Introduction: Interactive Whiteboard

This project will be teaching you how to make a whiteboard with interchangeable pieces that can spin or light up certain parts of the board. This adds a fun element to drawing and allows it to become more interactive because it is no longer static but has moving and changing parts.

Acrylic (that will need to be Laser Cut)
Rare Earth Magnets
Small motors (I used vibrating motors)
Double Sided Conductive Tape
Electric Tape
Coin Cell Batteries
Super Glue
Dry Erase Markers

Step 1: Laser Cut and Assemble

First you will need to purchase some acrylic and create a layout file of how you would like the acrylic to be cut. I made several circles all around the surface of the acrylic so that I could have many different interchangeable pieces. I used a quarter inch thick acrylic to insure that the light would show through and used a white opaque color so that it still resembled a white board. Once the board has been cut all of the sides should be assembled to create a box for all of the pieces to fit into. Also, you can begin to add little legs to each of the circles that have been cut out to create what looks like little tables which you can later add LED's to.

Step 2: Batteries

Using the electric and conductive tape, make it so that both the negative and positive sides of the battery are facing up. To do this you would place electric tape going from one side of the battery to the other, and use the conductive tape on top of that, insuring it is touching the negative side of the battery but resting on top of the electric tape on the positive side. This will make it so that it is easy to connect a LED or motor to one side of the battery rather than having a leg have to wrap around each side. 

Step 3: Magnets

Now add magnets to the batteries. You can secure them by using some electric tape and attaching it to the batteries. Make sure the polarity of the magnets corresponds with the charge of the electrical current so that the positive ends are always drawn to the positives and the negatives are always drawn to the negatives, this makes it easy to connect the LED's and Motors.

Step 4: LED's

Now you are going to attach the LED's tiny table pieces you created (the circular cut outs with the legs). I used some foam core to hold the led's in place, but it would probably be easier if you have laser cut pieces to hold the LED's and magnets in place that you would have made ahead of time. I poked holes through the foam core and wrapped the LED legs around the base which was then glued into place on the bottom of the table's legs, with just enough space to attach magnets and later connect to the battery pieces that we made. I then marked the ends of the LED's as negative and positive so it would be easier to keep track of which end is which when trying to attach to the batteries correctly.

Step 5: Motors

Connecting the motors works a bit differently than connecting the LED's. The LED's can have legs that attach to the ground because they don't need to move, but because the motors are going to be in motion the top circle can not be attached to anything but the top of the vibrating motor so that it is free to spin, but there must be a base built for the vibrating motor to sit on so that the motor stays in place while only the base spins. I created a foam core box that holds the bottom of the motor and sits on the ground while the top is connected to the circular disc. However, before gluing the top of the motor to the disc make sure that you have it glued directly in the center so that the motor is not spinning off center but rather in the correct place. 

Step 6: More Magnets

Attach the magnets to the ends of the LED's and Motors. Make sure the polarity corresponds with that of the polarity on the magnets so the negatives are attracted to one another and the positives are attracted to one another, but not vice versa, this will make it easier to quickly interchange parts when you are using the white board. In the photograph I have soldered the magnets to the wires, but I would recommend staying away from solder and using conductive tape to secure the magnets as heating the magnets can result in loosing some of their strength.

Step 7: Embedding Batteries

Now it is time to embed the batteries into the bottom of the board and cover it with its lid. In the photographs you can see that I found where each of wholes were on the board and drew a circle in the same spot on the bottom board and then found the center, cut out a circle, and embedded the battery so that the LED and Motor pieces would fit directly onto the batteries. This is one way of doing it, but an easier way would be to have this bottom panel pre cut with the rest of your laser cut materials so that you can just slide the batteries into place. 

Step 8: Congratulations

You are now done. Once you have the bottom placed under the top of the board with all of batteries embedded you can take out the pieces and interchange them as you draw. This will make it so that you can draw interactive artwork with parts that glow and move. Have fun.

Epilog Challenge V

Participated in the
Epilog Challenge V