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    The Sonicycle studio was given the task to create a bike that was a musical instrument that also looked cool and had the ability to turn on and off the sound.
     

    Our group created a bike that when rode makes noises because of the number of instruments, but can also make music when it is stationary. A big part of our process was using our new skill welding to attach the instruments to our bike.
     

    Our bike has a variety of instruments such as a drum, a thumb piano, wind chimes, spoke sliders and a wheel clacker. This allows the rider to enjoy music while riding and make music when they come to a stop.

    We began the project by researching how instruments are made and how to make your own, then we looked at how people had combined instruments with bikes to make music. We spent about a week working on our own instrument and creating new ones. Our group then broke off into four groups to focus on their individual instruments to attach to the bike. While we were working on our instruments we also did lots of practice welding.
     

    Our bike is made up of many parts because of the various types of instruments. The drum is a gear with a plastic circle screwed to it that also has a hand-brake that doubles as a mallet to hit the drum and make the sound. We have the wind chimes that are attached at the top tube and when the bike is ridden the hit each other making sound. The spokes sliders move up and down the spokes when the wheels turn making sounds, but also make really cool designs because of the centrifugal force. The thumb piano is welded to the handlebars and has a bar the stretches across the wooden box. The bar holds up levers with screw on the end and when you press them, they hit the keys, resulting in different notes from a scale being made. Last is the wheel whacker which is a piece with bike chains at the end. This is connected to a bike rack that has the ability to be raised or lowered resulting in the wheel being whacked and sound being made.
     

    Each of us broke off to work on instruments that had already been prototyped or others had created and we improved them. We originally began with the idea of only being a percussion bike, but then we went off of that idea and ended up with instruments like the thumb piano. As a group we also spent lots of time on finding ways to make the whole bike an art piece and not just the music that was coming out of it. We focused on using pieces of the bike for completely different purposes and making it unique.
     

    One of the main challenges that we faced as a group was working as a group. Because we were working on very different projects, it was very easy to go a couple days without communicating with everyone else. This became a really big probably though by the end of the project because people were wanting to put their instruments in the same place or projects not getting done because people didn’t know what others were doing.

    Iterations :

     

    Iteration (Wind Chimes) :
    We began the process of making the wind chimes with the idea of having actual wind chimes and attaching them to the top tube. While working with the different bike pieces we realized that the gears made a pretty sound when they collided and we decided to make the gears into the wind chimes. After coming up with the placement and the order of the “wind chimes” we spray painted them silver and pink. Last, I hung up the wind chimes attaching them with zip ties and strung them through the zip tie with a wire.

    Iteration (Spoke Sliders) :
    Initially, I came up with the idea to attach bells to the spokes of the bike so that when the rider pedaled the bells would make noise, but after talking to my group we thought it wouldn’t work as well as I planned and we didn’t have any ideas on how to attach the bells to the spokes so that they could still make noise. We ended making the spoke sliders which are these little 3D printed pieces that snap onto the spokes. They’re really cool because when you pedal, they slide around and make noise, but if you pedal fast enough, you can’t hear them anymore because of the centrifugal force.


    Iteration (Drum) :
    Calder came up with the idea to create an instrument that was similar to a kick drum where you didn’t need to manually hit the drum. He first started out making a drum out of popsicle sticks and a mallet that was made out of a ping pong ball and wire. After, he found a brake gear and decided to base his project around that. He laser printed a drum piece that would keep the drum head  in place and refined the design of the drum head and attached more pieces such as the bracket. Later on in the project he focused on finding a solution to turning on and off his bike by adding a lever and cutting in have a nut and attaching it to the top tube of the bike.. Calder finished off his process of welding his drum to the front of our bike.


    Iteration (Wheel Clacker) :
    Stefano’s idea for the wheel clacker came from the card in the spokes sound concept, and combined that with the idea to create sound from the energy of moving the wheel. From taking apart the bike wheel he found that a bicycle hub could double as a bearing with many mounting opportunities. After experimenting with different ways to mount the hub he found that the luggage mount was the most effective. After mounting the hub and fixing chains to it, he worked on a way to turn the instrument on and off. He took a shifter off an old bike and used the cabling for it to lower the luggage rack, carrying the hub to make contact with the wheel resulting the hub spinning and making sound.

