Fab Wk 1: Flashlight

Final Result: 


For this first assignment to make a flashlight, I knew I wanted to do something boxy and minimal. This is partly due to my current skill limitations in the woodshop ( i have yet to learn how make anything remotely round using wood) and my preference for clean-looking aesthetics. I also wanted to give myself the design constraint of spending under $15 on this. And with these goals in mind, I started my flashlight!


1.) First I started out sketching my circuit schematic and some rough sketches of what I wanted it to look like. I included a potentiometer as a dial in my piece.

I also decided on using the top of the water bottle as my flashlight’s top. I liked the round dome like shape of the water bottle, and I have so many water bottles at home waiting to be used or recycled. So I decided on this sketch below.

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2.) The I went to Tinkersphere to get the lamp bulb holder, the led lamp, and the dial cap for the potentiometer. These all ended up being $11! The rest of the materials (wood and acyrlic) I both found in the junk shelf and also had scraps of wood from a previous pcomp project.

3.) Next was prototyping using cardboard and the water bottle. My process for this was to a.) get precise measurements of the potentiometer dial, dimension of the bulb holder top, b.) mocking the box up in illustrator, c.) laser cutting it using cardboard

See photos below for process on prototyping:

4.) Next was testing out the water bottle flashlight top idea. It ended up looking to rough and imperfect for me. See photos below

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5.) It was very helpful to prototype because I realized I had put the circle hole for the potentiometer dial in the wrong spot. It was on the bottom when it should’ve been on the side. Another realization was that the water bottle looked cheap and not great. Instead I went with another design I had in mind. I decided to use some scrap acrylic to make a clear top for the box. I made readjustments to the illustrator file, then laser cut the wood and acrylic, and assembled it all together with wood glue and acrylic glue. See images below.

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6.) During this time of waiting for the glue to dry I also soldered my wires. (Forgot to take a picture of this, but here is a picture of the full circuit soldered together.)


6.) As a test ( I don’t spray paint often), I tried out spray painting the wooden box. Oi! This didn’t look good. I don’t think I should’ve used white spray paint. It shows the flaws of the box and the teeth more. Also the spray paint I was using was not coming out properly, it was very leaky and was more liquid-y than I’d like. So I think I will need to sand it off tomorrow and respray paint. See images below of how ugly the box now looks with the white spray paint.

8.) I sanded the top acrylic to create a diffuse effect.

9.) I sanded off the spray paint and respray paint it with a new spray paint I bought. Unfortunately this brings up the cost of my total project to be a little more than $15.