2015-03-13 (F) Weekly Summary

Over the last week this blog turned one year old. To commemorate I made a list of the projects I've completed and it was a healthy list considering most of the projects started and ended during that year. While reviewing I saw a few projects which just didn't pan out like a super cheap 3D printer. Other projects like Arduino Laser Tag are still in motion but taking a back burner. For the whole story you can see the post and see an image of each completed project.

The rest of the week was solely spent on the 3D Printed Automatic Tea Maker. This new project started as a whimsical idea and the problem that I leave my tea to steep for too long. With herbal stuff that isn't a problem but tea leaves will become bitter if left for too long. Tea timers in the past have done very good jobs. Some of them simply chime after a time. Some of them pull the tea out. This version aimed to over-engineer the crap out of the problem. A 16 x 2 text display was implemented with a microcontroller and servo motor. On top of those high tech hobbyist components the frame and enclosure will be fabricated on a 3D printer. This solution is much more complex than the problem warrants but that is the appeal.

The design of the 3D Printed Automatic Tea Maker was carefully plotted out on paper but for the first time no physical dimensions were written on the draft. There were blanks for the measurements but these were intended as placeholders for measurements which would be implemented at the top of the code for simple reformatting later. This procedure worked extremely well and kept the dimensions easy to access and allowed for easily scaling since changing the size of a hole's dimension could simultaneously change the edge around it ensuring.

Paper drawing of parts

3D model of planned parts

Planning for the code was started which revealed some pitfalls and opportunities. One option was to choose discrete inputs which would allow a user to scroll through different tea names and steeping time options for them. The chosen option was a potentiometer which scrolled through times and also displayed names. This eliminates the need for writing to retentive memory registers.

Tea steeping times. Example of some code planning

The 3D Printed Automatic Tea Maker is becoming a rewarding project. While it is hardly earth shattering or particularly innovative there is a lot of room to do this project well.

The rest of the weekly summaries have been arranged by date.

A list showing of all the final posts of COMPLETED projects.

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