My idea for the flashlight assignment was to create a pen that lights up. Overall, the experience was very positive, as it allowed me to apply what we have learned in Physical Computing. It was a nice to use that knowledge, or the lack there of, and explore more.
- 3 volt battery
- push button/toggle switch
- LED button
This is the first prototype I made. Although I liked somewhat goofy look to this version, I was using a push button that did the opposite what I wanted. The electricity from the battery was flowing straight to the LED, meaning that the when the wires were connected, the LED would turn on. When you push the button, the LED would turn off.
This was actually my first time soldering. When trying to explore other options to fix the backwards flashlight, my soldering job didn’t stand the test of force. I accidentally pulled one of the legs of the button and broke it off. Luckily, someone near me overheard me dilemma and showed me better ways to solder more efficiently.
After discussing it with someone working next to me, we thought that a toggle switch would solve my issue of having my flashlight working like it should. I was able to get a toggle switch. After a few attempts, a lot of careful soldering, a lot of tape, and 6 hours, I was able to attach everything to pen and finalize my pen flashlight.
This assignment was a really great experience for me in putting a lot of things we have learned in PComp into practice. Since finishing my flashlight on Monday, I’ve been in a pretty great mood and feel generally more positive about my ITP experience. My personal opinion is that Intro to Fabrications be a requirement for 1st years. Even some people have experience with building things, it’s a great environment to explore new ways of thinking and the practice of prototyping is invaluable.