I want to ultimately make the moving parts out of plexi but I made a prototype of one iris structure out of wood (because plexi is expensive!) and tried to hook it up to a servo. While the mechanism works by hand, albeit roughly, it does not work so well with the servo because of several reasons. 1. Material has a lot of friction. 2. The tolerances of the track on which it rotates needs to be tightened up a bit to decrease side to side movement. 3. The screws may be adding some extra friction from the threading.
By: Xuedi Chen & Moe Shahrooz
Special Thanks: Brendan O’Connor
By popular demand, I am posting directions here so everyone can make one! The star projector works like a pinhole device so if you add more lights inside, there will be more “stars”. BE ÜBER CAREFUL! These LEDs are really bright, if you stare straight at them, you will most definitely get a headache for a few hours.
Step 1: Materials
- 2 sheets of 12 x 20 black museum board or something comparable. I got a 20 x 30 sheet at blick for around $4.
- A battery pack from Radioshack that hold 4 AA batteries. (total output 6V)
- 1 (or 2) super bright LEDs. I used two of these https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9658? (They are rated for about 3.15 to 3.99V and max 700mA)
- Since these LEDs draw a lot of current, be sure to make a bundle of resistors in parallel to handle the current, or else things might catch on fire. One bundle of resistors for each LED. I used three 470ohm resistors plus one 4.7ohm. (you want something low around 4.7ohms as the resulting total value. Use any combination, just make sure your math is right.)
- Optional – (If you want it to spin) A pretty torque-y dc motor with some kinda platform for the thing to sit on. I ran it at 3.3V, off of an independent power source.
Step 2: Laser cut the thing!
- File can be found HERE!
- Cut the red lines & score the black lines.
- Good cut settings for museum board (20, 75, 500)
- Good score settings (50, 45, 500)
- After you cut, you’ll have to poke out the circles with something tiny and sharp.
Step 3: Build the thing!
- Fold along all the score lines slightly, you’ll start to see the shape immediately.
- One tip: peel off half the layer of the scored tabs, it’ll make the whole shape fit a lot better when you get to gluing.
- Get to glueing! I used hot glue for a quick fix. You can also use krazy glue of you want, just something fast drying.
- When glueing the second half of the thing, leave one of the panels open without glue so you can get the LEDs in.
- Wire up the LEDs and resistors and stick them in.
- Wire up the motor and make it spin!
This is a super fast hack job. Customize it yourself. Add a switch on the outside so you don’t have to open the thing up every time to turn it on and off, whatever you want. Have fun!
I’ve been wrecking my tired mushy brain for weeks thinking about a fun and interesting project to do for a final project. I became very fascinated with this iris mechanism (pic below), which I first saw a print of at Maker Faire this year. The way it moves is so simple and elegant, so I decided to incorporate it. At first I imagined a field of these reacting to some external stimulus. While it may not be hard to physically build 50 of these, programming them would probably pose a huge problem I’m not sure I’m ready to tackle on my own. So I scaled back…
The Idea So Far…
I’m imagining an infinit game with a physical board and processing projection. The vertical game board will have 10 of these irises staggered at the bottom. The irises will open and close by the use of servos working behind the game board. A processing sketch will be projected onto the board with circles/buttons in positions corresponding to each iris.
Particles/balls/objects will fall from the top. The objective of the game is to catch these objects by opening the irises. To open an iris, the player presses the button in processing, which triggers the servos. Each iris will only stay open for 3 seconds then closes again. If the object hits an open iris, player scores a point (iris lights up/blinks and the button in processing blinks). If it hits a closed iris, it will bounce off and change its vector. At that point, the player still has the chance to catch it by opening one of the irises in the next row. If the object is never caught, it falls off the screen and disappears.
It’s a simple idea right now, not fully developed yet, but sounds like fun.
Another idea I was toying with is working with the Magic Ball. I thought about actuating maybe 3 large ones (made of mylar) with muscle wires and installing LEDs inside them. Maybe it would react to external stimulus or also to a processing projection. The end mood would be like an organism that breathes (by movement of muscle wire and dimming of LEDs) or grows and shrinks depending on how many processing particles is being fed to it. Also, half baked idea so far.
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Story of a lightbulb… having a bit too much fun?
With Aaron Sherwood, Mack Howell, Sarah Rothberg & Me!
Music by J.S. Bach (played by Daniel Philipp Stotz). Thanks to James George for his RGBDToolkit, and Ryan Bartley for use of hard drives and video knowledge!
Team: Xuedi Chen, Andrew Siegler & Tarana Gupta
Our midterm project is a memory game much like Wack-A-Mole. The game board is made up of 14 cups filled with water. A GIANT button will be pressed to begin a game. Once in game mode, the cups will light up in a sequence and play an accompanying sound. the player will have to follow by dipping his/her finder into the cup to trigger the “switch”. The game can run on endlessly until the player messes up. Once that happens, Jim Carey laughs at you :P
We envisioned each cup having three components: 1. The analog “switch” in the cup of water which reads a delta in capacitance value when a finger is put into the water. 2. LEDs on the side of the cup which lights up when the game signals which cup is in play. These LEDs also light up when a finger is put into the water. 3. Vibration motors on the bottom of each cup to give another layer of visual (and unexpectedly, haptic) feedback.
The Construction Process
Cup layer: 1/8″ masonite laser. Lasercut 14 holes for cups. Cups were installed and the joints were hot glued to seal off water that could possibly leak through from the cups.
We had a solder party one night and finished all the wires, motors, LEDs and connections needed for the cups.
Sadly we had to abandon the motors pretty quickly. While they worked great when we tested just one cup, it completely messed up the readings when we scaled it to 14. When one of the cups turned on and the motor got triggered, the vibration carried through the entire board and affected the analog values in all the other cups, making the Arduino think that all the cups were “on”. Since all the cups were glued onto the same board, there was no easy way to isolate each of them.
The cups have a box! We built a box out of basswood to enclose the whole board and left enough room for all the wiring and the Arduino to live underneath. Holes were cut out to create easy access for the external power and USB cords. What’s more??? We designed and laser cut a nice cover for the box to make the game even more appealing.