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  • Aluna Everitt

    A Novel Approach to Interface Fabrication

    Using Laser Cut Optically Clear Perspex

    B.Sc. (Hons) Information Technology

    for Creative Industries

    20/03/2015

  • Aluna Everitt SCC.300 2015

    Page 1 of 68

    “I certify that the material contained in this dissertation is my own work and does not

    contain unreferenced or unacknowledged material. I also warrant that the above statement

    applies to the implementation of the project and all associated documentation. Regarding

    the electronically submitted version of this submitted work, I consent to this being stored

    electronically and copied for assessment purposes, including the Department’s use of

    plagiarism detection systems in order to check the integrity of assessed work.

    I agree to my dissertation being placed in the public domain, with my name explicitly

    included as the author of the work.”

    Date:

    Signed:

  • Aluna Everitt SCC.300 2015

    Page 2 of 68

    ABSTRACT

    Increasingly digital fabrication technologies are being adopted in a wide range of settings as

    they allow users to rapidly and accurately produce physical designs. Of these technologies,

    laser cutters are particularly interesting as they are able to work with a wide range of

    materials. This report explores the ways in which the optical properties of clear Perspex

    material can be exploited in order to add interactive and visual display capabilities to static

    objects. This has potential to support the creation of a new range of wearable technologies,

    enclosures, and other designs that do not require expensive and generic circuitry and

    electronics. To achieve this, an exploration of material properties was conducted to devise

    novel approaches of producing interactive visual displays using a laser cutter. From this,

    three fundamental interface elements are produced (i.e. a button, an accelerometer, and a

    seven-segment display) and combined into a wearable watch prototype. Finally, a discussion

    of design guidelines is presented.

  • Aluna Everitt SCC.300 2015

    Page 3 of 68

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    1. Introduction .......................................................................................................................... 8

    1.1 Research Question ............................................................................................................ 8

    1.2 Exploring Design Space ................................................................................................... 8

    1.3 Outline of Report .............................................................................................................. 9

    2. Background ........................................................................................................................ 10

    2.1 Related Work .................................................................................................................. 10

    2.2 Summary ........................................................................................................................ 13

    3. Material Exploration ......................................................................................................... 14

    3.1 Visual Exploration .......................................................................................................... 14

    3.1.1 Distance Study ......................................................................................................... 14

    3.1.2 Angle Study ............................................................................................................. 16

    3.2 Interactive Exploration ................................................................................................... 19

    3.2.1 Touch Study 1 .......................................................................................................... 19

    3.2.2 Touch Study 2 .......................................................................................................... 22

    3.2.3 Touch Study 3 .......................................................................................................... 24

    3.3 Discussion and Summary ............................................................................................... 25

    4. Prototype Elements ............................................................................................................ 26

    4.1 Interactive Application Elements ................................................................................... 26

    4.1.1 Button ...................................................................................................................... 26

    4.1.2 Accelerometer .......................................................................................................... 28

    4.2 Interface Application Elements ...................................................................................... 31

    4.2.1 Initial Seven-Segment Display (LEDs Around 4 Sides) ......................................... 31

    4.2.2 Initial Lighting Observations ................................................................................... 32

    4.2.3 Refined Seven-Segment Display (LEDs on Bottom) .............................................. 35

    4.3 Discussion and Summary ............................................................................................... 36

    5. Application - Watch Prototype ......................................................................................... 38

    5.1 LED Enclosure ............................................................................................................... 38

    5.2 Interface .......................................................................................................................... 39

    5.3 Interactive Button ........................................................................................................... 43

    5.4 Final Integration ............................................................................................................. 44

    5.5 Discussion and Summary ............................................................................................... 45

  • Aluna Everitt SCC.300 2015

    Page 4 of 68

    6. Design Considerations and Discussion ............................................................................. 47

    6.1 Apparatus ....................................................................................................................... 47

    6.2 Design and Fabrication of Enclosure ............................................................................. 47

    6.3 Design and Fabrication of Display ................................................................................. 48

    6.4 Programme Display ........................................................................................................ 49

    6.5 Programme Interactive Element ..................................................................................... 50

    6.6 Discussion and Summary ............................................................................................... 50

    7. Conclusion .......................................................................................................................... 52

    7.1 Review of Aims .............................................................................................................. 52

    7.2 Limitations ..................................................................................................................... 52

    7.3 Future work .................................................................................................................... 53

    7.4 Learning Outcomes ........................................................................................................ 53

    Bibliography ........................................................................................................................... 54

    Appendices .............................................................................................................................. 55

    Prototype Elements .............................................................................................................. 55

    Seven-Segment Display Chapter .......................................................................................... 56

    Watch Chapter ...................................................................................................................... 59

    Project Proposal .................................................................................................................... 60

    Working Documents Link: http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/ug/everitta

    Report Word Count: 13,648

    http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/ug/everitta

  • Aluna Everitt SCC.300 2015

    Page 5 of 68

    TABLE OF FIGURES

    Figure 2.1: Device fabricated through Printed Optics [left]. Device with curved display

    produced through PAPILLON [right]………………………………………..………………10

    Figure 2.2: 3D printed device fabricated through Savage’s algorithmic process of subtraction

    to accommodate manually embedded active components………………………...…………1