2016-01-08 (F) Weekly Summary

This week I'm in Las Vegas, NV for the Consumer Electronics Show. I don't have my laptop with me so this summary will be brief. I'm writing on my phone and tiny screens aren't inspirational for typing.

Spinner design kept evolving and each iteration brought inside and improvements. That's a flowery way to say that I kept making things that didn't work but little improvements were noticeable. The biggest problem was that spinners weren't spinning easily. Friction was clearly the culprit so I switched out the pointed plastic post for a brass pin which helped but I figured I could do better.

Spinner awaiting brass pivot

After success with a brass pin I want to have a brass cup where the pin could touch the spinner. This proved to be difficult with my on-hand materials and tools. Some brass strips were mangled in the process but nothing expensive. In the end I was able to form some nice cup shapes and glue them in place.

Mangled metal from failed pivots 

After seeing the low friction movement of the brass-on-brass pivot points I decided to start with fresh code, again, but this time with a different design. This design was more cylindrical, which was good news for the implantable version.

Sketch of new spinner design

During modeling I decided to illustrate the magnets in purple. A quick animation showed how the magnets could be placed in the new model.

 New spinner shape with magnet placement simulation

The biggest advantage of this model, and the reason for the change, was that this version doesn't rely on a screw protruding from the top or bottom of the enclosure. Instead this will use the metal magnets to tap on a metal post. Now,  the hard part will be to make a brass post in the correct shape.

Rotational view of new spinner shape 

Prints of this model took less plastic, which was great news since size will be an issue eventually. Plus, plastic for my printer isn't exactly cheap.

First usable prints of the new design

Smoothing my 3D prints with acetone seems like a good idea since smooth edges will be important to the haptic compass soon. Instead of doing some research on the process I dove right in with my own approach. My approach was to take a container with a fixed volume add different amounts of acetone then taking time-lapse photographs of the results. My goal is to find two processes, one which will yield quick results and another which will yield reliable results over a long period. The reason I want a process which takes longer is that I should be able to start the process before bed and wake up to a piece that looks nice but hasn't turned too goop.

Setup for acetone Vapor bathing and time-lapse photography

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

First time here?

Completed projects from year 1
Completed projects from year 2


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