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20. Project development

Welcome to the development of my final project.

First I am going to answer the following questions.

  • What task have been completed?

I have complete almost all the task I need to complete to achieve my objective with the project and with the academy.

  • What has worked?

I have worked in every assignments working a lot and very hard to achieve everyone but what I really couldn´t control was in the electronic part the accelerometer sensor… But I found one better solution for me with a tilt sensor

  • What Questions need to be resolved?

    what actually happened changed

    The electronics had to be different as I have said, with an accelerometer sensor instead a Tilt sensor. But the rest is almost I have thinking and designed

    If there were delays, why did these happen?

    Here I have to confess all my delays where because the electronics part were not my strengths… I had to repeat many times a lot of pcb, that took me a lot of time and it rebounded in the schedule of everything. If not, maybe i could allocate more time to test it in windy days, or plan how to make it lighter or to do or design new and better sails…

Maybe not questions instead of that i will need to do a v.2 of my final projects fixing some parts that are not working very good

  • What will happen when?

Then When I fixed those parts I would like to make a web page and try to diffuse everybody to know this project

  • what have you learned?

In this part I have answered that I have learned a lot of the electronic world because it is not what I have studied… Milling boards, soldering components, programing, etc. It has be the most difficult part for me and hard. But now I feel more comfortable to include electronics in my designs .

Here I am going to guide you step by step for all the processes of my project

Main Idea

As you know if you have followed previous assignments you will have an idea about what my project is. But in one sentence I can say:

It is an artificial Tumbleweed, wind powered that spread seeds in abandoned places

That means That I want to imitate the nature, specifically a tumbleweed plant and how it moves in deserts.

Then I want to generate a similar external light skin, to protect a internal core where the seeds would be. Thanks to the electronics inside, it will open a tap in the correct position and movement to help nature to regenerate itself!!

I would like everybody could download my project, under the license agreement, improve it and used it!!

If you want to know more about concept go here week1

Concept modeling

Then I started to designed a 3D model of every parts, how I needed to join it, how to spread the seeds, how to place electronics, etc…

If you want to know more about concept go here week2

Here you can download all the files to print in 3D

I have created later a little box for electronics and how to join it with some flanges.

Manufacturing pieces

For those 3D pieces of the core I used PLA because I want that my project be as sustainable as possible and PLA is a biodegradable plastic.

I have printed my pieces in a Wasp Delta

Here all the 3D pieces I have done

Some useful Tools

To generate the project I needed a big winder as a tool to make the external skin

If you want to know more, the files and how I did it visit week8

lets winder

First I had to do the axes to catch a ball inside. I achieved a correct solution with a sink tap.

Then I fixed with nuts to the structure

Now I used soap as unmolding for the rope. This rope is made with natural fibers to be once more sustainable instead use a plastic rope. The Glue I´ve used is common White glue for carpenters.


Here just a video of how I remove the stopper to deflate. In this way you can used the ball again.


For the final project I decided to generate a FabKit to use it as an homeMade-Arduino Based on:

This board is made for Fiber+CO2 laser so I redraw and make it again as you can se here, with the same components but i don’t need to use every pines.

You can download my files here:

here the board while I was soldering components

I Have also used a Tilt Sensor as an input to open the tap of the seeds.

To program this board I found very useful this website on internet that allowed me to make the bootloader correctly.

Assembling Core and testing

Here I started to assembling all pieces, and check everything is ok.

First testing the board works perfectly with the sensor and the servo motor

You can download .ino file here:

I need to improve some structural parts and use the imagination! as this stick with a lollipop

Here you can see the most important parts that produces movement inside the core

Then I could assemble everything

And test that everything works perfectly!

So now i just close everything and test with something similar to the seeds, in this case rice

Assembling tumbleweed

Now it is the turn to insert the core inside the natural-fibers skin opening a little hole in one side to manipulate everything.

I just connected the core with rods and nuts to the external part as a sandwich.

I did a sails to with Nylon here are the measures of the pattern i should cut in laser, but I couldn´t for time. So I did manually

Later I did some rivets to join those sails to the rods with some flanges. Here is the process

Tumbleweed prototype and Cost

Here you can see the final prototype.

Material und/€ Unds Total
PLA filament 500g 10€ 1 10€
Natural fibers rope 15€ 1 15€
Atmega 328p 3,08€ 1 3,08€
10kΩ resistors 0,09€ 5 0,45€
9V power supply 5€ 1 0,45€
1uF capacitor 0,15€ 4 0,60€
10uF capacitor 0,22€ 1 0,22€
Shunt voltage 0,61€ 2 1,22€
Tilt sensor 4,80€ 1 4,80€
Motor Driver A4950 2,66€ 1 2,66€
Pin connectors 2,4€ - 2,4€
Nylon fabrics (m2) 9€ 1 9€
Extras - 10€
Rods 0,34€ 3 1,02€
Nuts 2,15 pkg 2,15€
Flat washer 1,05 pkg 1,05€
Carpenter white glue 4,19 - 4,19€
Total 67,07€

Slide and Video presentation

You can find the resume of the project here:

Licencia de Creative Commons
Este obra está bajo una licencia de Creative Commons Reconocimiento-NoComercial-CompartirIgual 4.0 Internacional.