Laser Queue (Again)

Hacking NuVu Again | Projects

  • The laser cutter here is a necessary tool for almost any project at NuVu. The main problem with this is that the line for using the laser can be both long, and disorganized. Because of this our goal is to create a digital line that will stay organized, as well as let people know how long it should be before they can cut. By doing this, we are fixing the main problems with NuVu's laser cutter. The new laser cutter system will be very important to the functionality of the laser cutter since it will make cutting prototypes a lot easier than it is right now.

  • Introduction

    Our design prompt was to design something that would make doing things easier at NuVu. We found that the laser cutter line here is long and disorganized. People do not know how long it will be until they can cut, and by the end of the day people are cutting without having waited for their turn. Because of this we wanted to find a way to fix some of these problems. Our solution is a digital laser line that will stay organized and make it easier to see when it is time to cut.

    Digital Aspect

    The new laser queue started out with a vision: we would be able to read the estimate from the laser cutter of how long the cut would take, read the current cut's time, and also have the queue. After puzzling for hours over the laser cutter format, we got a piece of code that will read the estimate from the laser cutter software; the current cut time required a piece that we've ordered, and will implement soon. The queue itself was simple: we had a centralized server holding the data, and any computer can connect and add themselves to the queue, through a web page. 

    Physical Aspect

    Our new laser queue uses a TV mounted in the wall outside of the shop to display information. This method of displaying information is great because anyone can see what is going on. There is also a keyboard and touchpad for students to input their names so that they can be put on the list.  Because of this, people can put themselves on the list from outside the shop. Now nobody will need to go into the shop to write their name, only to get distracted. While many parts of the new laser line are great, there are still some problems. Since we put the display right outside of the shop, the hallway may get crowded with people easily. This could end up blocking people from moving between the two main parts of NuVu. Another problem is that we don't have a finished product yet. Because of this there is spackle on the wall that is not yet painted over. We hope that if there is more time for us to work on this project we will be able to finish up with the sanding and painting of the wall.

    As of the last studio we were able to complete the keyboard box, as well as start working on the wall. In the last studio I came up with a prototype that had many grooves and had the wrong dimensions. We now have a new box that has the correct dimensions, less tabs, fits the electronics, and has a working hinge mechanism. This new box is does not only fit everything in it better, but also looks better. The redesign lead us to make a cover piece that goes over the front of the box, hiding the tabs. this piece as well as the keyboard tray have been coated in polycrylic to keep them easy to clean. During this studio we have also been working on the look of the wall with the TV in it. Originally there were large spaces around the TV, as well as sharp edges from the drywall being cut. Now we have added drywall to the sides and bottom, and we have filled in any sharpness or cracks with spackle. Our next step for the physical part of this project would be to finish spackling the wall, and then paint it paint it to finish the project.

    Conclusion

    Our final product is accessible from anywhere at NuVu. One can see the line as well sign up from the TV near the shop, or from any internet capable device. Once one is on the list, they will even be able to cancel or move their job down one spot. Using any web browser, you can go to nuvulaser.local to access the line while you are in the space. Once on is looking at the list, they can add a name, cut length, material, and priority. Once they do that the cut will be on the list.