Initially, when I was planning my final project, my idea was to create a mechanically programmed buffalo powered with a crank handle mechanism similar to the horse below. As I started working on the CAD in SolidWorks a few days ago, I realized how much work and the complexity of the joints this project actually is. I spent two hours working on the back leg assembly and I did not get any substantial work done that was up to my standard.
I decided that I needed to pivot from my initial idea, so I took a night and slept on it. As I still wanted to create a CU memento, I decided that I was going to make a display piece that was electronically dynamic instead of mechanically dynamic. As I rummaged through my electronics bin I found a couple of parts that sparked a light bulb, these parts were an Arduino Uno, an individually addressable light strip, an IR receiver, and a remote. From these items, I came up with the idea of creating a buffalo that was lit up from the inside with a black border and transparent diffuser to help spread the light.
From this Idea, I got to work on pairing the electronics with the Arduino. I started this by coding a lighting effect on the LED strip using the FASTLED library. Next, I tackled the IR remote and receiver by doing some research on Google and YouTube to find the IRremote library. This library helps decode the data received from the IR receiver. I then went through each button on the remote and listed its HEX value to be able to program lighting schemes based on the remote input.
Now that I was able to get the electronics sorted, I directed my attention toward the CAD. My main goal for the CAD was to create a structurally sound boxed base with all of the electronics fixed with standoffs and screws. From there, I could take the CU logo and sketch the outline with a spline and extrude it into the final width, add wiring cutouts, and create clear faceplates as seen in the images below.
The materials I plan on using come from what I have on hand at home. For the base box and Buff outline, I am using black PLA and for the transparent faceplates, I am using clear TPA. Timeline-wise, I plan on finishing the electronics, finalizing CAD tonight, and starting to print all of the parts tonight. Hopefully, full assembly with all of the parts comes this weekend. As I am bummed that I was not able to complete my first Idea, I am proud of myself for being able to pivot fast and make major progress quickly on my new idea.