Over the past few months, I have finalized my design using AutoCad on computer.
During the winter break, while I had easier access to the wood shops and hardware shops, I started working on the prototype.
The purpose for this prototype was to simply check the mechanics, so I only made one swing and didn’t include any visual elements.
From the stores, I got some wood materials and a metal rod to build a structure. After the process of sawing, drilling, and gluing, I was able to make the structure of the swing.
After I built the structure, I worked on the generator part, using acrylic boards, rollers, motor generator, etc.
During the making process, unexpected issues arose, and I had to visit the stores to search for better materials.
For example, I had to deal with the issues regarding friction. In some cases, I had to reduce the friction, so I used metal slips. In some other cases, I had to increase the friction. In this case, I used the rubber materials.
After two weeks of trial and error, I made it work so that the energy is generated as the swing oscillates and lights up a LED light.
My next plan is to think about the design elements that will make the swing look nice so that it fits visually into our school’s campus. Then I will start working on my final prototype.
– Katy Koo