Tinkering School

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Drawing on Inspiration

Nathan SavoyComment

Friday's vending machine is taking shape. This session we picked up right where we left off last week. The majority of the group continued to flow with the heavy construction of machine's internal shelving, ramps and catch tray.  While a few members dedicated their entire session to figuring out the complicated mechanics of the coil dispenser. The big question left over from last week related to its actuator. How will we control the coil's rotation from outside the box it sits in?

Nico works on completing the container to house the coil dispenser 

Nico works on completing the container to house the coil dispenser 

We tried a few different iterations. First feeding the end of the coil through a hole in the back of the box but this only resulted in a slow unraveling the coil as it continued to lengthen out the handle's side. Next we discussed how if the actual handle could rotate around the actuators end the coil would maintain it's length, but this rising and falling of the coil remaining inside raised concern with the "candy" droping loose into the bottom of the box.

Henri and Ethan try using the end of the coil as a handle to turn the coil inside the box. 

Henri and Ethan try using the end of the coil as a handle to turn the coil inside the box. 

We determined that what we needed we're two independent rotations.

First to control the coil resting inside the box- the second to control the handle that would remain outside the box. Then somehow connect them together. Will who was helping out with the vending machines' casement floated over to check in on how the coil teams progress was going. Henri explained the groups new objective. To which Will replied, 

"Oh, I get it. Like a pencil-sharpener."

Drawing inspiration from what works.

Drawing inspiration from what works.

Turing it into design! 

Turing it into design! 

I felt like crying, "EURIKA!"

Yes, thats exactly the type of mechanism we needed to create. Conveniently there was a pencil sharpener mounted to the wall directly in front of where the team was working. We took a moment to take it apart, appreciate it's mechanism and look for some answers. I get really excited when we draw on real life examples as inspiration for our own design challenges.

Getting so close! 

Getting so close! 


    

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