mech-a-sketch

kinetic art

Mech-A-Sketch is a screen composed of dual colored prisms that turn with the control of a joystick.
Fall 2017 // Designed with: Crystal Liu, Quadri Bada 
Concept
Our project emulates the work of Daniel Rozin, whose “Wooden Mirror” uses feedback from a camera to trigger tilting wooden tiles to reproduce the image of a person standing in front of them.
First Prototype
This prototype tested the rotating tile mechanism using a LIDAR range finder to trigger rotation. 
Materials: Adafruit servos // wood rods // lasercut MDF pieces // cardboard // paper
A rubber band was attached in a pulley style between the servo head and the rod that was attached to the tile. Holding an object close to the range finder activated the servo and turned the tile.
Final Design
We switched from flat tiles to triangular prisms, implemented a revised prism rotating mechanism
and switched the concept to an Etch-A-Sketch.
Materials: MDF backboard // gold paper prisms // steel wire // wood rods // Adafruit microservos ​​​​​​​
Prisms and Turning Mechanism
A triangular prism was more ideal because it only needed to be rotated 120 degrees to show another face. A wire mechanism attached between the servo head and the prism face rotates the prism reliably.
Backboard
I designed the backboard to be modular so that we could work on activating individual rows of servos and then put them together.
Controller
Due to time constraints we switched from a Wooden Mirror to an Etch-a-Sketch control where the user can manipulate the tiles using a controller. The initial test used a keypad. We later switched to a joystick for more freedom of movement.