In Assignment 1, you learned about online data and visualizations. In Assignment 2, you took your skills further and incorporated some hardware for some basic interaction. Now in this assignment, you’ll take the final step in your basic learning and look at how to create an appealing enclosure for your work.
The main goal for this assignment is to become comfortable with designing for 3D printing and laser cutting and to learn how to use the equipment. The learning goals for this assignment are as follows:
Design and fabricate a case for your electronics for IA 2. Do this via either 3D printing or laser cutting. It should enclose the components and expose the interaction elements (and you may want to include a way to easily get to the buttons).
Do the C-level work; then do it again for the other fabrication method. That is, if you made a case with the laser cutter, make another one on the 3D printer; if you made one on the 3D printer, make another with the laser cutter. Alternately, make a single case that combines in some interesting way elements from both the laser cutter and the 3D printer.
Make one of your cases work with an existing physical object in the environment. For example, you might add a part to your model to allow your Photon to attach to a light switch cover.
Do the B-level work. On one of the cases, incorporate into your case an extra input or output element not previously existing in your IA 2 project. For example, add a servo for motion or an LED for output. Some part of the case must be involved in the I/O mechanism: a servo might move some piece, an LED could side light something.
You’ll turn in your model files via your Github repository. Along with your files, upload a Readme.md file, which Github will then display with your repository. Include a description of your case, the techniques you used, and any special features (in the case of A-level). Also include a photo or a short video.
You will also show your work in class.
Install Inkscape or use a lab machine with Adobe Illustrator on it. If you have another 2D design program you really like, you are welcome to use it instead.
The laser cutter works via a print driver. This is good, because it means that you don’t have to use a particular program. This is bad, because you have to set strange settings in your programs.
The laser cutter’s default behavior is to raster, or engrave. Even vectorized lines will be in raster mode by default. For every line in your design that you want to cut rather than raster, you must do two things.
When the laser cutter gets a line that looks like this, then it will cut it with the power level you instruct in the print control panel.
Visit TinkerCAD and create an account (or login with your existing Autodesk account). If you have another 3D modeling program you like that can export STL files, you are welcome to use it.
Here are some useful links:
There are many, many, many other sources of information for laser cutting and 3D printing. Here are a few: