The purpose of our project is to capture the essence of lava in the form of a light fixture. To do this, we created a hexagonal fixture with moving parts that are triggered to show the juxtaposition between the solid rocks that lava creates and the free-flowing movement of hot lava. We accomplished this by making eight moving arms for our light fixture that create a hexagon shape when turned off but move freely and randomly when turned on.
Natural phenomena can be beautiful. Yet, many people don't have the chance to experience rare occurrences in real life. By making a light fixture that mimics some of the aspects of lava, we're attempting to make a fairly inaccessible phenomenon more accessible. By using the colors of lava and mimicking the slow flowing movement, we hope to artistically represent some of the most beautiful aspects of lava. When the light fixture is off, it rests in a hexagonal shape, representing the harsh solid shapes of cooled lava. But when the fixture is turned on, it lights up in orange begins slowly moving the arms randomly. The arms move in different directions: up/down and side to side, creating uncertainty in the movement they will produce.
Our project began with the idea of creating a geometric base with colored tubes running through it to represent the interesting curved patterns that lava flow creates. However, we eventually decided that the tubes would clutter the project and that we could actually represent the flow of lava with the original base we had designed. After making this decision, we focused on the mechanical movements of the base "arms" and how this movement could mimic the slow flow of lava.
The problems we ran into throughout this project revolved around the mechanical movement we wanted to achieve. While working on the mechanisms we ran into problems with creating the shape we wanted to achieve with the correct angles. Since the basic code we wrote made the servos spin freely, we had some trouble figuring out how to design the mechanism to stop at the correct angle when the light fixture was turned off. This is still an issue we're working through that probably can be fixed in the code.
Another issue we ran into was diffusing the light in a simple way that could mimic lava. We initially thought it would be interesting to use acrylic, but ended up running some tests with wax paper and normal printer paper as well. We eventually decided that printer paper was the easiest to use while still giving us the light effect we were looking for. This decision was primarily based on our time constraints. However, we still think that using acrylic in some way could make the light fixture look more professional.
Throughout the whole project, we went through a couple design iterations, two of which are shown in the slideshow above. The first iteration shown was our second prototype after we decided we wanted to focus on the base shape rather than include winding tubes. After finalizing this prototype, we could feedback from the coaches that we needed to simulate the movement we were envisioning in the final project. So, we then took apart the prototype and began the next iteration where all the arm pieces could be moved. The movement aspects were done using screws and bending cardboard, creating a rudimentary simulation of what our mechanisms would do. After completing this iteration, we mostly focused on the individual arm mechanisms, prototyping those over and over again. In the end, we spent most of our time working on the movement aspect of our project and not changing the original design shown in the second iteration.
We had to create an abstraction of the Aurora Borealis, so we abstracted the colors and the movement to create an installation that responds to the movement of a person the way atoms in Earth's atmosphere respond to charged particles from the sun, creating the Aurora Borealis.
We decided to create translucent boxes out of acrylic and put LED lights in them. The acrylic and the position of the LEDs diffused the light in a very beautiful way that was similar to the glow of the real Northern Lights. We wanted the boxes to move in a wavy motion like the Northern lights do, so we used a Servo to move a line of the boxes.
The reason for our project was to create an abstraction that moves and had the same colors as the Northern Lights. We did this by using a Servo, acrylic boxes, and LED's to recreate the movement and the colors of the Aurora Borealis. In our project, we had a long wooden board that held up the boxes. On one end it had a screw, and on the other it had a Servo. The Servo was connected to one box, and it would move that box back and forth, therefore also moving all the boxes back and forth. At the same end as the Servo was the power strip and the LED's. The LED's went through all the boxes on the top, creating light that cast downward on the the person standing underneath. Also at the end with the Servo was a Ultrasonic sensor. The sensor would sense whenever a person went underneath our project, and would light up and and move only when triggered. At the beginning of our project, we didn't think hinges were necessary, but we later decided to use them. We created many cardboard boxes; some vertical, some horizontal; some with holes for LED's, some without; some with room to move the boxes ninety degrees, some without. It was a very long process, but because of our many iterations, our project came out well. There were some challenges, however. One, was that because we had been using cardboard the whole time, we did not account for how heavy the acrylic was going to be. The Servo had a hard time moving the boxes, and therefore our project had more of a stuttering motion, instead of a wavy one. A second challenge was that the soldering on our LED's was not good at all, so we ended up having to use just a strip of uninterrupted LED's, and cover up the lights that were showing.
