Week Twelve Newsletter

Project: Take Shape
Week Twelve Newsletter

Week Twelve – Final Assembly

Build, build, build is the theme of the week as our November 20th deadline quickly approaches. We have moved our final play test to Tuesday as a final wrap up on our project. Due to some delivery issues with hardware we will be short our mirror modifier and our cooling fans for the play test as well as our soft opening on Monday November 26th. Aside from cutting the stretch modifier during the week, our dashboard will be complete with all of the modifiers we had planned in the beginning.

Our reasoning for cutting stretch laid in both the digital and physical aspects of functionality. On the fabrication side it became difficult to affix the handle that would place equal strain on both bungees and to not allow the handle to quickly snap downward, causing a hazard for children. Due to the orientation of our display, if a child were to extrude and stretch at the same time the elongated models would quickly fill up the available screen space causing a hodgepodge mess of geometry that would fail at delivering a clear connection between physical and digital. Aside from these obvious issues, working the on the programming side to make stretch functional with other modifiers was becoming increasingly difficult as our programmers worked toward making it comparable to the polished input of the remaining modifiers. So, in the end, stretch is no longer a part of our machine.

Letting go of stretch allowed our team to focus our resources onto the remaining set of modifiers. We created our remaining shape selector pieces with their surrounding sheaths to prevent children from getting their fingers pinched on any of our pieces. Same goes for extrude once we assembled the pieces as they came off of the CNC router. Now all of the moving parts have such a small tolerance between each other it is impossible for small fingers to find their way between the gaps.

Over the weekend we will be painting our dash panels and putting a protective sealant on the bare wood panels to ensure durability and give the MAKESHOP staff an easy surface to clean between the mobs of children visiting the space. We have nine structural panels and eight finish panels that, once they’re all painted, will be assembled to form a completed machine. The final electronic pieces will all come together once the paneling is finished. This includes our forty-six inch display, custom built computer and the myriad of sensors controlling all of our modifier inputs.

On Tuesday, just before the start of Thanksgiving break we will host a play test at the MAKESHOP to test the reaction to our most recent updates. We hope the new handles, buttons, knobs and levers will all hold throughout the experience and function in exactly the way we’ve envisioned.

After returning from Thanksgiving break we will have our soft opening to the ETC faculty and staff. During this time we will be visited by many guests that are eager to play with our machine, see the changes since halves and provide potential feedback on improvements to be made prior to our final presentation a mere two weeks away.

It is hard to believe the Take Shape team has made it this far but we look forward to testing our updated experience, polishing off our machine and delivering a finals presentation that the ETC will remember for years to come. Until next time; thank you for reading.