decent amount of time either machining it or 3-d printing it. Machining could take a while because of the wait at the machine shop, but 3-d printing would be difficult because of the fact I have never used it before.
- Life-like Features – I hope that even though it will be entirely mechanic, it will still end up looking life-like. This could pose problems down the road if it continually doesn’t look the way I want it to
- Coding – One of the other features I am hoping for is a random variation each time the flip is switched. Coding the variations could be very difficult, but hopefully will be very rewarding.
- Uniqueness – The overall most difficult, yet necessary requirement is that I make the useless box unique. The useless box already exists, but the one that I make has to be different and hopefully better.
I’ve got wuite a lot of experience with electronic components, so if you need any help or want to bounce around some ideas for your circuit design, just let me know. Also, if you want any help bouncing around coding ideas I might be able to help with that as well.
3D printing it wouldn’t actually be too difficult! The Idea Forge has Lulzbotz and Makerbots which would work great for what you might need, and they’re simple to use. I’d be happy to show you how!
Make sure for both the coding and electrical parts of this project that you use online forums and communities to your advantage. I guarantee you that people will have posted Instructables or something similar that could at least be a good resource for getting off of the ground with the project.
I’m very interested to see what you come up with in the end! Perhaps your requirement for a life-like machine might have to change as the project progresses, but that’s all a part of the design cycle!
The circuitry can be challenging, but luckily many people have tried this before. Try looking online for a place to start. There is also the option of lasercutting the case and assembling it later, This is easier than machining, and might be less expensive than printing. Uniqueness will be a challenge, but it’s also your best opportunity to let your personality shine through. Put yourself in your design and I guarantee that your project will be unique.
It sounds like you may have to use the 3d printer for this project. I can’t imagine the machine shop will have enough openings to work on a project for this class. Maybe this project can be a good introduction to 3d printing for you. good luck.