The final project is coming!


In this week’s assignment I will summarize the current status of the final’s project plan.

Milestones, deadlines and tasks

Below you can find a list of pending tasks and it’s execution planning, with respect to the final project presentation on the 15th June, the closing date at the beginning of July and the posterior development. In here, you can see what tasks are at which status by area and their action plan:

In here, just to mention that I am have months in life when I am quite busy touring with a dance company I work with. This year has been May, and that is also accounted in the plan.

As a time management, I generally try to work backwards from the deadline and I take into consideration the weeks I am not going to be able to fully commit to the project. During the non-busy times, I will then try to fill in the gaps with affordable goals in the available times, but with ample space to account for possible failures or delays. During the busy times, I try to work on computer tasks that don’t require equipment, like for example, documentation, image edition and general work on the site.

Successes and failures

Generally, I am satisfied with the project’s result, however, these are the more remarkable successes and failures I can see:


  • Machining of PTFE parts and fitting of pneumatic components
  • Input-Output communication via I2C over to a Raspberry Pi
  • Interface programming using state of the art web interface applications for real time monitoring

Failures - Or things to work on

  • Airtightness of some PTFE parts
  • Wiring of pressure sensor
  • 3D printing parts robustness, for the base
  • Modules arrangement easiness - too sturdy

There are some open points to be solved:

  • How is the actual communication between the SCK and the Raspberry Pi to be done? Currently is done via Serial interface, with a Pyhton program in the Pi asking for data, but it might not be the most efficient way to interface with several (we are using Serial for the SCK and I2C for the rest)
  • How is the Pi going to request different sensors?
  • Is this the best way to make the modules for complicated pollution sensors? No. Many of the sensors are mounted on a PCB that won’t resist any mechanical pressure on them, so the option of embedding them fully in a box is probably prefered.
  • How are the cables going in and out of the chambers? Right now with cable glands, but it would be better to find another solution - The cable leaks pressurized air through itself and it is a big deal of work to make the airtight.
  • What if we want to control the valves? We would need to first assess if we want this feature and if so, determine how much money we can spend in electro actuated pneumatics equipment.

Learning outcome

The best part. I could detail tons of learning outcomes from this project. The most important ones:

  • I have learnt how to machine other materials such as PTFE and what are the best and worst design techniques to make them airtight
  • I have learnt how to make threads on machined parts
  • I have learnt electronics. I had literally no idea about electronics before starting this project and Fabacademy. Now, I am able to read sensors, control motors and communicate it all through an I2C protocol
  • I have learnt interface design and applications based on web. These tools are currently state-of-the-art with flask, mod-swgi and python interactive applications for IoT
  • And finally, I have learnt how to make a project come true through careful planning over weekly assignments, using them to contribute to the final result