    Iteration (Thumb piano):
    There were many steps that I took and models that I made to complete my final project.  The first thing I did was making a cardboard model. In my cardboard model, I made a bike rack, a plate, and put tines on top of that. I had not made any drawings or planned anything out, so my finished product turned out a lot different than that prototype.  The next thing I did was making some drawings and start working on rhino.  On rhino, I designed keys and a box.  When I laser cut them, they were the wrong scale and the wrong shape.  The scale that I had made was a major scale, but it only had six notes so they sounded wrong.  I went back on rhino and fixed this problem by redesigning the keys to make a six note pentatonic scale.  I printed that and the new top out, and fit it to the rest of the box.  After that, I read about the materials I could use to make my bars.  Every website said that bars like these have to be made out of aluminum.  The aluminum bars arrived and I cut the tines out of those.  When those were finished and the holes were drilled into them, I had to figure out a way to mount them.  I settled on putting a nail through the hole and then putting a nut and felt on top of that.  After I slid the keys on, I put a lock nut onto the top to make sure that the tines could not slide off.  The last step was attaching it to the bike.  I welded a steel bar onto the handlebars and then screwed the box into it.  I added zip ties to fasten it more.   











     

  •                                                                      

    The Sonicycle studio was given the task to create a bike that was a musical instrument that also looked cool and had the ability to turn on and off the sound.
     

    Our group created a bike that when rode makes noises because of the number of instruments, but can also make music when it is stationary. A big part of our process was using our new skill welding to attach the instruments to our bike.
     

    Our bike has a variety of instruments such as a drum, a thumb piano, wind chimes, spoke sliders and a wheel clacker. This allows the rider to enjoy music while riding and make music when they come to a stop.

    We began the project by researching how instruments are made and how to make your own, then we looked at how people had combined instruments with bikes to make music. We spent about a week working on our own instrument and creating new ones. Our group then broke off into four groups to focus on their individual instruments to attach to the bike. While we were working on our instruments we also did lots of practice welding.
     

    Our bike is made up of many parts because of the various types of instruments. The drum is a gear with a plastic circle screwed to it that also has a hand-brake that doubles as a mallet to hit the drum and make the sound. We have the wind chimes that are attached at the top tube and when the bike is ridden the hit each other making sound. The spokes sliders move up and down the spokes when the wheels turn making sounds, but also make really cool designs because of the centrifugal force. The thumb piano is welded to the handlebars and has a bar the stretches across the wooden box. The bar holds up levers with screw on the end and when you press them, they hit the keys, resulting in different notes from a scale being made. Last is the wheel whacker which is a piece with bike chains at the end. This is connected to a bike rack that has the ability to be raised or lowered resulting in the wheel being whacked and sound being made.
     

    Each of us broke off to work on instruments that had already been prototyped or others had created and we improved them. We originally began with the idea of only being a percussion bike, but then we went off of that idea and ended up with instruments like the thumb piano. As a group we also spent lots of time on finding ways to make the whole bike an art piece and not just the music that was coming out of it. We focused on using pieces of the bike for completely different purposes and making it unique.
     

    One of the main challenges that we faced as a group was working as a group. Because we were working on very different projects, it was very easy to go a couple days without communicating with everyone else. This became a really big probably though by the end of the project because people were wanting to put their instruments in the same place or projects not getting done because people didn’t know what others were doing.

     

  • Bicycles are typically seen as moving, but quiet things and musical instruments are typically stationary. Over the past two weeks, our group aimed to subvert both of those ideas with the music box bike. When in motion, the music box bike uses the motion from the back wheel to spin a series of gears attached to the bike frame. The final gear, a whole bicycle wheel, spins a studded cylinder which plays a kalimba attached to the back of the bicycle. We added in some gears for aesthetics, and gave it a paint job to match our theme. 

  • Bicycles are typically seen as moving but quiet things and musical instruments are typically stationary. Over the past two weeks, our group aimed to subvert both of those ideas with the music box bike. When in motion, the music box bike uses the motion from the back wheel to spin a series of gears attached to the bike frame. The final gear, a whole bicycle wheel, spins a studded cylinder which plays the kalimba attached to the back of the bicycle.

    We were given the challenge of making a bike that played music when we rode it. More specifically, our group was tasked with making the bike a plucked or stringed instrument. We got our original inspiration for this idea through a video of a man riding a bike that then played a music box like instrument. He did this through gear reduction and a plucking mechanism. After seeing this we thought that we could do it better by having all of the gear reductions contained on the moving bike, instead of sprawled out in a room like the guy in the video. After getting our inspiration we came up with a complicated plan to complete this project. Our main idea was to attach a music box to the back of the bike, and use the motion from the back wheel to rotate the cylinder. We planned on doing this by slowing down the rotational speed of the cylinder by creating a huge gear reduction through connecting the smallest gear on the bike to several other gears on the rear basket frame. After connecting a few gears together, one of them would turn another bike wheel that we fastened to the back of the bike, and that would turn a cylinder that would pluck our instrument.

