When our class was learning about Arduino and 3-D Printing we were inspired to do a project that encompassed the whole of what we had been learning in the class. We also wanted to prioritize trying new things while learning about cutting edge technology along the way.
What it does
The Arduino we are using is customized to connect to the internet upon powering on. Once powered on it connects to a web based weather service and collects weather data points based on the location of the device. Depending on the customization of the Arduino and its programming, it will determine how to light the LED fixed on the container. Depending on how the LED is being lit up it will communicate a basic yes or no answer to whatever it was programmed to do. An example of this in use would be programming the Arduino to collect data on weather associated with migraines. If weather that would induce migraines would happen to occur within the next 48 hours, the device would quickly blink the LED until conditions changed.
How we built it
We started by soldering all the necessary connections from the Arduino to the Led and DC power input. We then connected the Arduino to a laptop and began to tinker with the code. While the programmers of the group worked on code, the design portion of the team began to sculpt containers in Blender and investigate open source options as well. After the design team finished with selecting and editing proper containers, the designs were then sent to be 3-D printed. After the print was completed, we fitted the circuitry within the containers and connected necessary power. After verifying that our first model worked, we repeated the process for the second product.
Challenges we ran into
3-D printing became a huge time issue. If one print came out bad, it would be another four hours of printing before we had another candidate for a container. Coding bugs in the Arduino's software made progress on testing our device a slow process. 3-D modeling software Blender, had a few .stl file issues that we had to resolve.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Having a working product is an achievement we are quite proud of. Not only were we able to create one working version of this concept, but we coded and crafted another working product that measured a different symptom.
What we learned
Our group has gained a new perspective on time management in regard to how involved the process of 3-D printing is. Mistakes in the 3-D design faze could cost us precious hours. We also explored new coding methods and discovered the application of it within physical hardware.
What's next for Better Weather Buddy
We plan on exploring further possibilities with what ailments can be measured and forewarned using this design. During this Hackathon we made two products that detect migraine conditions and advise temperature conditions. One idea we would like to expand this design to encompass is that of collecting data on pollen count for warning of allergic conditions and respiratory issues.