week_4: fabricating an enclosure for physical computing project (in progress)

This assignment involves creating an enclosure for a physical computing project and thus, serves as post for both of classes: fabrication & physical computing.

The chosen architecture for the enclosure is a wooden box of size 21.5 x 21.5 mm (8.5 x 8.5 inches) that I bought at AC Moore Art & Craft Store. What I found particularly interesting in this box was the capacity for sliding in a sheet of acrylic as it cover, giving me the opportunity to design the cover and later create the space for the interface by laser cutting the acrylic. The envisioned colors for the enclosure are black for the wooden box and white, orange or sky-blue acrylic sheet. I proceeded then to paint the box in black (lamp black) using acrylic painting 'Grumbacher' and prototype different versions of the interface in white cardboard and foam board (Figure 1 and 2).

Figure 1. Customization of wooden box as enclosure for physical computing project. After the box was completely painted in black, the acrylic sheet was replaced with white cardboard to start prototyping different versions of the interface (lower right photograph).

Figure 2. Six different interface prototypes were drawn next to each other within the actual size of the acrylic sheet. Seeds from wild and domesticated rice were placed on top of each drawing and the interaction was acted upon for each interface. The best two designs (the one that felt more parsimonious) were chosen and I proceeded to drawn the interface on the white cardboard, and then to slide it into the box instead of the acrylic sheet. In this manner, I could make the interface more realistic prior to buy the acrylic sheet and make the Adobe Illustrator file with the final interface design to laser cut.

Upcoming work includes creating Adobe Illustrator file containing interface design specifics, buying acrylic sheet of the proper dimensions, laser cut the acrylic sheet and place it into the box together with all the physical computing components for this project.

#fabrication #physicalcomputing