First I have to show off how nicely the prints turned out! Some of these larger pieces were printed over night for nine-hour periods and were completed without fail (which is surprising). In the morning there would be a loaf of stone sitting on the printer bed :
Mark is responsible for creating these seamless linear designs on the face of the stones :
We ran out of natural filament by the time we got to the ‘wind’ stone, so it’s in a silver/gray color instead. This one was printed last because unlike the other three stones, its design is on the upper portion which overlaps the wedge pieces that pop out. It called for a little more fuss and planning when designed :
Over all, I’m extremely pleased with how they look so far. I can’t wait to paint them though….!
I spent most of this past weekend getting the mechanical parts in working order. For this project, that’s actuating those three wedge slices on each face of the stone to slide out when ‘activated’ :
I’ve had some tiny servo motors lying around from a couple of summers ago when I first started making delta robots… this is the perfect chance to finally use them. They fit nicely in the center of each column.
The LEDs also needed to be mounted somewhere on the top. The only realistic place to put them was in between the wedge pieces in the three corners. Luckily for Mark and I, we have a million little RGB LED boards for our Kickstarter kit (which we’re also working on fulfilling right now), so we were able to repurpose a few of those conveniently size squares. The mounting plate I design ended up looking like a very odd throwing star once it was printed :
Alas, their design has two functions: to hold the LEDs, and to funnel the three push rods through the center to the motor, keeping them nicely aligned.
The servo bracket attaches to this LED throwing star piece like so :
And the whole ‘core’ drops down the center of the stone through the top, resting on the foam core inside :
This design is nice because all of the wires for the LEDs and motor fall straight down to the bottom plate of the stone, where one of our brain boards will be running the whole show (We also have a few prototypes of this board from our KS kit hanging around, and since they use the ATMegas 328 and already have designated servo and LED headers, they’re perfect for this job) :
We have it rigged up so that when you hit a button, the stone opens and the LEDs slowly turn on. We also need to get all of the motors calibrated so that the wedges come out to the correct spot on cue and then suck back in all the way when deactivated.
The next step is to replace the button with some sensor input! Mark will likely work on perfecting that part while I texture and paint the outside of the stones. =]