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Chamber Body_1 : Locking Design

A project log for Smart Plant Growth Chamber

A final year project that aims to design and build an open source plant growth chamber that uses Arduino for data logging and control.

pharoakpharoak 01/25/2020 at 16:520 Comments

For the body of the chamber, I decided that I would build it by manufacturing the walls and design them in a way that they would interlock together to form the box-like figure of the chamber.

I came up with different designs and decided to go with the one shown in the figures bellow. Basically, the walls would have cuts at their edges where they would house the shuriken-shaped structures. The shuriken structure, has similar cuts in the edges to interlock with the cuts in wall edges. The shuriken has 4 of these cuts at its 4 edges. The reason for this is to allow the shuriken to be connected to different walls at the same time acting and holding the walls together. The aim was to have the ability to build several chambers at the same time using the shuriken structures. 

After the building a small scale prototype, I was able to test the following: 1) ease of assembly, 2) interlocking strength of the shuriken structure, 3) how the box encloses together. 

The results where as follows:

1) There was an excessive tolerance between the shuriken and the walls at the cuts/locking area, which made it hard for the whole structure to hold together without tumbling over itself

2) This also made it harder to assemble and was not user friendly at all

3) After connecting it with glue there was spaces between the edges in the corners making the boxes not completely enclosed 

Conclusion:

1) It would be best to abandon the shuriken structure for holding the box together. 

2) It would be better to allow for some sort of glue to be added to the assembly process

3) It would be smarter to connect the walls together without having a third structure facilitating it

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