Week 18: Applications and Implications

This week's tasks:

  • Proposing a final project that integrates the range of units covered, answering:
    • What will it do?
    • Who's done what beforehand?
    • What will I design?
    • What materials and components will be used?
    • Where will come from?
    • How much will they cost?
    • What parts and systems will be made?
    • What processes will be used?
    • What questions need to be answered?
    • How will it be evaluated?

What Will It Do?

  • "Maker Garden" is a display board that demonstrates the status of 4 important making skills (3D, 2D, electronics and programming) of a classroom, who participate in making projects.
  • The board looks like a garden including some pieces such as sun, grass and flower. The flower is actually a board comprised of NeoPixel LEDs designed like a 5 petal flower.
  • The status of the making expertise of a classroom would be shown through changing the color of the LEDs (flower board).
  • The flower boards on the "Maker Garden" interface with an application and receive input from the app.
  • More information about the functionality of the app could be found in the Interface and Application Programmingweek.
  • More information about the flower board could be found in the Output Devicesweek.
  • Read more about final project.

Who's Done What Beforehand?

My initial idea was making a "Friendship Garden" (emphasizing on empathy skills) and built that idea after going through a collection of children's ideas, who had participated in research and design competition IDC 2018.
Taking into account the features that children had used in their design and other than that browsing the web for the popular features among children, I decided to make the board like a garden.

As Neil suggested, after browing through the previous fab academies, I found plenty of projects using LED displays for different purposes and also lots of project contributing specifically to children including empathy skills.
I searched through the Custom Search Box of fab academy website and instructable.com website using the following keywords: LED + RGB + Final Project + App + Display.
I briefly explain main features of some of them in the following:
  • This one, which makes "a light that would react to to outside stimulus". The similarity of this one with my project idea is that both have a physical device integrated with some RGB LEDs. But this project offers using the lights as a way to reflect the distance.
  • A project named "LED DISPLAY MASK", also offers integrating NeoPixel LEDs inside a physical device (a helmet) and real time interfacing of the helmet with a phone.
  • This LED clock Project offers making a clock integrated with some RGB LEDs and the change of the color of the clock numbers and API communication for weather and time request.
  • "Thousand shades of crane" is another project that uses RGB LEDs inside a 3D printed object. And it offers color changing of LEDs with programming LEDs with a microcontroller.
  • SCORE BOARD PROJECT offers creating a scoreboard "using Dot-matrix Display using Bluetooth-based Android Smartphone as the controller".
  • MINIMALIST 3D PRINTED RGB WORD CLOCK is another project, in which the developer has designed and 3D printed a clock and then assembled the LEDs and did the electronics and the programming. There is no app in this project but the concept of LED display had somehow the same logic as mine.
  • D PRINTED TENTACLES LED HEADPIECE is another interesting project that creates and assembles 3D printed tentacles, lit up by smart programmable LED's, headpiece.
For some reasons that I have explained in my final project page, I changed the idea to the "Maker Garden" instead of "Friendship Garden". And actually the "Maker Garden" idea could lead to finding friends as well. I came up with "Maker Garden" idea after reading more articles about children and making. I noticed that in a maker space while children are forming groups and are involved in making activities, some children would be famous among others for being empowered in a specific making skill such as programming. And other children refer to them when they are in need of help in that specific area.

I could not find any project in previous fab academies that contribute to making skills of children in this way. Empowering children with digital fabrication and making skills is a hot and new debate and any dedication to it could be a benefit.

What will I Design?

I design all the parts that I need by myself. I have already designed some parts. Some need modification and some need to be designed. I will do the rest of tasks that need to be done, in the project development week.
  • 2D design, laser machine cutting and coloring of a frame, a sun and grass:
    Frame should be designed. Grass is already designed (I might consider some modifications.). And the sun is designed (but needs to be redesigned.
  • Instead of coloring the 2D parts, I might vinyl cut the parts in different colors and with the exact shape and stick them to the laser cut pieces. So in that case I would need to design those parts that I might vinyl cut.
  • 3D design and 3D printing of the display board:
    I have not designed it yet.
  • Please find the 2D and 3D designs in Computer-Controlled Cutting week.
  • Flower boards with NeoPixel LEDs:
    Design is done in Output Device week. 2 of the flower boards are already milled and soldered and tested. I need to mill, solder and test 2 other. Becuase my board has 4 flowers.
  • The main board. This main board goes between the app and the flower board. It receives input from the app and provides input to the flower board.
    I have designed, milled, soldered with necessary componenets, tested and programmed the main board in the Output Device week. The programming of the main board needs to be done. The current program is just a test.
  • Programmer for programming the main board, which I have designed for controlling the flower boards. Is ready and I made it in Electronic Production week.
  • Designing a board for providing VCC to all flower boards.
    I need to design and make it. If I do not find enough time for this, I might use some ready products if I find something that meets the requirements that I need.

