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17. applications and implications

What does it do?

The wall is useless, it is inspired by a rube Goldbergh machine. A rube goldberg machine is a chain reaction with the aim of often something very useless, for example popping a balloon. I wrote my bachelor thesis about a methodology to design this with children in order to introduce them to design and prototype techniques. In this case, all links in the chain were purely mechanical, with useless wall all parts will communicate with each other with electronic signals.

The useless wall is a product that can be used for 2 purposes, the first is entertainment at events. A number of modules can be placed on the wall. Each module is a puzzle or an assignment that can be solved by passers-by. If all parts are solved correctly, all lights will turn green. Afterwards, the wall can be reset by pressing the large reset button.

The other great function of this wall is to be able to use it during holiday camps here in the fablab. We organize a number of summer camps for children here on each face. During such a camp, children learn to work with digital tools by completing various assignments. My idea is to use this wall for this. Each camp participant will have to design and create their own module that can be hung on the wall. For this they have to use different techniques and machines and a part of programming will also be discussed. I think it would be nice that many techniques are discussed and the participants can fully develop their own idea. For this, they must adhere to the pre-imposed design rules.

Who’s done what beforehand?

The idea arose from my bachelor thesis a few years ago, when I had designed a design methodology for children. This was applied to the design and manufacture of a rube goldbergh machine. The focus was on learning to design. As a designer and maker, I personally think it is very important that everyone is taught a certain method when it comes to making things. My thesis at the time consisted of a wall and a fill-in book for the children who help build it. Techniques discussed here were mainly quick and dirty prototypes and 3D printing. Because I have already mastered more techniques, I thought it was a nice idea to go a step further. The approach is therefore not completely the same, but similar.

What did you design?

I desiged almost everything on the wall. i want to revere to my project page where you can follow every step of all the parts i desiged

  • the wall itself
  • module one: nerve spiral
  • module two : the maze
  • connection between the modules and the wall
  • all the connection pieces

What materials and components were used?

the wall

  • one arduino
  • 10 meter copper tape
  • plywood 2440mmx1220mmx12mm
  • one neopixel of 8 pixels
  • one retrobutton
  • 6 meter wooden beam 44mmx44mm
  • a couple of screws
  • 5 meter electrical cable in diffirent colour
  • plexi plate 900mmx600mmx4mm

module one: nerve spiral

  • one arduine
  • plywood 100mmx100mmx12mm
  • one neopixel of 8 pixels
  • one buzzer
  • copper tabe 30 cm
  • copper wire 40 cm
  • electrical wire 2 meter in different colour

module two : the maze

  • one ardiuno nano
  • plywood 300mmx200mmx12mm
  • copper tape 30 cm
  • one neopixel
  • elektrical wire

Where did they come from?

The wood come from a local wood vendor Wood and plexi for the lasercutter comes from opitec Vinyl comes from the feerieke All electronic parts come from a local electroshop

What processes were used?

I have almost used every technique that you can find in the lab:

  • lasercutting
  • 3D printing
  • cnc milling
  • vinylcutter
  • programming
  • woodworking
  • a little bit of welding
  • 3D drawing ( fusion360)
  • 2D drawing

What questions were answered?

The biggest question for me was how to connect the different modules to eachother on a easy way that it is modular with new modules that where made by the children in our summarcamps. Also it should be easy enough to be made by childres as well. Therefore i used coppertape.

What worked? What didn’t? How was it evaluated? What are the implications?

Every development about the final project can be found on this page.

Last update: June 18, 2021