Problems with V2.1
The dowel was so annoying to work with. Constantly drilling and un-drilling our screws to make minor adjustments did not make any sense. The dowel was getting weaker each time and it was impossible to be precise. The dowel was also a light color, which we thought would affect our photos. Even though we planned to paint it, we eventually decided to just do away with the dowel dynamic. We created a systemic approach to the construction of our machine to avoid doing stuff like this, and we remembered why it mattered so much.
The screwing of the 3D prints to the dowel was also affecting the weight balance of the pendulum, and although we tried to alternate directionality to accommodate for this, it wasn’t a perfect fix. Screwing in and out was also slightly degrading to the 3D prints, as it was very difficult to do it exactly accurately every time.
The gyroscopic joint wasn’t great. It worked, but the spacing between the brackets was too large and made it sag, which made the whole system less precise. It also looked seriously sad. We were also SUPER annoyed that we designed it to connect directly to the box, so that we couldn’t just pull the pendulum off whenever we wanted. We love this about Version 1.2, and we wanted to go back to it. It was seriously so convenient.
We also realized that the weight at the top was not the correct move, and that with the repelling magnet forces, we wanted the weight at the bottom to keep the pendulum moving. We also noticed that a very little bit of weight made a difference, so we decided not to use the 1-1/4 sport weights, and make rings from masonite that could be stacked at the bottom of the pendulum. We also wanted to be able to control the amount of weight with a smaller degree of change.
Problems with V2.2
Changing the magnets is super annoying. They don’t want to stay in place and we didn’t really mark the polarity accurately for every single magnet. They are also incredibly strong and attracted to each other. Difficult to get any precise and systematic layout. We ended up adding a 1’x1′ steel plate to the bottom of the bed to calm the magnets a bit. We had been using it just to store our magnets, and after a few instances of the magnets popping up and throwing the acrylic cover off the bed and being an extreme hazard, we left it underneath all the masonite.
The light was too bright in some instances. We taped a piece of paper over it for the time being, but we were already in the process of 3D printing various caps for it for later tests.
Super difficult to control how you release the pendulum, get the same result twice. Seems like there is so much variation and every release is different.
A lot of the most interesting motion occurs at the end of the pendulum cycle, as it starts to find it’s final resting place (which is almost never the very center). However, the scale of this movement is so small that it is difficult to capture. We can fix this by lengthening the top of the pendulum.
Other Notes on Machine Functionality
The weights seriously make a huge difference in the way the pendulum behaves.
Taking pictures for longer or shorter in combination with the aperture setting changes the quality of light that appears. We just used the B setting for our images, which means that the exposure was exactly as long as we held the button down, since some releases were quick and some were long.
We noticed that the biggest distinction in the images was in the release, whether it was a circular release, or a linear release. For the most part, these categories at each tray layout and weight setting mimicked were fairly distinct.
It seems to make a difference whether the pendulum is released from the bottom or the top.