Make a Bike Light


Many of the components required to make simple electronic devices are readily and affordably available to purchase almost anywhere in the world. This workshop explains how to fabricate a simple product using accessible digital fabrication technology and off the shelf components. It teaches the principles of PCB design (the basics of electronics engineering circuit board design), computer programming, laser cutting and digital fabrication technologies.

Place: Session A+B – 11:00 at DD Lab (Lab).

Introduction and workshop format
The workshop will teach participants how to make a basic bike light using accessible digital technologies and off the shelf components. It will use paper prototyping of pseudo code; underlay templates of printed circuit boards to sketch PCB designs; actual PCB’s and components to fabricate working lights; the Arduino programming interface to add control to the lights; pre laser cut components and pre made 3d printed components to house the lights. Participants will design a bike light with some basic controls, they will add components to semi-populated PCB’s, they will write computer code to control the circuit components, they will construct a housing from pre-fabricated parts and assemble the components to make the finished bike light. During the workshop there will be time for participants to assemble components onto semi- populated PCBs, making some decisions about the basic functions of the light, and to construct a housing using pre fabricated components.

The aim of the workshop is to introduce people to basic programming, design of simple circuit boards, laser cutting and 3d printing digital fabrication technologies. On completion participants will understand the function of some basic circuit board components and be able to design a simple circuit, they will be able to write pseudo code to control components on a simple PCB and translate this into programming language, they will be able to control an LED light with basic functions, they will be able to design a simple housing using computer aided design technology and be able to export designs to a digital fabrication technology.

The workshop has been designed to give learning outcomes to all abilities. Anyone with an interest in self–fabrication can participate. Software designers who are interested in circuit design, designing and making products can participate. Hardware designers who are interested in programming and / or PCB design would participate. Educators who are interested in any of the topics covered would participate. Participants will work in pair of two. Max number: 12.

About the Facilitator
Paul Smith – Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, UK.  Paul Smith has practiced and taught for 15 years in digital fabrication technology. He spend time researching digital fabrication technology, open design and design on a small scale. He continue to look at future applications of design and the future of manufacturing. He is interested in the role digital fabrication technologies can play in the sustainability of remote communities. He is interested in the meaning that making means to people.

Fergus Fullarton Pegg-  Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, UK.

Roy Shearer – Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, UK. Roy Shearer is a Teaching Assistant, working with undergraduates, postgraduates, research, technical and academic staff to promote and develop interactive prototyping at the Glasgow School of Art. His research interests are in open design, physical hacking, appropriate technology and sustainable design. He has previously tutored in various universities and digital fabrication labs, and his own industrial design practice, Zero-waste design, focuses on bespoke, local, design and build projects. Roy loves to see how things work and believes in facilitating others to do

this as a matter of principle, whether that be through workshops or through the design of easily hackable things.

Download full workshop description

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