The past few class periods we’ve been working in our school’s Maker Space, which is a classroom that has been converted into a large workshop area for the students to use. Savannah and I have spent this time fabricating the box that will house the Arduino board, battery, cords, and other sensitive equipment. We used the arduino board to give us a general size measurement, then added a few extra inches on each side to make sure we’d have enough room for our other equipment. The final dimensions for the box were an 8″ by 8″ square with a height of 2 inches. We used the plywood that is stocked in the Maker Space to create our housing unit, because the wood was thing and lightweight, which is something we felt was important for our device. We know that if our device ends up being too cumbersome, our potential customers won’t be as satisfied. Once we had each side of our box measured, we used a band saw to cut each piece out. At one point, the metal band snapped during the middle of a cut, and we weren’t able to access the saw for the rest of class. It really felt like a waste of time, because we weren’t able to do much else for the rest of that class period. However, it was kind of cool to figure out how to fix it – the only reason we couldn’t was because we didn’t have a new blade in the right size. It’s always fun to problem-solve, and to get look at the mechanics of the tool and figure out how it worked.
Using the tools has been a cool experience all around. I think having basic knowledge of a few fundamental power tools, and a knowledge of general rules of working around them, is a really important life tool. So many small jobs around the house can be fixed with a little basic knowledge, and that can save someone a lot of money and time. Besides, if you ever find yourself in a situation with power tools, you’ll know how to keep yourself and others safe. I’m really glad we’re getting the opportunity to learn in a controlled environment like the Maker Space
Above, you can see pictures of our finished box. We’ve drilled holes to accommodate wires, as you can see, and designed it to have extra room. We still need to find a way for waterproofing, preventing the equipment from moving around, and a better way to attach the lid.