Rapid Prototyping and Physical Computing

Class project

Learned modern rapid prototyping techniques such as laser cutting, 3D printing and microcontroller programming (such as the Arduino system)

My role: Programmer

Skills utilized: microcontrollers (Photon), CAD program (AutoDesk Inventor), building prototypes with a laser cutter, and 3D printer

Design 1: Interactive Design

The small moving car is a design for a fun game. In the game, players can set a target distance by the potentiometer. The player then can use the button to control the mini car to the target distance. There are two different ways to use the button. One is the quick and short click, and the other is the longer click. The quick and short click can switch the mini car run or stop. The longer click can switch the direction of the car (moving forward or moving backward). When the mini car is far away from the target distance, the 3-color LED light will turn green. When the car is at the target place, the blue light will be on. But if the the car is too close to the target object, the red light will be on.

Interactive Design: Demo


Design 2: Interactive Design

My second design project is a box made by a 2D laser cutter. The box can be triggered to open by the correct input code. The default code is “longer click, shorter click, and longer click”. It also has a speaker to tell you if your input code is correct or not. When the system start to work, the speaker will play music. Then you can start to input the opening code. If you click in wrong actions, a speaker will play error sound. If you click code corectly, the speaker will play music and the box will open. After seconds, the box will close automatically. The status of the input code can also be seen in console if you connect it.

2D printer Design: Demo


Design 3: Puzzle 3D

In the third design assignment, I made a 3D puzzle Phillipe Dubois' Burr. This puzzle has six different parts that can be assembled together. The design idea comes from a Youtube video

In this design, I used Inventory to draw 2d sketch and 3d object that could be printed in the 3D printer

3D design

3D printer Design: Demo


Final Project: Kinetic Art (Group Work

Kinetic art is a kind of art form that passing feelings to viewers based on the movement contained. We are going to build a sculpture with kinetic particles in the project. The original idea similar to the kinetic rain in Singapore airport.

Our final design had 3 rows hanging particles that could move to several different patterns which have been programmed well. These patterns could follow the sine wave, cosine wave and other shapes. We used stepping motor to control the position of particles. We also had 9 3-color LED lights that could change color. These LED lights could help the acrylic made particles look beautiful.

Presentation Poster

3D design

Kinetic Art: Demo