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p-comp / week 02

Last week we had a dense class about electricity and circuits! Despite I have worked a bit with arduino before, I’ve never completely understood the electrical part of it – I think that after this class and the additional materials I was able to understand it better. Our homework was to make a circuit with arduino, using a switch to turn an LED on. For this assignment, I decided to make a silly game with a sewing thread reel inside a box. In the interior of it there are some obstacles and the ideia is that you have to rotate the object until the thread reel gets to the bottom of the box – and when that happens, the LED goes on.

I had issues to find out how I would put it all together (hardware, box and pins) and also if this would work as imagined. After brainstorming and prototyping, I had an idea of how to build it and started prototyping it. I decided to use to conductive copper wires and aluminum foil as my switch: they are not touching each other unless the thread reel gets to the bottom and push the wires to the aluminum foil, closing the circuit.


The problem was that the thread reel was to light to push them together; I had to find some other material to either gain weight on the thread reel or to be sufficiently heavy to make the wires connect but not to make the distort and end up touching forever the foil.

A quarter actually did the work, but I just thought that the thread could be a game that ended with the thread it self and we would have a graphic evidence of it, through the “paths” the wire made. Here’s the final prototype to this homework:

Even though the idea of making something more creative demanded more time to think how I would prototype it, I think I started to feel what is to actually prototype and work with different materials. Can’t wait to start intro do fab and be able to build things with different materials.

Published in fall 2015 p-comp


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