Week Nine Newsletter

Project: Take Shape
Week Nine Newsletter

Week Nine: Half Way Home

Coming into week nine the excitement was titillating knowing the potential we had to increase the progress of our project prior to our Halves presentation the coming Friday. On incoming orders we had our 80/20 aluminum framing, our main Phidget control boards, thirteen magnetic sensors, three force sensors and some new hardware to help in assembling all of our new products. Above all the 80/20 framing, which will act as the main support structure for our machine, was scheduled to arrive Wednesday. This piece has been the most anticipated order as the process of refinement and redesign has taken close to five weeks in total.

To prep for delivery of our framing Kevin and I made a trip to Home Depot and Lowe’s in order to acquire the necessary hardware for securing our birch paneling to the aluminum frame. Meanwhile Dan, Kai, Ryan and Andy were busy preparing for our demonstration on Friday for faculty, staff and students of the ETC. This prep work included everything from polishing code of for our modifiers, work on the UI and background designs, formation of our presentation slides, incorporation of our three primitives and, of course, the fabrication of our modifiers.

In order to prepare for our Halves presentation we lined up a few meetings with various faculty and staff as well as rehearsal times in our presentation room; the Randy Pausch Interdisciplinary Studio (RPIS). Throughout the week, as these meetings took place, we have continually revised our PowerPoint slides to quickly, accurately and coherently explain the depth of our project. The exciting part about Halves is that the majority of individuals in the room have yet to see our project and therefore, know little to nothing about our project. This gives us the ability to do a full rundown of everything we have discussed, contemplated, tested, observed, changed, removed, added and completed since the beginning of the semester. All of which will be packaged into a neatly formed Powerpoint for a fifteen minute time slot on Friday.

Going into our presentation we were confident in our ability to deliver a well timed and rehearsed presentation that would grant us a successful grade in the presentation portion of the Halves total grade. With a well rehearsed demonstration that exemplified our completion percentage as planned early on, we were also sure we would secure a solid grade in the product portion of our Halves grade as well. Despite a small snafu in our demonstration to presentation went off without a hitch and within a few hours after presenting we heard back from our faculty advisor letting us know our team received an A in both product and presentation. Pure excitement on behalf of the Take Shape team members. We knew this whole time what we were creating, working long hours to build and endless lines of code to give functionality was for something positive but to finally hear from the faculty of the ETC that infact we were, was priceless.

Heading into next week we have a decently long list of tasks to complete by Friday in order to prep for our play test this coming Saturday. Some goals include a prototype build of our shape selector, fabrication of the squeeze modifier and placing the final order of our necessary materials needed to complete the deliverable. On the programming side the guys will be working to polish the additional primitives (sphere and tetrahedron) to match the fluidity the cube currently has while being modified. We look forward to the week as we ride the wave of a successful Halves and prepare for a phenomenal finals presentation.