ME218A Project: Mechanical Flipbook

For ME218A, the first class in Stanford’s Smart Product Design sequence, the final project was to create a Burning Man-style piece of interactive art. The prompt required a user to be able to interact with the device for 45s to produce customized “Art to See” or “Art to Keep” (ME218 Final Project Prompt).

My team and I decided to make a mechanical flipbook tell the story of a growing tree. A user could guide story with various types of interactions – physically planting a seed (mechanical), watering the seed and seeing response proportional to how far the watering an was tipped (analog), and waving hands (non-contact) – to grow the tree and harvest a small apple.

Development was fairly messy process of learning and iterating, but we were very pleased with how it came together for the final demo day:

My main contribution to the project was the software module and circuity for the LED lighting. While these software and electrical tasks were the emphasis of the project given that it’s a mechatronics class, I also enjoyed quickly whipping together a SolidWorks model of the assembly, laser cutting parts for the design, and churning out some renders of the CAD model.

See more at our team project report website:

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