Step 15: Putting it all together
After you have all of your parts, including the laser cut base pieces, it is time to assemble it all. **
User bpark1000 added the following comment to the troubleshooting page, however, I thought I would include it here in it's entirety because of the essential information that it provides.
"A word concerning another problem you may have in time: the laser-cut acrylic plastic can crack due to internal stresses set up by the laser-cutting process. Any cutting process heats (and melts) the surface at the cuts. These surfaces cool and try to shrink, but are braced by the bulk of the unheated material. They remain in tension, and cracks can start from imperfections over time.
You can see these stresses by illuminating the pieces with polarized light and viewing through another polarizer. Stressed areas will pass light; the rest will be dark.
The solution is to anneal out these stresses. You take the parts (remove the protective paper) after fabrication and put them in an oven. They are heated to a temperature that allows stress to relieve, but not enough to warp (probably about 180 degrees F), hold at that temperature until the bulk is at that temperature, then cool slowly so that essentially the entire bulk cools together. This will require at least 12 hours. The large gear will be the item you must watch carefully for warping. Annealing can be done more slowly at lower temperatures. The quality of the anneal can be checked with the polarizer set."
Start by organizing the cut sections and removing any of excess/unused material. Leave the protective covering on the acrylic in place. It can be easy to smudge, scratch or foul the surface in any of these steps so leave it on until the very end.
Start by placing the parts in the stack in the manner in which they should be placed. Start with the base layer and work your way up. Make sure everything fits and looks good. This step is just to make sure everything is rotated and flipped appropriately for easier assembly later. After you are satisfied that everything does indeed look good, we can move on.
Remove all but the bottom three layers. Place your color cycling control thingy and the voltage controller in there to make sure it fits properly and to get a good idea of how you want to run your wires.
I started by soldering the pin connector that came with the voltage regulator to the voltage regulator. After setting that aside, I stripped the main incoming power wires. I then stripped the wires for the LED controller and connected them to the main power. I branched at that point: with two wires going to the voltage controller and then two out from there to the motor. The ground from the main and the ground for the motor were spliced together.
Before you turn this on; you will want to disconnect the motor and adjust the potentiometer on the voltage regulator to be close to 6V. The specific regulator I used can output up to 7.5V. The motor can probably handle that, but I prefer not to risk it.
Once that is set and measured; you hook up the motor and turn it all on. You should get lights and your motor should spin. If not, check the trouble-shooting section. Woohoo! Almost there.
Cut your wires down to the sizes needed to fit appropriately in the case, if you didn't do so initially. Start by placing a bit of foam backed tape on the underside of the LED controller. I left the voltage controller loose because, it is light enough that the wires kind of keep it in place and there is nothing conductive for it to brush up against. You could just as easily glue it in place, but initially, I prefer to keep it all easy to modify in the very likely event that I'll mess something up. Check the attached schematic (I use the term VERY loosely) for the basic circuit design.
After you successfully get all of the electronics and wires packed in there, you are ready to put the rest of it together. Lay on the additional layers until you get to the layer that holds the turntable. Coil your LED lights in a spiral with the terminating end in the center. Place this in the cavity. Lay on the layer that holds the turntable. Add the acrylic ball bearings to the machined ring. Put the turntable on the acrylic spheres and add the driving gear to the motor drive shaft. Put the other layers on and finish by adding the hex caps. With that, you should be done.
Turn it on to make sure everything works as it should. If you find it skipping, check the driving gear for level. If it is off true it may skip.
I hope you have enjoyed this Instructable and I hope it inspires or helps you in some way. If you have any questions or corrections, please do not hesitate to contact me.
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