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Week 18 - Project Development

Most relevant tracking has been done on the final project page.

I'll summarize the most important parts here:

Project plan.

For the final project it feels we have some more time. In the last weeks leading up to the presentations I used psychology tricks on myself to make it to the end. The most improtant trick was telling myself: 'I will not present on june 9, I will present somewhere next year, or the year after'. This released most of the stress and pressure so I could focus on the work that had to be done. And meeting the deadline.

Making the board.

The most important part of the project is the board. That needs to work. Even if it works only partly. So my main focus and attention has been with making the board. As I decided to make a double sided PCB, this posed some extra challenges.

I reserved 3 days for design, milling and soldering.

Making the casing.

I am not worried about making the casing. Acrylic layers, made with the lasercutter, bolted together, seem like a thing I can do in half a day. Of course there will be unexpected things happening and I have to be aware of flipping the design in my head all the time.

I reserved one day for this.


The programming has been playing trick on me the most in the last weeks. For example in Machine week, it took me way longer then expected just to let a LED blink on the basis of an input. I will now have to make 9 LEDs blink on the basis of 2 inputs.

I reservered 4 days to do the programming.

Extra stuff

Only through a question of a fellow student I discovered that 3D printing should be part of the end project. I already made a dummy case and pcb with the 3D printer for my end project. But they were just prototypes and will not be part of my final project.

Luckily I discover that I have actually not really thought of a way to mount the clock on a wall. And the idea to 3D print a plate with screw holes and hooks to hang the clock from is born.

For this I reserve one evening.

Doing and planning are different things.

During the days that pass I find out that the PCB milling poses many many obstacles. I need more then a week before I finally have a working board.

Luckily I can do the lasercutting and the 3D printing at the same time in parallel processes.

Aso the programming went faster then expected after I got some usefull tips from Erwin, Nadieh and a friend.

I finished two days ahead of time which left me with enough time to make a video, slide and document all I did. That sounds like a nice victory, but of course it was a mistake of mine to not include those tasks in my initial planning in the first place...

What has worked and what would I do differently next time?

There is just so much research you can do online. Real progress is often made when a living person looks together with you at your project and gives you advise. Global open time and my fellow students have proven indispensible to make the deadline I told myself I did not need to make.

And yeah, I can recommend everyone to tell themselves that there is no need to rush; you'll work much faster without stress.