Step 1: Story
Our juicer was built from a rare 19th century umbrella cabinet for an authentic look that cannot be matched by this era's artisans. We chose this specific cabinet due to the convenient fact that it is made from wormwood which keeps fairies comfortable as they inhabit our holding tank. While the cabinet is late 19th century vintage, our juicing mechanism is designed using the latest technologies available. The transparent facade was chosen to guarantee that we are not using bottled fairy juice, yet it is frosted so as not to reveal the less appetizing realities of fresh fairy juice.
Step 2: The Illusion
Step 3: Case Design
DXF outlines of all the parts were necessary for cutting on the awesome Epilog lasercutter at Instructables. Once all the outlines and joinery were determined I went into a vector illustration program and drew up the badge and inlay flourishes to make it look more art nouveau and fancy. The badge was raster etched into the surface with the laser. The simulated inlay was achieved using two layers of wood. The outer layer I vector cut the outlines of the relief all the way through, and the inner layer is solid. It creates a great effect and could be even cooler with more layers.
Step 4: Lasercutting Tips
Step 5: How It Works
The fairy is a 180degree green LED with small clear fairy wings super glued to it. It's suspended from the top compartment of the case by a servo arm attached to the same flexible small gauge wire that powers the LED. The servo has a pseudo random sweeping pattern that makes the fairy bob up and down. At the bottom of the case there are 4 holes cut for 80mm computer case fans. The fans blow air up into the fairy compartment and since the fairy has wings it catches the wind and swings around in a random pattern in XY space. The servo plus the fans make for a pretty realistic flying pattern.
The Juicing Mechanism:
The crank on the outside of the case is attached to a wheel on the inside of the case that has small magnets on it. When you spin the wheel the magnets pass by a hall effect sensor which sends a signal to our Make Controller board. The make controller then sends power to our two opposed DC gear motors that are coupled to some all-thread rods. The fairy squishing walls are mounted on drawer guides for smooth action and the all-thread passes through a nut on the wall to actuate it inwards and outwards. There are limit switches mounted on the drawer guides as stops to keep it from over extending or retracting. The inside limit switches also signal that the walls are closed and trigger the fairy death sequence. Finally, we have a tunable peristaltic pump attached to the back of the machine that pumps and mixes ice cold sugar water with the absinthe.
Electronics and Software:
We used a Make controller board for doing the in and out which talks over OSC to a laptop running Max/MSP. This is totally overkill, but my partner David wanted to learn Max and it seemed like a good way to get started. The electronics are all off the shelf basic stuff. Here is a somewhat complete electronics parts list:
-hall effect for the wheel sensor
-limit switches for the drawer guides
-servo for the fairy
-green LED for the fairy
-DC gearmotors for the wall actuation
-Peristaltic pump to move the liquid
-Make Controller for analog/digital I/O
-80mm case fans to move fairy