What Materials and Components Will Be Used?

  • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) for 3D printing of the diplay board.
  • SR-110 Soluble Support Material as a support material for 3D printing the display board.
  • 3mm Clear Acrylic Sheet for laser cutting the sun, grass and frame and other possible pieces for the beauty of the physical interface of my product.
  • Copper Board for milling the PCBs that I design.
  • Electronic Components such as:
    • ATmega 328P-AU Microcontroller
    • Pin header: for NeoPixel
    • FTDI header
    • ISP header for Programming
    • Resistor 0 Ω: as Jumper
    • Resistors for reducing current flow and adjusting signal levels
    • Capacitors for storing potential energy in the electric field.
    • Individual NeoPixel LEDs for making boards with wired with Neopixel LEDs in the shape of flower.
    I have explained the exact purpose of using these componets in Output Device week. And I have already designed my different boards for the final project including the necessary components in the same week.

Where Will Come From?

All the materials that I need come from Fab Lab Oulu.

How Much Will They Cost?

We had all the materials but the individual NeoPixels. And after knowing the fact that some of us need individual NeoPixels, Jani, arranged the order of them. And we have them now in Fab Lab Oulu. So I do not need to buy any material or components on my own.
Estimation of the costs of major components:
  • ATmega 328P-AU Microcontroller: € 1,86/unit
  • NeoPixel RGB LED with Integrated Driver Chip - 10 Pack: € 3.84. 5 for each flower board and there are 4 flower boards: € 7.78
  • Capacitor 1uF: € 0.07/unit
  • Capacitor 10UF: € 0.18/unit. I need 5 for each flower board and I have 4 flower board so the total cost for 20 capacitor 10UF: € 3.6
  • resonator 16MHz : € 0,32/unit
  • 2 Positions Header Connector (PinHD2*3) for the main board: € 0.60/unit and € 1.2 for both.
  • Resistor 1KΩ SMD: € 0.01/unit
  • Resistor 10KΩ SMD: € 0.01/unit
  • It is hard to calculate the price of resistors and capacitors becuase they are usually sold in bunch.
Therefore I could say that the price for each flower board would be approximately € 3.
The price for the main board would be approximately: € 4.
The price for the whole project (excluding the abs material for 3D printing) would be approximately: € 20.

What Parts and Systems Will Be Made?

  • Sun, grass and frame will be cut with laser cutting machine.
  • The background surface of the "Maker Garden" board will be 3D printed.
  • The main board including microcontroller is built.
  • 4 flower boards.
  • A board for distributing VCC among 4 flower boards.

What Processes Will Be Used?

  • 2D designing
  • 3D designing
  • Electronics Design
  • Electronics Production
  • 3D Printing
  • Laser Cutting
  • Embedded Programming
  • Interface and Application Programming

What Questions Need to Be Answered?

  • How should I 3D design the "Maker Garden" board considering some specific spaces for placing flower boards in the back part and at the same time being able to clearly see the LEDs' light from the front view?
  • What is the best way to distribute VCC among different flower boards?
  • How should I programm NeoPixels so that each set of LEDs does a specific task?

What is the schedule? And what tasks need to be completed?

Our final presentations in Fab Lab Oulu will be on 20th of June.
  • 2 other flower boards need to be milled and soldered.
  • Some modifications to the interface and application programming need to be done.
  • The board for distributing VCC among the flower boards need to be designed, milled and soldered with necessary components.
  • The sun, grass and the board need to be designed and 3D printed.
  • The main board should be programmed.
  • Week 23: I will take care of the corrections of documentations based on local and global evaluation and also get the weekly task for invention, intellectual property, and income week done.
  • Sunday 10th June - Monday 11th June: 3D design and 3D print and 2D design and laser cutting of the pieces that I have already explained in "what will I design?" section. And making the third lower board.
  • Tuesday 12th June - Thursday 14th June: Modifications to the interface and application programming. And making the fourth flower board.
  • Friday 15th June - Saturday 16th June: Programming the main board.
  • Sunday 17th June: Designing, milling and soldering the board for VCC distribution.
  • Monday 18th June - Tuesday 19th June: Itegrating and finalizing the whole package and getting ready for the final presentation (preparing the video).

How Will It Be Evaluated?

The project is successful when:
I calculate the status of a making skill (e.g. 3D Printing) in the app and send this information as input to the main board and from there I use this information as input to control the change of the color of the Neopixels (output) on the flower board integrated in the "Maker Garden" board.