Intro to Fabrication - Week 6 - Rotating Display: IT WORKS


The criteria this week was to create a project based around a well-mounted motor. My enclosure project a couple weeks ago also had a motor and ended in abject failure, so I decided to have another go at the same idea with the new knowledge I have acquired in the weeks since. And this time I succeeded!


Most of the core components from that project stayed the same: the enclosure, the motorized spinning platform, and the light inside. However I decided to simplify the specifics. Instead of using a continuous servo being controlled by an Arduino Nano, I bought a geared ‘TT’ DC motor which would spin at about the same rate and not require a microcontroller. This simplified the whole setup considerably because it also meant that I could operate the LED simply by having a momentary switch complete the circuit to the light. The only brief hangup was that I was not sure how I was going to power this new setup, since the first design simply got power via the Arduino. I was still attached to the idea of powering the device via USB, and so I simply dug up a USB cable in the cable bin in the shop, cut one end off and wired it directly to my simply circuit. It works perfectly with a USB wall wart rated at 5 volts, and I included a 5 volt regulator in the wiring just in case it gets plugged into something that is rated higher.


My initial plan for mounting the motor was to create my own ‘U’ bracket just using a strip of aluminum. This way I would be able to make it the perfect shape to screw down to the bottom of the enclosure. However to my pleasant surprise, when I received the motors I realized that not only did they already have screw holes in them, but I also had the perfect size screw already in my bin. As a result all I had to do to attach the motor to my enclosure was drill two holes in the bottom and thread the screws through.


Another addition I made to this version was the purchase of shaft couplers to correctly attach the aluminum shaft I had to the motor. On the other end I took the spool I used last time and cut one side of it off to create a flange that actually fits perfectly on the end of the shaft. And then I glued the small display holder onto that flange.

As a final note, one reason that was proposed to me after the fact as to why my initial project may have shorted is because I somehow forgot to take note of the fact that the container itself is in fact conductive. So before I went ahead with this second version of my project I sprayed the inside of the enclosure with a matte finish, just to be safe!

fabStefan SkripakComment