    Our plan was to make a bike that played a music box. In order to play the music box at a reasonable tempo, we needed to slow the rotation speed of the bike gears down.  We did this through gear reduction that we created by connected smaller gears to larger gears, thus slowing the rotational speed. First, we took some bike chain and a large gear from a different bike and used the chain to connect the smallest gear on our bike the larger gear that we took. The larger gear was connected to the bike. The connection from the small gear to the large gear did slow down the rotational speed, but in order to slow it down further, we had to add another component to the system. We fixed a small spool to the large gear that ran a bike tube that spun a bike wheel that we took and connected to the back of our bike. Now we have two gear reduction that end with a bike wheel spinning very slowly. We took out the axle of the bike wheel and replaced it with threaded rod. We could screw on our plucking cylinder to that threaded rod, so when the whole mechanism spun, the cylinder would turn and pluck our music box. The music box ended up just being a wooden box with popsicle sticks as teath. At the end of our project we had a bike that when you peddled, it turn a bunch of gears and wheels that spun a cylinder that plucked our music box to make noise.

    The first iteration of the music box teeth was a steel pipe with steel bicycle spokes welded onto it. First we used a tuner and a ruler to measure the length of a bicycle spoke when it made the note G, and then we figured out G an octave lower. We mathematically found out the rate of change in the spokes for a chromatic scale, and then we calculated the angle the pipe had to be at to make the spokes level. Ultimately, this iteration was scrapped because of how little sound the steel spokes made. We were basing this design off a contraption that Kirk made, two titanium pipes welded together with titanium spokes welded into that. At time, we did not know that the spokes in our predecessor were titanium. The material of our version contributed largely to its failure.

    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 (popsicle sticks), 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.This is less of a music-box-teeth type design and more of a kalimba.

    The cylinder was less of a challenge, but we had issues nonetheless. The first iteration was cardboard, a foot long, and was divided into 24 ½-inch sections. The concept was that the circular ½-inch sections would be divided into . I decided to make it out of cardboard at first because it was easy to work with, inexpensive, and the cylinder for the music did not have to resonate. The main issue with this iteration was that the cylinder actually did have to be strong to support its own weight and not crumple.

    The final iteration was made of PVC. It had two wooden caps with holes in the center of each. Over the holes are nuts on each side that allow the pipe to screw on and off the axle. When tightened, the nuts apply enough pressure to keep the pipe firmly attached to the axle. The PVC is more difficult to hammer fingers (to pluck the kalimba) into. For fingers, we used cut-off, filed-down nails. In the end, we also greatly reduced the number of horizontal fingers and notes.

    On our last day of building, we were testing our design and the gear mechanism fell apart. The tube was not feeding correctly, the gear was unaligned, and in the process of fixing it, we snapped the spool. We had little time to fix the problem but in the end we made the design better. While we reglued the spool back together, we found wood locking nuts that would much more efficiently hold the mechanism together and keep things in alignment. After the fix, we had a much better arrangement of the gears and spool, because of the addition of spacers, and the design had not broken since.

    After the spoke model failed, we tried a variety of other materials and methods for the teeth. The recurring problem with these trials was that none of the materials could produce a note, resonate and sustain in the right way. The only material that had ideal results was titanium, but that was not viable to due to cost and lack of access. It would also be a hard metal metal to work because of its strength. 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 had a good sound, and were easy to work with and access.

    We spent most of a day designing the cylinder/axle connection. The problem was to make the axle firmly attach to the cylinder, but also make it interchangeable. The first idea was to make two caps with nuts in the center and bolt those to the cylinder. This would mean tightening the nuts tightens the cylinder around the axle, and can later be unscrewed. A later idea was to make two felt-lined wheels that attach to the axle with two locknuts each. The wheels would have threaded holes, and when the cylinder was slid onto the wheels, you would be able to screw the cylinder to the wheels, and unscrew it when you were done. In the end, we went with a variation of the first idea, because the threaded holes did not seem reasonable.

  • 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.

  • Our task was to modify bikes and make them musical. We spent a few days creating our own instruments in order to get a feel for the kind of work we would be doing. After our first few intro days, we were divided into groups and began work on our respective bikes. Our original sketches included a very long, intricate tube system that resembled a French horn. After we did our initial sketch, we came up with the idea of having a detachable bike seat that doubled as a clarinet. After some experimenting and drilling, we realized that the seat was not a viable way of producing sound. We decided instead to focus on the tube systems, and began considering the idea of building a xylophone into the frame of the bike.

    We started to firm up our ideas plan out our design. An idea that came up was a horn that had a mouthpiece that came out of the handle bars. This mouthpiece would only come out on one side, and on the other, a tube would lead into coiled pvc, or hose. We found out that the longer the tube was, the deeper the sound. Later, we decided that this may get in the way of other instruments. So we postponed the horn idea until we know what else we want to fit on the bike.

