Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? The answer to this question(Spongebob) is fairly obvious to most people today. Our team was assigned the task of designing and building a prop for the upcoming play production. The idea that immediately came to our minds was Spongebob as it is a very popular show and one of our favorites. Many people including children and adults watch Spongebob. We decided to make the pineapple house that Spongebob lives in as our prop. The house is very unique and aesthetically pleasing. We planned on making the house out of cardboard and using pyramid tessellation shapes. We also installed a circuit in the prop and added LEDs that can be turned on using a switch. This is only a scaled prototype of the actual prop used in theater.
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Step 1: Materials & Tools
- Pine wood
- Circular roll of cardboard (to use as core)
- Fake plant leaves
- 5 mm 5 Yellow LED's
- Insulted Wires
- 9V battery
- SPST switch
- 200 OHM resistor = 1
- Band saw
- Hot Glue Gun
- Scroll Saw
- Xacto Knives
- Foam Cutter
Step 2: Constructing the Base
Use a ruler to find the diameter of the inside of the cardboard core and then use the measurement to draw the same sized circle onto the wooden plank.
Use the Scroll Saw to cut out the circle and make sure to sand off the edges to make sure you or the person handling the prop doesn't get splinters. Sand the base down so it fits snug to the inside of the core.
Keep in mind that if you make the circle too small , it will constantly be falling out when you pick up the prop. Make sure to cut a bigger circle and then use the sanding block.
Step 3: Making the Tessellation Shape
Cut out 120 isosceles triangles in order to be able to make 40 pyramids. This is how many it took for us to cover up the whole core and leaving a space for the door, you might need more to cover your entire core. Cut this one piece out so it can be used as a template to quickly draw out many triangles.
Glue the lateral edges of three triangles together in the shape of the pyramid. There is no base.
Repeat this process until you feel like you have enough to fill the whole core, but also make sure to create some extras as a backup if you mess up. Remember if you don't have enough , you always have the measurements to go back and make more if needed.
Step 4: Gluing the Shapes Onto the Core
Use one pyramid to get the tessellation started, usually the the top or bottom is preferred. Glue down all the sides and if the edges of the pyramids are sticking up, that is fine as it is covered and creates a cool design when all the other shapes are put on as well.
The next pyramid can be placed along side the initial triangle and glued in snug. Continuing this process will result in the core being filled with pyramids. Make sure to leave a spot open for the door, the window, and the switch as well.
Step 5: Building the Circuit
Placing the bulbs in series with a switch would not work because there is not enough voltage to illuminate all the LED's. As a result , the solution is to put all 5 LED's into a parallel circuit with a switch right after the battery and an 100 OHM resistor following the switch. The resistor is to make sure the LED's don't deteriorate over time.
Make sure this is built on a bread board first and then soldered together with the correct wire lengths to be able to work out the kinks before hand easily.
Step 6: Soldering the Circuit
In order to properly solder the circuit in parallel and not have the light bulbs burn out, it is best to solder each light built to wires first and later solder each little piece later. For this process, carefully remove each part you need from the bread board as you need it instead of all at once. It is best if a new wire is used so the LED's can be placed farther apart from each other.
To start, solder braided wires to both sides of the 100 ohm resistor, so one side can be attached to the switch and the other to the anode side of a LED. Now gather all 5 LED's and solder a braided wire to each anode. Next, solder each of these braided wires at the anode of anther LED, except for the last on in line. The braided wire for this one LED will be coming from the resistor, this way the resistor is in a series connection. Now all we have to do is use new braided wire to attach all the cathodes of the LED to one other except for the same LED as last time. This one LED braided wire will be running to the cathode side of the battery. To close the circuit , all we have to do is attach a wire from the switch to the anode side of the battery.
Now that the circuit is complete , when the switch is towards the battery , it should be off, and when the switch is towards the resistor, all 5 LED's should be emitting light.
Step 7: Extra Accessories
The extra accessories include the door, window, and exhaust. All of these will be made out of foam using a heated foam cutter.
To construct a door , cut the foam board out in the shape of a semi-oval, so it can fill up the space left for the door on the core of the pineapple. This may take a few tries to get the right size, so don't get frustrated and give it a few tries. The window is next and it is circular is shape and about half the size of the door. Lastly the exhaust, which is made up of two cylinders whose diameters are about 1/2 cm. The length of one is 1/4 inch while the other one is 1 inch. After both are cut, glue them together to create a right angle. IMPORTANT: Make sure the window and door are the same width.
With this, you are done with the accessories and are ready to start gluing and and painting.
Step 8: Painting and Gluing
Before we attach the accessories , we need to paint them and also paint the pineapple itself so it can dry off and the paint doesn't mix.
Paint all the accessories black while the pineapple will be painted orange. One coat of black is enough for the little pieces while for the pineapple at least more than one coat is needed to hide the brown color of the card board. The more the coats , the deeper the orange will appear. Let the pieces dry over night and the next day it will be ready to assemble.
When you are ready, glue the door to the open so it fits snug and the window should be positioned to the left side of the door , but still visible from the front. Next, the exhaust goes on the exact right of the pineapple so we can see the right angle shape from the front.
Step 9: Inserting Circuit
In order to put the lights on the pineapple ,you need holes to put them in, so find a drill bit that is about the size of your LED head(a little bigger is best). Decide where you want your LEDS and simply drill.
Once you have 5 holes from the inside , push the LED through until the head is spotted on the outside. Repeat this to all 5 LED's and drop the battery to the bottom of the pineapple. The only time you will be needing that battery now is when it dies and you need to switch it out. Make sure to leave the switch hanging out of the top at the back of the pineapple for easy access.
Step 10: Final Touches
Now that all the major structural and electrical work is finished , we can look at the fine details. Add the fake leaves at the top, by simply placing it in the hole. If you would like to , it is possible to take green paint and put some on each pyramid tip to make it look a little more like a pineapple, but other than that give yourself a pat on the back, you have successfully finished Spongebob's pineapple house.
Step 11: Reflection
The part I liked most about the project was the tessellation shapes and the green leaves at the top of the pineapple. Adding these leaves instead of making leaves from construction paper was a great choice as it made it look more like a pineapple and it is aesthetically pleasing now. I also liked the door and the exhaust as adding those made it look similar to the house in Spongebob. If we were to do this again, we would maybe try to make the tessellation shapes using the CAD software like we originally intended to do instead of using cardboard. Overall, I really liked our prop and I feel that it came out really well.
Step 12: Resources
I learned that the three ways to build a blinking LED circuit are using a relay, a transistor or an inverter.
I learned that a 555 timer chip is used in a variety of devices such as timers and pulse generators. 555 timer chips have 3 modes, bi-stable, mono-stable, as-table.
I learned that CAD is a computer-aided software program that can be used to to create precise 2- and 3-dimensional drawings. There are many uses for it such as to manufacture equipment, plan infrastructure projects, design electrical circuitry, and build homes and commercial structures. We planned on using it to create the tessellation shapes.
I learned that Arduino is a microcontroller on a circuit board which makes it easy to receive inputs and drive outputs. Inputs are sensors and switches. Outputs are lights, screen and motors.