For this iteration, instead of having just cardboard thinly cut in places, we created our first set of boxes. We used boxdesigner.com to make vertical boxes using notching. We attached the boxes using screws. We would put the lights down the sides of the boxes. We ended up not using this version for a few different reasons. One was that the motion was very limited, and it was not able to move in the wavy motion. Another, was that we decided the lights would look more realistic coming from the top, rather than the side. It would have more of a glow effect and be more representative of the Northern Lights. We changed a lot of features for the next iteration.
This iteration is one step before our final cut. We made the boxes horizontal and planned to have the lights coming from the top. There were still a few technical changes that we needed after this iteration, though. We had to alter the Rhino sketch to accommodate space for the top and bottom pieces so they didn't stick up as they do in this picture. We also made them more visually appealing by making end pieces and we added screw holes for the servo. The only other thing we changed from this version for the final was changing the box dimensions from cardboard width to acrylic width.
Our intention with this project was to abstract the experience of seeing Bio luminescent algae . Our Bio Lanterns are a interactive light fixture that encapsulates the feeling of seeing and interacting with bio luminescent algae. When given that task of abstracting the Bio-luminescent algae we looked at why and how these creatures light up. Upon investigation we learned that when these plankton are introduced to the oxygen then would light up,. This gave us the idea of using touch as a component in our project. By touching the lanterns you are disturbing them and introducing them to oxygen thus lighting them up . The Mechanical aspect of the project was to have a series of flex sensors that upon the lanterns being moved they would send a signal to LEDs placed among the lanterns to light up, creating that blue light you would see with the algae. When developing this project we started with just an array of felt to led enclosed in fabric. to a series of interconnected tubes that contained LEDs. One of the main challenges we faced was the flex sensors. there was not great way of housing these LEDS to they would remain flexible enough to still register the lanterns movements. This made testing of the lanterns very difficult.
in our first iteration we ended up with just LEDS placed in the fabric and that would be the container for the lights. This was a simple choice but not one that we wanted to continue with. It didn't hold the LEDs away from the fabric at a consistent rate so the dampening of the light would be uniform. Secondly the joint we designed for this section was a series of spine like 3D printed objects that would hold the lanterns and the flex sensor. This would lead to inconsistent movement among the lanterns as the strength of the spines was different.
One of the later iterations ,made use of laser cut disk to hold the fabric away from the LED creating a much more consistent light coming from the lanterns secondly we continued to use the spines for our connection piece, Hindsight being 20/20 we can now say that the flex sensor and the spines were not the best way of going about our intention.
A light fixture is a simple thing, but, a solar eclipse as a light fixture is not. Despite that scenario, using servos, ultrasonic sensors, 3D printed holders, and laser-cut wood, the "personal eclipse".
Our project required us to design a natural phenomena, in our case a solar eclipse, abstracted into a light fixture, using the resources available at NuVu. It serves the purpose of providing light, but with a unique twist. The first idea we came up with was an attachement to a lightbulb that used an infrared sensor to cover the target, a person wearing an infrared emitter. Eventually, we landed upon the ultrasonic sensor, which was far more accessable at the studio, though it was less precise. After seeing our fixture, a person will walk towards it. Once the person is relatively close to the fixture, a ultrasonic sensor, moving constantly in a radar like pattern, will automatically detect the person, and 'tell' the arduino that it sees someone. Once the board receives this info, it communicates with the servo in which moves the moon, which will cause the modeled moon to move in front of the light. Once the person looks at it for a bit, they will leave, and the servo will move back into its original place, and the light will shine normally.
We started with an assigned phenomena, which we instantly started studying. Once we looked over some images of the solar eclipse, and got a general idea as to what it consists of, and what it looks like, we started making abstractions, and searched for more details. After abstraction, we started making cardboard models, with a box cutter, and put everything together using hot glue, and screws as servos. Once we had a mini model of the fixture, we began to design the real fixture, by laser cutting parts, 3D printing objects, wiring electronics to the uno board, and ultimately put everything together.
We had multiple challenges along the way. We experienced malfunctional sensors, faulty arduino boards, poorly soldered wires and missized objects 3D prints. To fix the sensor, we had to re-solder the pins after using the desoldering pump to get what was there before, out. We replaced the ardruino board, which was an easy solution, but when we tried using wires, from the shop, to connect the board to the servos/sensor, we were forced to cut the wires and re-solder the ends of them. When the 3D printed servo holder came out too small, we improvised, by drilling slots on the holder in order for the servo to fit inside of it, despite having a wire sticking out on the side.
