10 April 2020.
The first generation of this project is complete. It is the first one that I am uploading to HackaDay. I had no intention of uploading this when I started. None of the code was written with others in mind. I have supplied it here for the curious. While the actual assembly of this project is simple, it wasn't documented. If I revisit this project I shall certainly fix this.
This was supposed to be a quick day/weekend build.....it wasn't. I have never worked with these types of LEDs before. While it wasn't hard to learn it was one unforeseen obstacle. The code took a bit of nutting out, and it was based around what hardware I had available for inputs. The code and electrical prototyping was relatively quick, taking the weekend. What really chewed time was the printed parts.
I have only recently acquired a 3d printer (snapmaker v1). This machine is easy to set up and use, and a few test prints and little bits and pieces have gone well. However I found the larger parts of the project peeling of the heated bed, in particular the main enclosure. This was quite frustrating as it was a long print. The solution I found was to use a thin layer of stick glue (an ancient "UHU stic") on the heated bed, as well as using a "brim". This has worked fantastically and is now my default way to print. This glue is reasonably easy to clean off after the print.
Another hurdle was the actual CAD designing. This was one of my first times using CAD software. I have been using openSCAD. I found this pretty easy to work with as the way the designs are coded has a similar structure to Arduino code. The tricky bit was getting all the components to fit where I wanted them, and allowing some clearance between them. This took a bit of trial and error to get right (and having prints fail didn't help).
Overall I'm happy with result. If I were make this again I would change the 3d printed arm design to allow more movement. Also I would use three potentiometers to control the colour rather than the over complicated button setup I currently have.
While this project was designed to help with photography, it could as a whole or in part, be adapted for other uses. One thing that came to mind while building this was that it could be used to make an interesting light display.
Again, this projected was started without a thought to documenting the build process. It makes it harder to have to organise all your thoughts, pictures, code etc after the fact. Next time I will try to do all this as I go.
'Till next time :)