Sunday, November 20, 2016

Light Up Poem

I was fortunate enough to be provided with a Chibitronics Love to Code prototype board for evaluation and use in a project. A conversation with Colleen Graves about blackout poetry inspired this project, in which a poem is revealed by light. I chose "Boo, Forever" by Richard Brautigan. 

Boo, Forever
Spinning like a ghost
on the bottom of a
I am haunted by all the
space I will live without
I re-used a laser cut wood box from a prototype for a different project. It has sides two inches deep. 

I built a paper circuit on the piece of wood cut from the front of the box. I used conductive copper tape and white Chibitronic LEDs. In the areas of the circuit where the ground needed to cross one of the A pins circuits, I used pieces of the anti-static bag from the LEDs to provide a non-conductive bridge for the copper tape.


Above the LEDs were two pieces of wood the same size with rectangular slots cut to expose the LEDs below. A piece of parchment paper was placed on top of the second sheet to diffuse the LED light.

The poem was also laser cut through a piece of wood.

On top of the four layers of wood is a piece of dark blue laser cut acrylic.

The Chibitronics LtC board clips onto copper tape leads that are attached to the circuit board. The four leads are sandwiched between pieces of packing tape to form a ribbon cable. The board hangs behind the wood and acrylic pieces.

The acrylic and wood pieces are held in place at the front of the frame with a laser cut wood bezel that is wood glued to the front of the box.

3D printed brackets designed in Tinkercad hold the acrylic and wood in place from inside the frame. They are contact cemented to the interior of the front of the box.

The sketch running on the LtC board is still a work in progress. Right now it turns on the the title and the two sentences in sequence. It is super difficult to photograph!


Video does not capture the ghostly effect of the text hovering behind the acrylic, but hopefully you get the idea. 

The ease with which one crafts and programs the Chibitronics Love to Code board is an exciting preview of things to come. Although still in beta, the web-based programming interface is packed with helpful examples, and the clever way of programming the board through the headphone jack and an audio signal is magical and nearly fool proof. Keep and eye out as the hardware is finalized and released: you will want to add it to your maker toolkit!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Fabricating LogoTurtle Wreaths

I have been using the LogoTurtle to fabricate cardboard wreaths made from overlapping and repeating geometric shapes.

The first part of the process is developing the design and mucking with the math to get the right number of repetitions and to adjust the angles and arcs so there is symmetry and the correct shape. This process results in its own art.

Once the design approximates perfection, the LogoTurtle draws it on cardboard. The art is hand cut with a box cutter, X-Acto knife, and a ruler. The wreaths use multiple copies stacked and offset to develop the design further. The layers are separated by small pieces of cardboard. The layers are affixed to one another with hot glue.

The last wreath also used acrylic paint to define the shapes against one another. This wreath does not have spacers between the layers. The squares were hand cut, while the curves were cut with an electric jigsaw and cleaned up by hand.

Unlike screen Logo turtle art, there are imperfections apparent in the shapes drawn by the LogoTurtle. These imperfections are carefully lessened but never eliminated by the math and adjustments that are programmed into each procedure to approximate perfection. Each wreath is an individual creation, the imperfections, or wabi-sabi, evidence of the LogoTurtle and programmer's efforts at shaping the art.