Intro to Fab Week 1 – Do Not Blame the Tools!

I was excited, curious and somewhat afraid when I took up this class. I’ve trying to do stuff on my own but things did not turn out good for me.

Now that I’ve taken the class, I’ll do everything I can to defend my honor!

Flashlights!

The first assignment was rather easy: make a flashlight.

I searched my memory about physics lessons in high school, trying to figure out where to start. I also Googled and found lots of amazing home-made flashlights. There is actually a website called “Flashlight Fans” where people post their handcraft pieces.

I got inspired by this YouTube video:

Getting Started

I made a super rough sketch so that I could got all the stuff prepared in advance and had a plan.

So let’s get to work! SInce it was a easy task, there weren’t many tools or materials needed:

  • LED
  • Wire stripper
  • 2 AA batteries
  • hook wires.

Play with the Materials

A normal LED eats voltage up to 3V, so I have to connect 2 AA batteries (1.5V each) together to make enough voltage. No duct tape nearby so I had to improvise with this blue sticky tape. I was not sure if it was insulated but it worked just fine.

One of the problem I made was that I didn’t stick the negative and postive sides of two batteries close enough. When I tested the batteries with the LED, the light wouldn’t turn on. It turned out the batteries were not connected well enough.

That comes with the robustness of your device. Unlike the digital world, anything can happen in the real world, so sometime you have to debug some super simple but annoying problems, just like this one.

Another problem qas that the wire stripper was worn out. (Another reason to buy you own gears) I had to use a utility knife instead.

First I stripped the wires and conncet them with the LED, one for the negative and the other, positive. Then I sticked the LED and wires to the batteries. To make a button, I left some space between the wire and the positive side, so that when you pressed the wire, it connected to the battery and therefore lighted the LED.

Final Thoughts

 

I can’t say I am satisfied but I am indeed pretty proud of my work. May it be the start of me making awesome stuffs

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Nice work. Starting with a paper prototype is always a good idea.
    I don’t think you soldered any part of the light, but soldering could make the wire to LED connection very reliable. Also, I would recommend a battery holder for the 2 AAs. That would make the contact between the batteries consistent.
    I think if you wrapped the paper tighter around the batteries, it would be easier to operate.

    1. Normandanny says:

      Oh! How foolish of me to forget about the soldering thing! About the battery holder, I do have one from my old toy. I’ll definitely use it in the later version! Thanks a lot for the suggestions!

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