With Thanksgiving break and our Soft opening quickly approaching we created our final list of fabrication, design and code assets needed to produce a (close to) finished product. In order to ensure we have done well by our recent additions, the Take Shape team hosted one final play test on Tuesday, November 20th. Between our six man team we combined for a few hundred man hours from Thursday until the time we arrived at the MAKESHOP early Tuesday. This final push included everything from attaching the remaining panels, fabricating final modifiers, painting numerous coats of paint and shellac onto all surfaces, mounting the television and repeatedly testing our digital build to ensure robustness and direct relations to all of the modifiers.
Everything paid off when we had another good showing with more than thirty-five children interacting with the machine. With most of the modifiers, bright paint on all of the interactive components and a brand new display mounted adjacent to the dashboard it was a hit with the children. The machine quickly attracted its own audience as the team sat back to take notes. the main focus turned toward the robustness and pure strength of the fabrication. Bend worked great. The new twist handle was bright and intuitive. The color connection between the stamp handle and its pads made the functionality of the copy and paste modifier clear to a wide range of ages. The newly assembled extrude performed as expected coming from the CNC router. Reset, shaped like a button performed like so and survived continued use over the course of the day. With mirror and squeeze withheld from this play test it was up to the shape selector to make or break the streak of good strength. Out of two, we lost the mechanism for tetrahedron. Unfortunately, as the pieces were affixed to the dashboard in the early morning hours a few slight errors with the mounting screws caused it to break. Despite this set back we now know exactly what needs to happen to build a much stronger product that will undoubtedly stand up to the wear and tare of children. Upon leaving the play test, for the first time since we started, we were asked by children why are you taking it away, where is it going, and when will it be back?