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19. Project Development

This week I continued work on developing, manufacturing, and finishing my Final Project, and also, like in my week 17, answered some questions regarding my final project, and the work towards it. (Jun 2)

4-6 minutes

What tasks have been completed, and what tasks remain?

As mentioned in several different places across this site, some of my prior assignment weeks have been devoted to final project development. The table below shows the competed systems/subsystems of my tank that I’ve completed leading up to my Final Project development assignments.

Week Tool/Practice Product Link to Compleation
6 Electronics Design Tank Main Board ✔️ First Board Iteration
7 CNC Milling Aquaponics Tank Plywood Structure ✔️ Plywood Tank Structure
11 Inputs Temp/Humidity Sensor ✔️ Temp/Humidity Board
13 Outputs LCD ✔️ LCD Breakout Board
14 Networking & Communication LCD Interface & Tank System Communication ✔️ LCD Interface & Communications

In addition to those prior competed systems/subsystems, as of 06/06/2021 the bulk of my tanks assembly has been completed, with just some cable routing and board mounting to go. The tanks entire power system is operating, taking power mains from an AC wall outlet and converting it to a 12v DC before breaking it out to different systems of my Final Project. The four systems connected to the power breakout are also operational, being my mainboard, switch controlled tank lights, 12hr ON 12hr OFF timed grow lights, as well as my tanks water pump. Unfortunately, while testing this pump with an external power supply, I pushed too much current to the pump, as the lack of connection to my regulated controlled internal power system allowed me to, and fried it. The work left on my project lies just in integrating all of these parts, as mentioned above. I’ve spent a fair bit of time planning this integration while designing all of the systems in my Assistive Aquaponics Fish Tank, and am just left with the installation of them.

What has worked? What has not?

I’ve tried hard throughout my final project to kill off any flaws before developed. The design work that has gone into each of the systems is staggered in time with the other systems, allowing me to move back and forth between systems during design development. Each time I pick a system back up again, I find it easier to pick out flaws/potential issues that may have been in the design. Because of this development before manufacturing, everything thus far in my project has worked … eventually. This careful design work didn’t prevent all troubleshooting in my project, just all-out failures. With that said, the biggest thing that “had not” worked revolves around the water aspects of my tank, and their water vessel’s ability to hold liquid watertight. However, this problem was solved eventually with some fish-safe silicone caulk and some cleanup work.

What questions need to be resolved?

The one question that grows from my Assistive Aquaponics Fish Tank is, how well will the ecosystem run? After the completion of my Final Project, I’m planning on keeping track of my tanks ecosystem on the Ecosystem Tracking Journal page of this website. Although the tank systems have been designed around the aquaponics ecosystem, I’m curious to see how optimized it will be for it, and the successes of the project after this course.

What will happen when?

As of 06/07/2021, the integration of all systems of my Assistive Aquaponics Fish Tank has been completed, and the tank is in order for its final test. In the time leading up to the presentation of my tank, Ill be testing the tank and taking a trip to go get some fish and plants for the final product. In addition to this, the presentation video and slide are a work in progress and also will be continued until finalized at the latest a day before presentations.

What have you learned?

A lot. Choosing a project revolving around a topic I was not previously super familiar with lead to a lot of research into the workings of aquaponics, and I learned a lot. My biggest learning takeaway from the work on my project thus far though is the importance of system integration. The mixed-media nature of my project, including wooden, acrylic, and plastic parts, all made with different manufacturing processes required a good bit of integration with each other to achieve the results yielded. The design work for each of these systems had to reflect the work of all the others, and follow the same set of design rules.

Last update: June 8, 2021