To what degree and in what ways did collaboration with your fellow students play a role in creating, revising your projects? Provide two to three best examples.
It played basically no role at all until the final project. When doing that, my lack of creativity was crippling. Working with others in the group helped in that regard. Other than that, the majority of the work I did was on my own or with the help of Dr. Meadows.
In what ways, if any, did “trial and error/failure” process support your learning? Provide two to three best examples. What was you your take away about the process?
There was certainly a lot of error involved on my part during the course. In a very non-scientific way, I would just quickly try different things until something worked. This applies to 3D printing, seeing how different sensors react to various things, etc. It was frustrating at times, but I eventually just accepted that I would probably have to try a few different approaches every time for almost anything I did.
In our class we (professors) have structured the course around class processes to support your learning related to design, creativity, collaboration, and problem solving. What did you find the most personally meaningful to you? Once you have identified the aspects that were the most meaningful to you – what connections, if any, can you bring to learning?
I definitely feel that I had a great opportunity to be creative, maybe too much of an opportunity. I personally like assignments that are more specific/structured and feel that I probably would have become more experienced with the various things in the ThinkLab (Arduino, 3D printing, woodworking, etc.) if I was assigned (forced) to use them. More specific assignments could potentially make developing design skills and collaboration with classmates easier, though it might also make the class less enjoyable for some people.
Ingenuity: It does not come on command. After spending weeks trying to figure out what I wanted to do, I realized I needed to clean my dorm, shoes were everywhere! Do you see where I ‘m going with this? A shoe rack was necessary!
One trip to Dollar General later, I had the ingredients for my project pudding. I used hangers, duct tape, a tri-fold presentation board, Christmas lights, and a few things from the trusty Think Lab.
I made lateral slits in the cardboard and stuck the hanger heads inside, then duct taped the front to make it look prettier and hold them in better. Then, using a dremel tool, I cut a sign to let everyone know that the beautiful piece of art they’re viewing was made for shoes, not for their dreams.
The Christmas lights were a little tricky, only because some of them would blow out in the process. I ran one wire connecting all the positive ends after cutting the lights into sections for fours, than a wire connecting all the negatives, hooked them up to a 9 Volt battery and….
- To what degree and in what ways did collaboration with your fellow students play a role in creating, revising your projects? Provide two to three best examples.
Collaborating with fellow students played a huge role in creating my projects because a lot of times there would be things that I didn’t quite remember or we didnt quite discuss that my peers would have had the same problem with. One example is for my final project when I was trying to make my arduino work after uploading the code. I didn’t realize the exact placement of the pieces is needed for it to work and so Desiree helped me with that because she had had a similar issue. Another example was with the car and trying to get the motors to work. One of my classmates had already finished and helped me to solder the wires to the motor to keep them attached.
- In what ways, if any, did “trial and error/failure” process support your learning? Provide two to three best examples. What was you your take away about the process?
Trial and error played a huge role in some of the things we created. Personally, trial and error in 3-D printing was very helpful because I consistently did it throughout the year. Having to figure it out myself helped me to remember how to do it better. An example would be the first time I printed. I generated the g-code for the wrong machine and it didn’t come out right at all. That’s how I realized the g code is specific to the machine used. Another example would be when I was trying to print for my final project and the edges kept lifting up. Thats how I found out you need to change the plastic on the platform.
- In our class we (professors) have structured the course around class processes to support your learning related to design, creativity, collaboration, and problem solving. What did you find the most personally meaningful to you? Once you have identified the aspects that were the most meaningful to you – what connections, if any, can you bring to learning?
Allowing us to collaborate an providing a open work space where we could freely ask questions was especially meaningful to me. I really appreciated how the professors were always willing to help. I also appreciated being able to talk to my peers and ask questions without worrying about disrupting class. It made it less intimidating to see that the professors were learning with us and genuinely interested in what we had to say.
For my final project I wanted to create something elegant and beautiful that displayed what I had learned throughout the year. Knowing the project was due right before winter break, I decided I wanted to make a winter wonderland. Using 3-D printing,motors, and arduino I did just that.
Originally I wanted to make a winter wonderland in Antarctica, however as I was searching on thingiverse for things to print I kept stumbling across beautiful buildings that I wanted to print but didn’t have a reason for. That and countless reruns of Elf led me to create an ice skating rink in new york city, a modern take on a winter wonderland.
From thingiverse I downloaded numerous building, sized and exported in makerware, and printed them. One of the problems I had while printing was remembering to generate the code according to the type of plastic I was using. To be honest I didn’t even realize we had different types of plastic until I realized a print worked with the gray filament rather than the black because of the type of plastic it was. Another issue was left side of the prints would keep lifting up. I later learned that the yellow tape on the platform needed to be changed in order to rectify the problem.
