September 20, 2018
This week we were asked to build something using laser cut components. I decided to build a custom case for the reaction timer circuit game I built in Introduction to Physical Computing by modifying laser cutter plans generated using Makercase.com. But before generating the plans, I first sketched out what the case in my notebook.
I then did a test laser cut using a generic Makercase plan.
This testing process helped me identify that the plans should be based on the case’s interior dimensions. I then laser cut case closer to my sketches.
Oops, forget that the box needs to fit the buzzer along with the Arduino and breadboard… back to the sketch book. This time I sketched a design that was wider so the buzzer and Arduino could be above the breadboard. Making the box wider instead of longer also as the added benefit of not relying on a weaker laser when it gets to the edge of the cutting bed.
Then I regenerated a case plan from Makercase and modified it with the appropriate engraving and holes I needed in Illustrator.
Next, I used TinkerCAD to map out a cleaner circuit — one that could fit inside of the case.
Then I used the laser cutter to create the top to ensure the different components would fit inside their respective holes and within the boundaries of the case.
Once the top was tested, I then laser cut the remaining sides of the case.
The laser cut gods were not kind to me, when I re-ran the laser cut job the cardboard material had moved slightly.
But I made it work on late Wednesday night.
Aligning the LEDs with the case’s top and the breadboard was one of the more challenging things I’ve accomplished at ITP so far.
Finally, I had a finished product.
My physical computing blog post already includes some thoughts on how I would improve the game’s behavior, but here are some thoughts on how I could improve the fabricated casing for the game:
A perpetual work in progress blog documentating my NYU ITP projects. Words are my own.