Check out my first post for context: Introducing RendAR
I'm writing this from the workshop at my parents' house. Campus labs and workshops closed for the lockdown in Ontario so this is where I’m posted up. Lucky for me, I have very handy parents who don’t mind having their adult kid around.
It’s a pretty sweet workshop. Exhibit A — this is a jigsaw from the 1930s my dad bought at a garage sale when he was 25.
And just because, here’s me in my dad’s workshop growing up. Same vibe and same lamp and jigsaw in the background.
So back to building…
When I think of a turntable, I think of a record player. That analogy stuck and became the inspiration for the capture rig form factor. Functionally, there are a few things the capture rig needs to do:
I ordered parts before Christmas and started assembling the base in early January. The turntable/scale subassembly includes four load cells, a DC motor, a Lazy Susan bearing, and a platform for the product to sit on. The subassembly is isolated from the rest of the capture rig to ensure the full product mass is measured by the load cells. The housing goes on last and is easily removed so I can access the mechanical/electrical parts as needed.
Originally I planned to 3D print and laser cut some parts, but I pandapted (pandemic-adapted) the design to rely on woodworking given the tools I have. As a result, this thing is SOLID.
The capture rig is powered by a wall adapter and controlled by an Arduino Nano 33 BLE. Once I got everything wired up, I tested it out with the help of my 8-year-old niece, Evie. Just a couple of school kids learning remotely! We got the motor to rotate and the load cells to give uncalibrated readings. (The platform isn't screwed to the bearing here, so it looks a bit wobbly.)
Quote from Evie after filming this:
I can't believe you did so much work and that's all it does.
Just over here inspiring the next generation 🥲.
A few things I learned from assembling the turntable/scale:
Up next: how I built the softbox lid 💡