The main idea of a solar eclipse is pretty straight forward, apart from the small abstractions which needed to be made. We were assigned to figuring out those abstractions and ultimately creating a light fixture representing the general idea of a solar eclipse. In order to accomplish this, we had to find some creative solutions to problems, including, but not limited to: Ways to make the moon 'move' in front of the light, and then away from it and how to get the fixture to move with the person. It was quite difficult, but it ultimately paid off, with an interesting idea, although not fully fleshed out, giving a solid proof on concept and experience along the way.
Things to do/think about:
Absolutely no more than 8 Slides!
1 Intention Slide. For build projects, describe the Problem and Solution. For conceptual projects this can be expressed as Intention/Solution. The slide should include the name of the project and a one sentence statement of both the problem and the solution.
1 Brainstorming Slide. This should be a clean sketch of your initial ideas. If you do not have a nice drawing or lost yours, create one now!
2 Iteration Slides. These slides should show early prototypes of your design. Focus on big changes. You do not need to show tiny Changes.
3 Final Slides. These should show clean images of your final project.
In the text section for the process post, write a paragraph introducing the design problem or the main idea and how you are tackling it. Then, describe the main story or theme, mechanics, development, challenges, and other parts of the creative process you experienced. Each iteration should have a paragraph describing how you how you modified the project after receiving feedback.
1. Design Problem and Solution:
You should begin with a clear statement of the problem and the solution as both a one sentence description and a short paragraph expanding on the solution.
Here is an example from the Reaction Shelter project:
2. Further Ellaboration:
Each iteration should have a paragraph describing how you how you modified the project after receiving feedback.
Here is an example from the Backcountry IV Project:
Upoload a short video showing your project in action. Do not count on your project working as you expect during the presentation.
PROCESS POST FOR ECLIPSE LIGHT FIXTURE.
The Problem: A light fixture is a simple thing, but a solar eclipse, as a light fixture, is not. However, despite that scenario, one must be created, using the tools and supplies within the shop.
The solution: Using servos, sonar sensors, 3D printed holders, and laser printed wood, we can innovate, and ultimately achieve completion of this strategic project, by connecting everything with cardboard, along with 3D printed items.
Detailed solution: Once we setup a sonar sensor to detect people in front of the fixture, we can get a simple light, while using servos to move the modeled moon in front of the light, and reverse, by moving away, as the person leaves, as opposed to a button, which would take more unnecessary effort.
Main Story or Theme: Our project requires us to design a solar eclipse phenomena, abstracted into a light fixture, using advanced technology and printed objects. It serves the perpose of providing light, in a unique fashion, which will achieve our goal, which is to impress everyone who observes it.
Mechanics: After seeing our fixture, a person will walk towards it. Once the person is relatively close to the fixture, a sonar infrasound sensor will automatically detect the person, and 'tells' the uno board that it sees someone. Once the uno board receives the info, it communicates with the servo in which moves the moon, which will cause the modeled moon to move in front of the light. Once the person looks at it for a bit, they will leave, and the servo will move back into its original place, and the light will shine normally.
Development: We started with an assigned phenomena, which we instantly started studying. Once we looked over some images of the solar eclipse, and got a general idea as to what it consists of, and what it looks like, we started making abstractions, and searched for more details. After abstraction, we started making cardboard models, with a box cutter, and put everything together using hot glue, and screws as servos. Once we had a mini model of the fixture, we began to design the real fixture, by laser cutting parts, 3D printing objects, wiring electronics to the uno board, and ultimately put everything together.
Challenges: We had multiple challenges along the way, which we had to overcome in the long run. We experienced malfunctional sonar boards, faulty uno arduino boards, badly soldered wires and falsely sized objects which were 3D printed. To fix the sonar board, we had to re-solder the pins after using the desoldering pump to get what was there before, out. We replaced the ardruino board, which was an easy solution, but when we tried using wires, from the shop, to connect the board to the servos/sensor, we were forced to cut the wires and re-solder the ends of them. When the 3D printed servo holder came out too small, we improvised, by drilling slots on the holder in order for the servo to fit inside of it, despite having a wire sticking out on the side.
Iterations: The main idea of a solar eclipse is pretty straight forward, apart from the small abstractions in which need to be made. We were assigned to figuring out those abstractions and ultimately creating a light fixture dedicated to the general idea of a solar eclipse. In order to accomplish this, we had to solve creative problems, such as: Ways to make the moon 'move' in front of the light, and then away from it, and how to get the person observing it, to move it by themselves. In order to successfully make the moon move in front of the light, we used servo motors as levers to move the moon. When it came to having the observer move the moon themselves, we used a infrasound sonar device, which senses how far away from the fixture the person is, and once they come close enough to see it, the sonar communicates with the servo and makes it move the moon. It was quite difficult, but it ultimately paid off, as it has advanced features which work flawlessly.