The Flanet Plasher – Flashlight assignment

The concept :

A flashlight that projects solar system planets (for now, just Venus, Jupiter and Earth). My first instinct was to make an old fashioned toy. Maybe like this toy, that was basically the first multi-touch media device  :

Just imagining the sound of the wheel turn to the next picture, gives me the chills.

The plan was to use a tube to make the body of the flashlight and cut a slit at the edge where you can insert the paper printed planets.

Materials :

Cardboard tube, simple arcade button, AA batteries, “super-bright” LED.

 I thought I can use parchment paper that can give a warm light-diffusing effect, but I realized I want to do it with transparency paper.

I knew I’m going to have trouble with the focus, I couldn’t see how I can find and put a lens inside. I decided to put this aside and carry on.

I planed to use the laser cutter to cut-out the planets, and since it was my first time using this I did a quick tutorial with Davíd. I laser-cut some cardboard circles to later use for the flashlight interior. I had such a great time learning to use the cutter, and printing the planets and planning how to cut them. Just before I went to cut the transparency paper, I asked John if I can actually cut this material. He told me : “No, and these are not laser-cutter glasses”. So I cut it with scissors.

Anyway, I finished building the flashlight :

Then, I started working on doing the slit to insert the “discs”. I used a utility knife and did a slit almost as long as the circumference.

It didn’t work as I planned. The planets wouldn’t get in straight and for best performance, I needed the planet to be on the head of the tube.

So, I went and cut cardboard rings on which I glued the planets, and did a tiny velcro strips on the flashlight’s lip and on the rings.

Here is where I got:IIws

I regret not using a brighter LED (at first it seemed enough). Also I would be happy to find a lens that would fit and make the projection in focus.

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