Welcome back to the progress of my project! This week I started off with a prototype of my phyisical device. I used a small tube to be a cast for the spiral mechanism. A water bottle as a hooper to hold the substance, in the picture I have places rice. I also had a paint brush to spin the spiral which is in side the tube because the spiral at the time could not fit a metal rod. This is something I had to address later on. I used the materials to quickly test if my deisgn would work before I printed any parts our. Fortunately, I was able to have rice dispensing from the bottom hole at the other end of the tube. In the image you can see that rice has gone through the spiral after a couple turns and fallen onto the plate.
Since the metal rod did not fit into the spiral and I had to use a paintbrush for now, as seen in the image above, I had to reprint the spiral with a different hole diameter through the center. That being said, this week I also focused on continuing to print parts for my prototype with slight measurement modifications. At first, I began printing the spiral design that I mentioned in last week’s post. I printed these spirals with different hole sizes for the metal rod that will spin the spiral. This cost me a lot of time to be able to test the spirals. However, once I began to progress with my 3D prints, I figured that I could print out smaller ring sample sizes to make sure things were fitting properly. This is better than waiting for an entire 3D object to print in order to test. The image above on the right is a design that supplies a paddle design inside the case that is different than the spiral. This design I imagine will be more useful for large substances such as beans.
This process was not smooth, there were some errors along the way. Below is an image of what I found at the lab the next day. I had put an 8-hour print and came back to this mess. Needless to say at this point, there were many prints made this week.
After printing a series of spirals and cases, I had many tests to conduct with different substances. Below is a test with Rice and beans. At the beginning of my tests, I experienced many jams with the paddle and the rice and beans. This was because of sizing and gaps inside between the spiral and case.
These are some images of the prototype, I am closer to a much smoother working mechanism. I also got the MAC addresses for the arduinos to register them on the network. Next week will be dedicated to connecting the Alexa and Arduino Wifi Board.