Making 1: Prototyping using Crafting Materials

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An as extension to the Coding 3 Exercise, we are asked to prototype an object using similar circuitry. We were introduced to using foam as a material and how we can cut different shapes and structures out of them. 

Brainstorming Process

Looking through the materials given, I found light bulbs of different colours and thought of making a traffic light. I googled for circuits that I could learn from. I chanced across a website that had a great example. I followed the instructions and managed to get the circuit to work. 

Simple traffic light

After setting the codes, I started thinking about the user interactions that I can implement in this exercise. I was intrigued by the idea of creating an eco-friendly traffic light. This would be useful in places where traffic is not as busy as Singapore, the traffic lights could be switched off to save energy when there are no cars around. 

Sketches of ideas

Building the Structure

After setting on an idea, I started to use the foam board provided by Andreas to build the structure. The first thing I started on was on fixing the lights as that was the connections there had to be wired correctly before moving on. While twist the wires together to form the connection, I accidentally broke of the wires coming out of the LED. Luckily, there was a soldering machine available and I was able to solder the wire onto the LED. 

Fitting the lights into the foam
Broke the wires of the yellow LED by accident
Soldering the connection directly
Fixing the foam pieces using the glue gun
Attaching a piece of magnet on the toy car

Final Outcome

Final product
Switching on traffic light

With the structure completed, I decided to change some of the codes so that the timing of lights would be more like a real traffic light. In the final program, the green light is on for 5s, blinks 3 times, yellow light is on for 1.5s before the red light turns on for 10s. 

Amended codes
Schema of circuit
Changing of lights

Learning Points

We learnt how to put together everything taught from the past few weeks of workshops, from coding to electronics to prototyping. Even though the process was tedious, it was a fun and thoroughly enjoyable experience. 

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