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Machine Design & Final Project Update

MTM Snap

I plan to make my own MTM Snap machine. Unfortunately I didn't get as far as I hoped this week due to illness, but I hope to complete the project next week. I have all the necessary materials and have created the toolpaths, and constructed the spindle. Thanks to Paulina for her great tutorial online.

Final Project Update

LED Globe:

In the Charlieplexed array we created a few weeks ago, a very fast series of flashes appears as a continuous light. I plan on using this to create a globe.

What will it do?

The device will be constructed with two clear acrylic discs. They will be attached at the base to a motor that will spin them vertically. Vinyl cut circuits will be used, with Charlieplexed LEDs along the edges of the discs, and the remainder of the circuit attached to the faces of the discs. A switch (ideally wireless?) will be used to activate the lights, and another, wired switch will be used to activate the motor. The LEDs will light in a series that will make the spinning discs appear as a solid, spherical blue-green map of the world.

What's been done before?

Charlieplexing and controlling motors is something that we have done in previous weeks.


What will you need to develop?

I will need to grid the earth, and map each grid point to one of the LEDs. I will need to optimize the timing of the LED lighting and the spinning of the disk to keep the image of the Earth stable. I will need to design a vinyl circuit that has an acceptable layout. I will need to design the housing of the device to ensure it is stable.

What will be done when?

I have already done work on designing and constructing the circuitry. I started with a basic, low resolution version with 20 LEDs and used Paulina's linear version of the Charlieplexed circuit as a basis for the new circuit.


I will be testing this circuit in the next day. Next week, I will built the low-res prototype and confirm I can control the speed/LED flashing to create a simple pattern e.g. a checkerboard pattern. Once I can complete that step I will design a circuit with additional LEDs to create a higher resolution map of the Earth. If all goes super-duper well, and I get ambitious, I'll make another planet. Jupiter might be a good one, with all those nice stripes, or Saturn, to see if I can make the rings.

What materials and components will be needed?

I will need acrylic, motors, copper "vinyl", LEDs, and several circuitry items that should be in the inventory.

What will it cost?

The cost should be in the tens of dollars, at most.