Ariel Ekblaw - HTMAA Portfolio

Machine Building

This week, we follow the Machines that Make: Modular Control tutorial developed by Nadya Peek and the CBA. There are several additional versions of this workshop tutorial, that can be found here. Our group decided to make a hot-glue gun sculpture machine.

We'll need several subsystems: the physical machine assembly, control boards & power cabling, control code, etc. My contributions to this week's group workshop were: milling the board for the control system, creating the necessary cabling and troubleshooting some of the python-based control software with Randi.

Here's documentation from the board milling process (required two runs, as the first version cut too deep, even with the standard settings--this is likely a problem with the sacrificial board or uneven board milling surface):

While I worked on the board, I also observed the laser-cutting process for the machine modules that will carry the motor rails and provide the "axes" of the machine:

Below are photos of the main cabling, and a close-up of the cabling clamp. It was very tricky getting all these wires correctly seated for clamping! Many thanks to Nadya for helping Randi and I with this stage, and giving cabling-creation tips.

Below is a screenshot of the python software (gestalt library) running as we tested the control boards, and the wiring diagram that we were working off of:

And now, for our assembly! Though we didn't get a chance to complete the final tool (hot glue gun) attachment, we were able to get the axes properly assembled with the control boards and moving smoothly!