The purpose of my prototype is to provide light for just the page of the book you are reading. This would be very helpful for college students who need to study late but don't want to wake up their roommate.
- sheet of acrylic
- thin plywood
- Arduino nano
- jumper wires
- 9 volt battery
- 9 volt battery connector
- strip of NeoPixels
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Step 1: Programming Arduino
My first goal was to program my Arduino Uno to turn an LED on. The next step was to program my Arduino Uno to turn on when I pushed a button. Then I programmed my Arduino to dim an LED with a potentiometer. The last and final step with Arduino was to program my Arduino Nano to dim NeoPixels with a potentiometer. All of these codes I found online and either copy and pasted them or changed it to do exactly what I wanted.
This process probably took the longest amount of time and was difficult for me because it was my first time using Arduino but eventually I did it.
Step 2: Constructing the Prototype
My next step was to cut some plywood. I cut four of my pieces 11" by 2". Then I cut two pieces 2.5" by 2". I glued my rectangular box together with wood glue, leaving one side open so I could insert the Arduino and the battery.
I laser cut my acrylic so it was 9" by 6" which is the average size of a book. I then laser cut a slit in one of my pieces of plywood so that I could insert my acrylic into it. To do this I first laser cut foam core and cut out the dimensions of my wood and the slit. Then I took out the inner piece of foam core and replaced it with my piece of wood and reran the laser cutter so it would cut the slit in the wood. I used hot glue to connect my acrylic to the slit in the wood.
Then I drilled a small hole for the potentiometer to fit through which was difficult to find a drill bit that was the correct size.
Step 3: Putting It All Together
The last and final step was to put everything together.
I put the potentiometer through the small hole. Then I carefully stuffed my battery, Arduino Nano, and all the wires into the box. I taped/hot glued my NeoPixels to the top where the acrylic is. Lastly I took some wood glue and put the top on.
Then it was complete.
Step 4: Conclusion
Link to it working: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9d6sA88Qm28&feature=youtu.be
My initial idea was to have this be a thing that would light up a page in a book, but after I started to put it together I realized I hated it and I thought it was too chunky and big to be used for that purpose. This is just a prototype, but I think I am going to work on it more and maybe etch something onto the acrylic so the NeoPixels light up the design.
The completed project looks pretty different from my initial sketch of it. But for my first prototype ever, I'm proud.