    We went on a field trip to GoodWill and purchased lots of items that could double as instruments. We began testing things out, brainstorming where to put our new objects. We ultimately agreed that we should mount a drum set onto the handlebars. We also decided to attach platforms to the back and front of the bike. This would give us more "real estate" and more space to add instruments. We spent the majority of that day sketching and planning.

    We began learning how to weld. This was important because a lot of our project involved metal on metal connection. After completing the welding tutorial, we stripped paint from the places on the bike that we were going to weld. We also prepped our bike for painting and priming.

    We then looked to start welding on to the bike itself. First, we wanted to weld a base platform to a bar that comes off of the handlebars. After this weld cooled down, we started experimenting with ways to attach our instruments. First up was our jar drum. We decided to drill a hole in the side of the frame, instead of welding it on. We thought that a system that could be adjusted may be better than the more permanent solution of welding. We decided to spray paint our bike frame. First we sprayed it with primer. Once that dried we put on our first coat of pink paint. Later that day we explored the possibilities of experimenting with LED's.

    On the second to last day to work on the bike we started off with the goal of finishing all of our instruments. We attached them one by one and now we have all of our instruments mounted on to the handlebars. Before we continued, we came up with the general, overlying, idea of what our bike could be described as. We came up with a junkyard bicycle with instruments that you could play as percussion and some that you can play similarly to a trumpet. We also mounted a lamp to the back of the bike that we will put an LED light strip in. At first we were going to use the regular light bulb, but we were advised to use the LED's because they are more energy efficient and therefore we'd be able to power it for longer. After this, we needed to solder the wires to the LED light strip and this was very interesting. After welding this seems similar but also very different. The process is similar but the way that it works isn't. Welding uses an electrical circuit to heat the metal to the melting point, and that is how it fuses. Soldering on the other hand, uses filler material to attach the two. Nevertheless, it is still a delicate process that required precision. One of the challenges with the wiring was that we wanted to run the wires through the part of the lamp that the original wire was running through, but it is very hard to feed them through. This was because the original wire was flat and the new ones were not. While a few of us focused on the wiring, the rest added the two horns to our bike. One of which has a coiled hose attached to a bent metal tube that runs towards the back of the bike. The other goes straight off of the front of the handlebars, and has a deeper sound, almost like a truck horn. The one that goes off of the back has a medieval fanfare horn type of sound. It took us a while to get to where we are now, but now that we finished we can all say that we are proud of what we came up with. Our bike was never super well thought out, to be honest. We had ideas here and there of what we wanted to have on our bike. A horn here a drum there, and things like this. It wasn’t until the last couple days that we reached a point of cohesion during which everyone was working towards one goal. That was when we became sure of our design. At first we were a little bit lost amongst all the possibilities, with welding in mind, as well as painting and extra finesse kind of details, kind of distracted us from what we needed to think of. What is the idea behind our bike?

    Our bike can be played while riding and while stationary. Using a combination of drums and horns, our bike achieves a unique sound and aesthetic. It has two drums and two horns. One of the drums was one of Jackson’s drums. It has holes in the top with copper rivets to achieve a snare drum sound. The other drum is a cooking pot It resonates really well, and is able to produce a sound that is similar to a steel drum. The main horn on our bike is a bent metal tube that runs along the side of the bike, and is attached to a rubber hose that wraps around the handlebars. You can play this while riding if you are able to ride with one hand and pull the hose out of the holster. It sounds kind of like a train horn. The other horn is shorter and you can play by leaning forward. It is much lower and has a fog horn type of sound. We also have a lamp that we took the original wiring and light bulb mount out and replaced it with arduino powered LED’s. We have LED’s on the bottom as well.

     

  • Our custom bicycle can be played while riding and while stationary. Using a combination of drums and horns, our bike achieves a unique sound and aesthetic. Our bike has two drums and two horns. One of the drums was one of Jackson’s drums. It has holes in the top with copper rivets to achieve a snare drum sound. The other drum is a jar that would probably be used for holding sugar or something like that. It resonates really well, and is able to produce a sound that is similar to a steel drum. The main horn on our bike is a bent metal tube that runs along the side of the bike, and is attached to a rubber hose that wraps around the handlebars. You can play this while riding if you are able to ride with one hand and pull the hose out of the holster. It sounds kind of like a train horn. The other horn is shorter and you can play by leaning forward. It is much lower and has a fog horn type of sound. We also have a lamp that we took the original wiring and light bulb mount out and replaced it with arduino powered LED’s. We have LED’s on the bottom as well.

  • 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.

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