week1: final project proposal

For this first week of class of How To Make (Almost) Anything, we were tasked with thinking about a potential final project and modeling it in some way. My project idea is to create a pair of internet-connected chess sets. I envision the enclosure being made out of laser-cut or CNC-milled wood, the tiles being made from waterjet-cut stone, and the pieces being custom-molded. Each piece will have an RFID tag and magnet embedded in its base, and an actuated platform beneath the board will have the capability of scanning for which pieces are where and magnetically moving the pieces around the board. When player one makes a move, the move will be automatically replicated on player two's board and vice versa. A small LCD screen on the top of the board will display information about the move and the current state of the game to the players, and the nearby buttons will let players officially end their moves and restart the game if necessary. Already having a bit of experience with Rhino and SolidWorks, I decided to try out Google Sketchup to do the 3D modeling. Its a great program for quickly generating simple geometry, but I've found it to be lacking in advanced features and really tight geometrical control -- for example its really hard to create spheres, curves, and fillets with Sketchup. I think for the rest of the semester I'll stick to building up my SolidWorks skills.

A view from above showing the main components

A view from underneath showing the mechanics of the actuated platform

A closeup of the platform that can scan for and move pieces