Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab
Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab

Final Project – Edbert Linardi

I still remember my first time working on the Makerspace class’s first assignment, a simple name tag created using laser cut. I did not have any clue about what to do, and how to do it, since it was my first time doing a graphic design that utilizes a software more complicated than Microsoft Paint, and my first time using a device that is more complicated than a regular printer.

I am not an artsy person. Therefore, I have a hard time making a graphic art. I personally do not really like graphic design. Besides, I felt that I was not a creative person. However, I pushed myself to create the best piece of artwork that I have ever created and designed myself. I managed to create a cool little name tag that I could be proud of. I learned to use Inkscape online, by googling and looking through YouTube. Without realizing it, I tried my hard to be as creative as possible. From that assignment, I concluded that creativity comes when you push yourself harder than you have ever been. Everyone is creative. It only needs a strong desire for someone to be creative.

Moreover, I also learned that I have to not be afraid to fail. In other words, it is okay to fail. Failing is good. By failing, I can create something better by learn from my mistakes. For instance, when doing the copper tape circuit assignment, I was failed for several times, before successfully getting the desired result.

The other thing that I found very important was planning. I was not very good at planning. For instance, while designing the nametag, I did not have any paper sketches. I opened Inkscape and start trying things out. However, sometimes planning is very essential in a success of a project. This is the important skill that I want to learn in my final project.

For my final project, I created a music box that plays music when it’s opened, and stopped playing the music if it’s closed. I was inspired by the little kids’ toys. The box was created using press-fit box maker and the laser cut, while for the music, I use Arduino.

Initially, I sketched my plan on a piece of paper.

I also did a little research about my project on Instructables, where I found a super helpful tutorial about playing music from a SD card in Arduino, and a library for the Arduino. Here is the link to the tutorial: http://www.instructables.com/id/Audio-Playback-From-SD-Card-With-Arduino/.  Here is the link to the library: http://www.hackerspace-ffm.de/wiki/index.php?title=SimpleSDAudio. I also sketched the design of the box, and thought about the dimensions as well, since it is important to have a fitted box that can be opened and closed.

In creating the box, I failed twice since the actual dimension was different than the one I want. I had to redesign the box, and redo the laser cut.

After getting the correct sized box, I started working on the Arduino. I use HC-SR04 proximity sensor that can measure the distance above it, a SD card reader, and an 8-ohm speaker. For coding the Arduino, I had the hard time tuning the distances right, so that the speaker plays music when the box is opened.

Here is the result of my project, after I got everything correct.

The only thing wrong in this box is that the volume was too low. The speaker was not able to produce a powerful output. I tried to solve this by creating an amplifier using a transistor. However, it only made the speaker not outputting anything.

Furthermore, Sara told me that the only actual learning goal for my project was planning everything right. For this project, I believe that I successfully plan before doing everything. For instance, I put the deadlines for the box, and Arduino. It turned out that I met the deadlines that I set for myself. Besides, I also created sketches and details for the cardboard. Therefore, I can say that I met the main learning goal for this project. I am happy with the final result. From this project, I learned a lot about planning. For example, sketching helps me a lot to design the box.

Finally, I still cannot consider myself as a maker, but I am on my way to be a maker. Being a maker means that I should try many different new things. People who should call themselves a maker are the ones who are brave enough to learn many new things, create cool things, and push themselves to be creative.