Project Development

Week 20

Now the time to talk about what remains to be done.


I'm scheduled for presentation on the 20th of June and naturally for such a project, time is of the essence and in short supply if I want to present something interesting. From here to the final presentation, time managment will be of strategic value.

What has been accomplished, what remains to be done

During the Fab Academy, before the Mechanical and Machine Design assignments, when everything went down the drain, I manage to complete:

  • - Developping the Base Assembly in Fusion (Base, Rocker Assembly, Lower Optical Assembly)
  • - Making the Rocker Base (Make it Big)
  • - Buying the motors and drivers
  • - Defining the BOM
What needs to be done:
  • - Design the control board for the motors
  • - Design the mechanical gears and drivetrain
  • - Design of the GoTo system
Those are big topics by themselves. Of the three, design of the control board for the motors will be facilitated with my experience during the Machine Design assignment and the Output devices week, I feel confident that this task will be done quickly. I need to take some time to complete the design of the drivetrain for both axis. Design of the GoTo system will be the most challenging.

What has worked? What hasn't?

So far, the concept of the base is a success. Milling pockets inside the plywood had provided me with a base that is both light and solid. Since this first experience validated my design, I tried to cut the weight of the structure as much as possible.

What hasn't worked well for me was my idea of integrating nrf52 bluetooth chip into the final presentation. I simply do not have the time to experiment with this chip and made the decision to add it at a later time (triage). I still think that integrating this chip into the final product will be a killer feature.

What question needs to be resolved

Mainly having the time to develop the tracking program. But using the Zenith Scope project will ease the pain.

What will happen when?

This week is very important as I have to finish the assigments and concentrate on the design of the Upper Optical Assembly. Quite simply, the milling machine has to be moved and the window of opportunity to use the machine is closing rapidly. I still have 48 hours to make it through

What have you learned

During Fab Academy I learned A LOT. Quite simply, I learned about reading spec sheets for microchips, make the transfer between ATtinys and Arduino, milling pcbs, making molds and castings and I almost forgot that I learned using a laser cutter! Last but not least, I learned how to solder the proper way. I'm not ashamed to show my boards to people: I show them on the main page of this website! Software-side, I learned a lot with Fusion and learned how to make boards with Eagle. I had fun making my robot in Processing.

But for me, making electronics is The Big Thing that I learned during Fab Academy.