Today’s task was to build a cardboard prototype and build circuits on Arduino. Not to make it too confusing, we limited ourselves to only the first layer of the object (both cardboard prototype and Arduino).

The object we’re starting with is pyramid because again, according to the research we’ve done, kids at the age of 3 find it much easier to stack pieces together rather than insert.


The result we want to have when connecting the 4 pieces of first layer together is light up LED (with the help of switch). So the components we need are:

  • power (at the moment Arduino microcontroller)
  • resistor
  • LED
  • button

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Built in and working circuit:

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Since at this stage kids start having fun building pieces together, we thought it would be fun not to only build blocks on one another but also stack them as puzzle pieces. To have this in mind, we are dividing the first layer into 4 puzzle pieces, where each of them has an electric component installed.

Here are 2 of them built together:

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Shir and Xiwei had fun with the laser cutter all day while Ruta was working on the Arduino piece. Connecting puzzle pieces together… not as easy as it seemed at the beginning.

Only after taking few walls down from each of the piece, it came together nicely.

It’s ok for the prototype, but we’ll need to do better measurements for the final piece when we work with the final materials (they are still to be confirmed).

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Here are also ai files that Shir worked on:

Piece_b Piece_flip

Sticking pieces together

This seems to be the most complicated part of all. Once we figure this out, everything else should go easier (we hope so).

We looked into various magnetic things: reed switches, simple magnets, magnetic switches, magnetic snaps, even to hall effect sensors (few second years suggested to try this one, but it’s not going to work as we aren’t using Arduino).

We decided to purchase simple rare-earth magnets as they should do the job.
No matter what material we’ll end up with, one magnet won’t be enough to hold pieces together, so we’ll put 4 on each pieces and then 1 in the middle to connect the circuit. Instead of one in the middle we might also just put aluminium or brass pieces and solder component wires to them, but it’s still discussion in progress.

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Next: finishing cardboard and building the circuit inside (together with the magnets).

Update: cardboard finished!

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