For my winter wonderland I wanted to make it festive by having a speaker that played a popular Christmas tune. The arduino company provided a code that directed the speaker to play certain frequencies which correlated with certain music notes. However, they only provided the frequencies for one octave. I couldn’t figure out the frequencies for other octaves because I noticed they weren’t scaled evenly between each note. This posed a problem because originally I wanted to for the arduino to play Jingle Bell rock, however Jingle Bell rocks has music notes spaning over 3 octaves so I couldn’t program it with the template provided by the arduino software. Instead, I decided to program Jingle Bells into the speaker. I found sheet music online for the recorder that was somewhat easy to read. Unfortunately the sheet music spaned over 2 octaves. However, having previously played the clarinet, I knew that Jingle Bells could be played over the span of one octave if you started at a lower note. I decided to use the sheet music so I could know how many beats I needed to make each note last and change the notes by starting the song on e rather than b. For the most part I changed the notes correctly but I messed up a little bit towards the end of the song.The comments in the template helped me to figure out which parts of the code I needed to tweak. When I loaded the code onto the arduino I encountered a bit of a problem making it work because I realized that the circuit wasn’t entirely correct. I realized that everything needed to be in a certain place in order to make it work correctly.
Evenly balancing the ice skating rink on top of the motor was a challenging task. I tried many different ways of doing it but non of the seemed to work. This video gave me an idea for doing it.
I decided to superglue a platform to the motor and then glue the ice skating rink to the platform. It was a little unbalanced so I raised the ground level of the buildings to provide for support for the rink.
In my opinion appearance is 50% of creating a piece. You can have as much technology as you want on it but if it isn’t visually appealing it won’t gain the full attention its worth. Due to the limited amount of time left after finishing programming, printing, and balancing. I decided to buy a white sheet with glitter on it from the dollar store to create the effect of snow. The same could have been easily done by stringing out cotton balls and spreading glitter on top of it.I also decided to accent the snow by making the ground level black. To make the tree I stripped copper wire and coiled it around a pen the shaped it in the form of a tree.
1. I think student collaboration played a small role in most of my projects. Usually, if I could not figure out how to do something, I could look around the room, and see how other students were doing it. For example, when I was building my car, I asked other students how they had mounted their wheels to their motors, and did the same. When I was modeling my chess piece, I asked another student about how to convert my file into a printable format. Later in the year, I helped another group wire LEDs up to their arduino.
2. Most of the wiring I did took a lot of trial and error. Trying to make transistors and relays work was something that took a lot of trial and error. Also, 3D printing is very hard to do right the first time. After doing a lot of prints, I gained knowledge about which settings to use in what cases that may have been hard to obtain otherwise.
3. Building my final project from the ground up was the most meaningful thing I did in this class. I feel that it was a valuable learning experience because it taught me about the difficulty of creating something of your own from scratch. I think this is a useful thing to have learned, because I will be able to better estimate the amount of work that will have to go into a project, depending on the starting point.
In the process of developing the design for the final project, I had collaborated with Jack about what type of vehicle would be the most logical one to create. He had mentioned choice of keeping it simple and just making a car, which I thought was good enough for a the basic structure for the final project. After I had acquired the type of vehicle I would design I had decided to create a motion activated motor system, after seeing many of my classmates making their projects on things reacting to a certain sensor whether it was light, motion, ect.
The step of creating my vehicle I think my first error was not calculating how much weight the vehicle could be, before being too heavy for the fan to push. From this I had learned that the wood board that was used for base was entirely unnecessary and could have been done without and I could have used a lighter base preferably plastic. From this I had decided to just develop just a fan boat as I had discovered that the program that I had uploaded onto the arduino had made the vehicle move in the similar quality as a real fan boat.
In addition, the program and wiring of the arduino was also an issue, as I came across the issue of somehow getting the correct wiring but, then the program would be incorrect. Then when I had entered the correct code, the wiring was of course incorrect. Which taught me not to mesh different program I had found on Google with wiring instructions from other sites. Eventually I had found the correct wiring on the instructables site and later on I had discovered the correct wiring for that program, which I think I had lucked out on finding.
From this class the most meaningful feature about it was that I could be creative with whatever project I was making, without the bounds of always following exactly what the instructions said. Which I can say would be the ability to express my creativity with anything I was making. I find this important from what I had learned from this course as I found it difficult to find any course that allowed me to express myself in anyway and always had made me follow by the book, which anyone can honestly say is no fun at all. But, this course had this distinct quality about it and I hope that I will be able to sign up for another class such as this.