Music Box Day 6 (final day)

Jackson Wu
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Today was the final day of building. Me and Jack spent most of the day building the kalimba. In the first part of the day, we made a prototype to make sure our design would work. Some of the issues with the prototype that we found were splintering when we drilled the holes in the wood, the holes not being drilled precisely enough, and the bridge/nut not being angled. Thanks to the prototype, we able to work out these issues before they became a problem.

To make the final version, we first designed a box in Rhino and laser cut it. From there we had three other main components: the tines, the nut (to suspend the tines above the box), and the bridge (to apply pressure to the tines). When making the final product we had to add an additional screw in the middle of the bridge because the bridge was too loose and could not make any sound. It was also a challenge to line the kalimba up with the cylinder, but we were able to do it. And with that, our physical work has ended! The cylinder can rotate via pedal and make a sound on the kalimba.

Music Box Day 5

Jackson Wu
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It is getting down to crunch time, and we are rethinking our design for the music box itself. Our group tried a bunch of different designs today for the teeth. First we tried a laser-cut wooden plank with teeth measured out by the bar length website. It did not have enough resonance, so we scrapped it. We also tried to make teeth out of sheet metal, but sheet metal was of limited access, so we only had one piece of sheet metal. That piece was too thin, and the entire sheet resonated when one tooth was stuck, so that idea is not viable either. We ended up going with popsicle sticks, which I was hesitant about at first, but the sticks actually have a good sound. Tomorrow we need to build the box, the teeth, and the drum, but we have designs for all three, so it should not be impossible. 

For the drum (cylinder), we are back to the design of two caps on each end of the drum holding the drum to the axle.

One thing we did complete today was the gear mechanism for turning the music box; I'm really glad that works. It is inspiring to see something planned on paper a week ago in real life.

Day 4

Jackson Wu
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The first thing I worked on today was prototyping the teeth for the music box. Skunk, Dan, and I welded a spoke to a segment of metal piping to see how it would sound. Unfortunately, the sound is not very loud or clear. This is likely due to the fact that we are working with steel instead of titanium. To make this design, we will have to amplify the sound greatly. Another problem I have been ignoring is how I will mount the pipe to the box, but everything about the teeth is uncertain now. The teeth and their mounting should my focus tomorrow, because it is very important and very hazy.

Another aspect of this project that took up a large portion of thinking time was the rotating PVC pipe, the second functional part of the music box. We are at a point in the design where the mechanical challenges of the gears and wheels meet the workings of the music box. Some of the issues I (and Dan) had to think about were mounting the pipe, supporting it, and making sure the pipe was properly attached to the axle. We also thought up solutions to how to attach the bike wheel to the axle, and how support the axle on the other side, but I was less involved in that. Right now the design is going to involve two felt/foam rimmed wheels locknut-ed onto the axle with threaded holes in the wheels. The pipe will fit snugly over the wheels and there will be holes in the pipe to match the holes in the wheels; when a screw is fit into the holes, the pipe will be firmly fitted to the axle. This makes for easy production (laser cut wheels, double-wide thick wood) and easy interchangeability for the songs in the music box.

Music Box Bike Day 2

Jackson Wu
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The main things we accomplished today were making a cardboard model of out bike, working out how the gears would fit on the bike, attaching the third wheel to the frame, and general aesthetical decisions.  am also building the first version of the music box itself, using a cardboard tube, some metal piping and bicycle spokes. The pitches of the note palate and the angle of the metal pipe is a bit of a challenge, but I know how to work it out.

For the aesthetics of the bike, the whole group is bringing ideas to the table. The people who designed the gears that will turn the music box started a gear-y, steampunk theme to the bike, and with the physical addition of the third wheel today, I am liking that theme more and more. Jack and Dylan are planning on adding more gears as decorations. I also want to incorporate a surreal kind of style with a lot of overlapping strings. Some of the strings would be functional (including sympathetic strings), and some would be purely decorative. I will post video that inspired me for this as a predecessor.