How to Make (Almost) Anything
MAS 863 2010
Week 4: final project prep.

assignment: do some preparation on the final project

final project preparation

well, i was still thinking of making my hammock holder that would be remote controlled and all that good stuffi talked about here. but then, my good friend dimitris papanikolaou suggested that i should really do something with the microbial fuel cell i was working on this week.
so then i thought, why not make a huge christmas tree, have some lights on it, maybe sensor controlled, and have those lights be powered by the soil in the pot around the tree?

oh, i think i will make my hammock holder anyway.

get lots of carbon cloth (or some kind of carbon anode- better if naturally found), aluminum chicken mesh (or another cathode), soil, water, make a circuit and then power the leds. i will probably have to make smaller cells and connect all in series to be able to power the leds.
i will create/get/use a voltage booster. i actually already ordered a free sample from texas instruments here and it seems like i would have to make mine.


  • voltage booster
  • aluminum chicken mesh
  • carbon cloth and other carbon materials
  • christmas tree @ $60 here
  • lots of leds
  • timber to make smaller and larger plant pot
  • cables and wires

  • questions
  • anyone built a voltage booster before or know of resources i could use?,
  • if i were to add some kind of control mechanism where the lights were sensor controlled, how much more power(voltage) would i need?

  • october/november: make/get finalize voltage booster (step up) and test with leds.
  • october/november: finish cutting the parts and fixing together the small pots and the larger one
  • november: look into making light sensors
  • november/december: buy christmas tree and start decoration

  • budget?

    software: rhino for cutting parts,
    hadware: shoptbot, laser cutter, nc milling, and other hardware tools in the machine shop.

    of course, i would appreciate any feeback from anyone about this idea. suggestions are welcome too.