We explored digital printing and new software programs for this project. After experimenting with Tinkercad, SketchUp, Autodesk 123D Catch, and MeshMixer, I dug my heels in and learned OpenSCAD, an open source program for creating 3D CAD objects. I included a screen shot of an OpenSCAD coding window. The two-part lamp base was designed in Project ShapeShifter and then imported into OpenSCAD for integration into the final project. Project Shapeshifter is a free technology preview from Autodesk Labs created to help designers model complex 3D printable geometries. I printed the solid base with an Ultimaker 3D printer. The upper portion of the lamp base was printed by the 3D printing service, Shapeways. The 3D printer software was a challenge. Designs were adjusted online and then sliced into layers that the printer could extrude. It was exciting to see my design as part of a working lamp and fun to repurpose discarded hard drive platters. A remote control allows color, brightness, and light show changes from about 25 meters.
December 10, 2013
Mary Van Cline‘s 1983 The Enigma of Time inspired this photo frame. Van Cline used photosensitive glass and glass rods where I incorporated a laser-printed transparency and acrylic rods. Capturing the venetian blinds effect with background light affecting the transparent image was my intent. Geometric design includes the Golden Ratio (Da Vinci’s divine proportion). The photo inside the simulated window was taken in Oregon—just south of Seaside. During critique, I placed the frame, a lamp made from hard drive platters, a stuffed rabbit, and a onesie that my granddaughter outgrew on top of an Ikea computer cabinet. I was excited to discover the extrude feature of Adobe Illustrator when creating the project sketch.
The critique photo was taken by our instructor, Brian Evans.
Laser cutting was the emphasis of this Digital Fabrication project. Building a set of 24-pitch gears in Adobe Illustrator was a time-consuming challenge. I designed a back frame cover to reveal the inner workings of the motor, right angle gear box, and power connection. The 1/16″ laser-cut latches fit perfectly to secure the project in the shadow box frame. I’ve made several trips to Plasticare this semester!
The close-up image was captured during class critique by our instructor, Brian Evans.
This Spatial Media I project reveals the inner workings of previous designs and was inspired by Damián Ortega‘s disassembled 35mm Olympus camera. Olympus, 2009‘s twenty-six plastic sheets display camera parts in a horizontal line. For my project, a half-inch acrylic plate supports the layers: thermo-formed acrylic face, two-way acrylic mirror, vinyl mask that allows limited LED light to pass, laser-cut acrylic grid (in the shape of a brain) that traps light, and an electronics panel. The micro-controller, breadboard, neopixel LEDs, Ping))) connections, and power adapter fit on a clear acrylic sheet. Laser-cut holes provide a place to mount the Arduino and pass a barrel plug.
Individually addressable LEDS are controlled by an Arduino Uno micro-controller. Twenty-eight LEDs flash brighter and faster as viewers approach Ping))), a sonar proximity detector. The red, green, and blue color channels are programmed to fire randomly (0–254) and simulate brain neurons. Full-power flashes that are five milliseconds apart indicate agitation if the frame’s “personal space” is violated.
November 3, 2013
A pattern of four faded lights moves clockwise around the perimeter of the white shadowbox frames. The faded lights are subtle and are on the lower right side in the photograph. The acrylic face pushes three inches beyond the front of the frame, as if trying to escape the past. The single row of LEDs looks like thirty rows because the 144 lights are sandwiched between two-way mirrors on the front and standard mirrors toward the wall. The Arduino Mega micro-controller is mounted in an acrylic iPod box on the wall.
Thanks to Bryan Beard, the acrylic face was thermo-formed in Industrial Design’s plastics lab. 3/16″ acrylic was cut, mounted, heated, and pulled over a vacuum frame. The ceramic bisque mask was lifted into the drooping hot acrylic as a vacuum formed the clear acrylic around the mask. Drilled 1/16″ holes allowed the vacuum to pull the hot acrylic sheet against the mask and its support board.
Our Spatial Media instructor, Brian Evans, took the far left photo during class critique.
July 16, 2013
Max MSP 6 groove tutorials by Joel Rich inspired this patcher (program).
July 1, 2013
Parallax makes an ultrasonic distance sensor that interfaces with Arduino’s micro-controllers. This is a set-up of PING))), Arduino UNO 3, Arduino’s motor shield, a voltage regulator, and two 12-volt brushless fans. The fans rev up when PING))) detects anyone less than a foot from the sensor. Learning to use millis instead of delays in the programming code allows more frequent updates to the RGB LCD (red-green-blue liquid crystal display). I mounted the LCD on a backpack that has user interface buttons for color control. The next step is to create blinking eyelids that blink faster as someone approaches.
May 16, 2013
Mac G5 computer parts that processed images, videos, and music programs since 2004 are now components of an Electronics and Experimental Systems assignment, “Into the Uncanny Valley.” This is information from our assignment:
“The uncanny valley draws on the philosophy of the uncanny that was first made popular by Sigmund Freud in his 1919 essay Das Unheimliche, where he proposes that the uncanny is not something wholly uknown or alien but rather is something that is strangely familiar.
In electromechanically driven kinetic art, there is often a tendency to react to the work much in the way that one would react to the uncanny—whether because of how it moves, in the motor and mechanism chosen, or why it moves, in the data-driven, sensor-based interactivity, or other programmatic behaviors.”
I plan to build on this project for my Senior Thesis and May, 2014 gallery installation. I would like to add a vertical component to the eye movement and a pair of eyelids. Each portion of the project worked well (servo and linkage for horizontal movement, servo and linkage for vertical movement, and solenoid to blink eyelids) but combining the hardware and C++ code was problematic. Over the summer, I’m learning C++ and working on a way to fit eyelids over moving clevis connections.
May 13, 2013
May 12, 2013
The final Electronics and Experimental Systems project was to use servos or motors to relate a sense of the uncanny—something close enough to reality that it is a bit uncomfortable or creepy. I chose my obsolete G5 computer case to house two pairs of Tech-Optics eyes. The animatronic eyes housed LEDs that became brighter as the ambient light dimmed. The second pair of eyes, in acrylic hemispheres, moved from side to side, according to motion detection in the room. The eyes were guided by Parallax infrared sensors that communicated with an Arduino UNO R3 microcontroller. Planning steps included wiring diagrams, support structure plans, and power supply placement for the primary components: Micro-controllers, LEDs (light-emitting diodes), PIR (passive infrared) sensors, servos, and solenoid (to blink the eyelids). This is the first version of the Fritzing wiring diagram. If you want to see a larger version, just click on the image.