Category Archives: Make

Playing With Clay

So now we’ve fixed the motors into position and made sure that they simply cannot move it’s time to through some clay into the mix!

If you watched the above video you’ll know that it didn’t really go how we had planned. We made a few adjustments to the arms to stop them from interfering with each and also to make sure they actually hit the clay enough to make some sort of change to its shape. Take 2…

Again, it’s not spectacular but hey, we’ve managed to interpret a song into something physical! If you ever wondered what Mama Do The Hump would look like if it was a clay sculpture and not a song well… now you know.

We still have just over a week left so we’ll play around with a bit more and see what happens.Watch this space!

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Technical Prototype

This is our technical prototype for our project to make sure it works before we put it all together. Using the SoundView app we can generate an equaliser from the music coming from anything (in this case, an iPhone). There are 4 light sensors mounted on the screen to detect when the bars are high. Using a Picaxe we can then process the information from the sensors to drive the motors. Check out our video below to see it in action!

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Alisdair Kettles Pottery Supplies

We are fortunate enough to have our course technician, Sean Kingsley, who is an expert in ceramics. Not only did he allow us to have a shot on the universities pottery wheel but he recommended us to get in contact with Alisdair Kettles.  Alisdair is a Pottery Supplier based in Kinross, and distributes to our University as well as many other places around Scotland. He kindly agreed to help us out, and allowed us to borrow a Pottery Wheel that he had spare.

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We’d really like to say a big thanks to him! If you are interested in pottery, this is the man in the know. Here is his website so please take a look!

http://www.alisdairkettlespotterysupplies.com/

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MAKE cont.

Last week we posted a panicked blog about all the stuff we have to do. I am happy to report that we are right on schedule. What’s more, we’ve even been given an extension on our deadline due to our ordered parts not turning up! It is in our best interests to stick to the original plan as much as possible since the deadline for the press release, including 90sec video and images, has stayed the same so any extra time we use for MAKE is only eating away at our allocated TALK time.

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So here is where we are with the making of our prototype. We’ve decided to build a spiral structure to house the sculpting arms which will be controlled by servo motors. It’s a bit more complicated to achieve but will do more for the aesthetics we believe. To do this, we’re using thin strips of plywood which we then glue together before wrapping them round a couple of cylinders made out of blue foam. Left overnight, the glue should set and the spiral will maintain its shape.

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As for the electronics, we’re still waiting for the parts to show up. After a monster struggle last week we finally managed to get the servo motors to work. We still don’t know what the problem was. We followed the help tutorial word for word and double checked our circuitry but couldn’t get it to work. We sought out the help of a Year 4 PD student who had some experience in servo motors whose solution was a different Picaxe altogether. Funnily enough, it worked without any problems so we’ll be going with that. In summary, we have a fairly good idea how to write the code, all that’s left is to wire up the parts and hope for the best.

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Let’s Make Lemonade

So far we’ve been able to FIND an area of interest and a nice little concept. We’ve had time to PLAY with it and see what can be done. Now it’s time to MAKE it happen.

Arguably the most chaotic phase of design process, it’s time to start planning! Trust us, you’re going to want to plan, or else you’ll be faced with a last minute panic trying to get parts the night before the hand in! Even if you get them you still have to put it together. And it doesn’t end there. Once it’s all put together is it going to work? Or are we going to have to endure the embarrassment of presenting a piece of shit that doesn’t do what we’ve been building up to these past months!

As I write this we’re contemplating where our parts are going to come from. We have a contact who may have “something to spin the clay” for us… sounds promising. And we have 2 out of the 4 servo motors we’re looking for… We’re keeping our fingers crossed.

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