Idea for Laser Cutting Project

In Digital Fabrication, ITP

For our Digital Fabrication laser cutting assignment, I’d like to build an interactive stand/enclosure for a piece that my sister makes. She’s a photographer but has worked on a collection of poems that she prints, inserts into bottles and then suspends in water.



I find them to be quite beautiful and thought it would be really cool to have them sit on an enclosure that could project light from beneath to really showcase the poem. My idea is to use the Maxbotix Ultrasonic Rangefinder (Sonar Sensor) to determine when a person is within a certain distance of the bottle and have it wake the bottle up by fading in a very bright light.


Originally, I had the light brightness correspond directly to how far away a person was from the bottle but that resulted in a very choppy light behavior. For instance, if a person stepped outside of the range, it would immediately shut off which was not a pleasant experience. Therefore, I tweaked the code to fade-in the light gently once the person was within a certain distance threshold. It would stay lit for a certain amount of time and then fade out. I can further tweak this prototype and logic with more testing. Here is a video of the circuit in action.



Now that I’ve sorted out the circuit more or less, I’m going to create an enclosure for the circuit. As you can see below, the enclosure will have a circular inset where the bottle will reside to provide optimal light. The top side of the enclosure will be cut out of a white matt acrylic¬†that is slightly translucent and the side panels will be made out of wood. I have not decided what kind of wood yet. The front panel will house the Maxbotix sensor, as well as a little in-slip that will allow a person to slip in different color filters. This will make it so that bottle can be lit with different hues.






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