First Encounter

Intro: First Encounter

**** Subject to improvement, uploaded because of deadlines ****

This instructable explains how to build the triangle mesh, which we developed for the course Physical Interaction Design and Realisation. The Triangle mesh is an hanging art installation consisting of, in our case, xx triangle modules. Because the used code is modular as well, it is either you or the calculating capacity of the arduino to determine how many triangles are possible.


- Wood for laser cutting (4mm)

- Milky white acrylic for laser cutting (2mm)

- Aluminum foil

- Electrical wires

- Arduino

- Neopixel LED strip (depending on number of LED's per triangle)

- Black Cloth

- Woodglue

- Glue gun with glue

- Small screws (3 per triangle)

Step 1: Building the Casing

The case of the triangle mesh consists of 4 pieces of laser cut wood (backplate is missing in image), and 1 piece of acrylic. Glue the 3 triangles, with the center cut-out together with wood glue to make the wall of the casing. this wall will make sure there is enough space for the LED's to fit, while holding the acrylic at the same time.

After the glue has dried, sand the outside edges of the glued piece and the backplate at an angle of 30 degrees. This will allow for the movement we want to have. If You want you can (spray)paint the wood now to get a better finish in the end.

The acrylic should now fit precisely into the wood wall.

Step 2: Preparing LED's

The LED's we used (Neopixels 30 LED's per meter), came in a waterproof case. The case needs to be taken of, otherwise the LED's will not fit. We chose 30 LED's per meter to reduces the amount of soldering. Each side of the triangle will be lined with 3 LED's, making it 9 per triangle.

Cut the LED-strip at intervals of 9 LED's or pixels. At the input side of your 9 pixel strip solder 3 wire for Ground, Data and Power. Make sure the wires run along the LED-strip (see picture), otherwise they will not fit in the casing. At the output side of the strip, solder only a Data out wire in the same fashion as the other wires.

Finally bend the strip at the cut-off points to form a triangle with 3 LED's on each side.

Step 3: Preparing Capsense

The Capsense sensor is made with aluminum foil, for the best performance it should remain one piece of aluminum. Therefor it is easiest to cut out an S-shaped line of triangles, which can easily be folded into one big triangle of several layers. To get the size of the triangle right, you can use the cut-out inner pieces of the wall triangles.

When the triangle is done, get a piece of wire (about 20 cm) and strip it a little shorter the than one side of the triangle. Fold back the triangle 2 or 3 times, put the stripped piece of the wire in the fold and refold the triangle with the wire inside.

Step 4: Component Testing and Assembly

To make sure everything is working properly, you can already hook it up using the supplied code and wiring scheme. It is a good idea to do this now, since it is pretty though to do repairs and adjustments after it is been fully assembled.

Assembly Take the wall and put it face down on the table with the acrylic inside. Fit in the LED-strip with the wires in one of the corners. Glue everything in place by adding glue in the corners, at the backside of the LED-strip, with a hot glue gun. Make sure you use enough glue to reach the acrylic stick as wel.

When it is stuck in place, stick some electrical tape over the wall, to prevent the LED-strip from making contact with the aluminum foil. Take the aluminum foil, fold back the tip where the wire is ticking out and stick it on the triangle wall. Make sure the LED-strip wires are getting out at the folded tip. Next, drill a hole in the tip of the backplate so the wires are able to go through easily. Align the triangles next to each other and put the cloth over them. Cut holes in the cloth for the wires to go through and put the backplate on top of it. Screw everything in place, while keeping the cloth stretched in between the triangle wall and the backplate.

Attach a small piece off left over wood to each servo with duct-tape and screw it to the backplate of each triangle. Make sure to get the turning wheel of the servo is in the center of the triangle for the best effect.

Step 5: Finishing Assembly and Code

Hook all the wires up according to the scheme. Adjust the code to the amount of triangles you have and upload it to the arduino



    • Electronics Tips & Tricks Challenge

      Electronics Tips & Tricks Challenge
    • Optics Contest

      Optics Contest
    • Plastics Contest

      Plastics Contest

    2 Discussions

    Thank you, you should see them moving, it looks awesome!

    A bigger version is still in the works. This version of the instructable was a deliverable for an progress demo fo the course we're following. In the coming three weeks we intend to expand it to about 20 units

    The instructable will then also be updated with better pictures, video's and the actual schematics and code of the prototype