You might see that it has been one month since an update was made. This might be the final one, at least within the frame of my elective. The picture below shows the main outcome of what I am writing here, I finally made it in real life!
Everything started with making sure that I had the necessary materials ready. The wood was near good, the 3D printed elements were not yet made on the other hand. A week ago I got reminded that our elective end-term was tomorrow, a big wave of stress came down. However, this mostly ended the day after when I turned on the 3D printer. One problem was time, somehow I did not think twice that I had to print 252 parts. The printer is printing a last batch during the time that I am writing this text. The printer did a good job running nearly 24 hours a day for a period of a week. So the assembly continued when a print was done. The final result of the assembly came in waves. Sitting in front of a pile of plastic did made me think of what I exactly did good, it seemed that the project wasn't good for anything with all these plastic parts. However! This makes it extremely easy to assemble, friendly and accessible. I should get as much energy that we putted into the production of all the goods (wood, plastics, mirrors) out of the sun to be square with our earth. One thing I have to note is that a lot of the parts have support material, you need some time to get rid of this, it contradicts with the 'easy' to assemble aspect of using plastics. But! All the shapes are possible to be produced with injection molding, erasing the cleaning part I have to deal with now. It is a bit of a lego, in a way easier to bring it to the end-term table. A problem of huge objects, as encountered with the satellite dish is here not the case. This maybe is the Ikea flatpack equivalent of the satellite parabolic mirror ;) . Lucky that praxis has a pick-up service, I managed to get a stick of wood, more mirrors and screws! The system doesn't like impulsive buying, after I found out I should probably have more than 30 screws I placed another order. However, you need a minimum of 10 euros to use their corona pick-up service. I wasn't sure what to get, It felt you were being lured into more consumption. But I remembered that I was quite frustrated sometimes when taking apart things, electronics, when not having a good screwdriver. So I bought that, and one of decent quality, to keep my entire life. That is a nice property of plastics, they last very long, they would last longer than wood. (As long the UV light does not break them, also the 3D printer uses PLA, a compostable plastic, 'compostable' probably a few years in good circumstances) To use plastics thoughtful.
As I mentioned before, consuming parts directly as they come out of the printer, like cookies out of an oven, is not the case here. My poor print time management made me speed up the printing process, making the quality and accuracy a bit poor. This meant that the wood could use some sandpaper. Other parts needed a pre-drill. I believe that a good thing would be to provide this hole in the printed element already. I first intended to use short screws to make the mirror-holder connect with the parts that put them in their unique location. Using a longer screw that would also go into the wooden part provided more stability. Everything was fitting good, it was great to see a physical result!
I was a bit too hard here and there on the plastics. Some needed to be reprinted. It was a sort of loophole where the deadline came closer, the time to print was less available, then the quality would become less, then parts could break easier and so on. But it all went pretty good.
And here I present you my finished product. This would only be a quarter of the entire installation. Having the ability to work on one part to then multiply it felt good. Because it is easier to work on a smaller product instead of a big one. Hereby I compare the satellite dish and only this quarter in my head. If I have this part right, then entire product should work. That was a bit the mindset.
Some sun came through the clouds, a little gift of the nature today. Maybe. Anyway, great to test if it works. And it did :) . Not all the parts were finished by the time the sun appeared. I will have an electrical sun to showcase my work it's function at the end-terms. Writing this I think its nice to make another update here on the website to show that too. And there is also Lena! The actual heatpoint is now at a height of 1.8 meters, great to burn your face in a hot summer. Not too safe if I am honest. But! The entire product is easy to change, only 9 parts have to change to have a new arrangement of the mirrors. This is another thing I like in this design.
Together with my mom we drove to a few stores to find a simple thin copper tube. It was this situation where one store tells you to go to the other store where that other store tells you to go to that store where you come from. I ended up at Gamma, here I bought a cable that connects your sink to the main water source from your wall. A woven metal sock covers a rubber tube if I got it right. It is not copper, it is not super great, but it should work! This part is not super defined in what materials to use. However, we want metals that transfer heat, it should be mat black, and water should flow through it. Another good element to add is a tiny greenhouse, increasing the heath. A vacuum sock would be even better. I hope to develop a 'stable' heating element further in time. The project does not end for me here, one goal is already set actually. Ill heat the pool with the sun this summer! The cable is wrapped around the metal base I welded, and painted black. I wished to have an example where I heated water, but the time and weather conditions did not allow me to do it yet. But again, the project doesn't end with the end with the trimester! I guess that a good thing, I found a passion? There is energy for it in my body ;) . A few things to end, a picture of the product in the rain, and an A3 with the measurements of my materials. The A3 is not very clear, I am considering to make technical drawings solidworks. One thing next to my actual project is another project that made me learn a lot. That project is this log, this website. It makes me realize to showcase the work, the process and the thoughts. A thing I would like to build upon is a video format of this project log. A concrete example would be a video that has the same structure and energy as one of the applied science youtube channel. If you read this, and you have some spare time, then give it a try, there are a lot of interesting videos on his channel. I would also like to thank my both teachers who learnt us valuable thins this past semester. Thank you! This is the end of my final log before the LAB end-term, taking place on 22/01/2021. Kind regards, Ward Lauwers