Light It Up

Screen Shot 2017-07-13 at 10.01.05 AM

Light It Up

Group Members: Nikhia Davis, Chante Walker, and Trinity Merren

College Mentor: Kiley

Code Coach:George Swallow, a retired software engineer from CISCO

Our Problem

We have noticed that children are very inactive nowadays, especially in the summer. They seem to spend most of their time inside staring at screens. 

Our Innovation

We want to create an alternative technology that will get children excited, outside, and active. To do so, we are going to create a bracelet that will keep track of how long children will be active. The bracelet will have LEDs which will light up as the child is active. It will also connect to a website, which will give them challenges that they can do to earn points.

Our Technologies

  • Digital Design and Fabrication – TinkerCAD will be used to design our 3D printed bracelet in semiflex filament on a MakerBot 3D printer
  • Electronics – 3 axis accelerometer, Neopixel RGB LED strip, 8×8 Bi-Color LED matrix
  • Physical Programming – We are using an Arduino Pro Mini as our microcontroller. The sensor input we’re using is a 3 axis accelerometer. The outputs are to a Neopixel RGB LED strip and an 8×8 bi-color LED matrix. 
  • Computer Programming – We are coding the microcontroller with Arduino IDE via Arduino Create.

Our Audience

Light it up is for children ages 8 and up.

Our Materials 

  • 3 axis accelerometer 
  • SemiFlex clear filament 
  • Bi-Color LED matrix
  • Arduino pro mini
  • Particle photon
  • Neopixel RGB LED strip
  • Rechargeable battery 


Our goals for the day were to come up with a solid project idea and create a rapid prototype of it.
We switched from our fidget toy idea to our current project idea, Light It Up. After doing our project imagine and explore sheets, we created a rapid prototype. 



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Our goal for the day was to finish the prototype, get our material list ready and prepare to present in front of everyone and the panelist. we started working on our diagrams on how everything is going to work. Our goals for tomorrow is to complete our diagram & finish the material list.


Our goal was to finish two diagrams one for the bracelet and the other one for the website. today we finished the materials list and completed both diagrams. Our goal for Monday is to do a lot of research and to learn the particle photon.


Our goal for the day was to understand how a fit-bit works so that we can make our project different. And also, we wanted to know how a particle photon worked, by going online to see how we can make a LED light up. Our goal for Tuesday is to use the particle photon to light up multiple LED’s.




Our goal for the day was to learn about the particle photon and get our materials. Today we learned about how to use the particle photon work and received our materials. we also soldered the bi-color square matrix. Our goal for tomorrow is to light up the matrix using arduino  & learn how to do it.


Our goal for today was to light up the matrix. Today we messed up with the matrix and soldered it on the wrong side but we fixed it and made some progress now we just trying to make it work. we searched up ways to make light up the matrix  we also downloaded arduino library for it to work. we took the strip and is now trying to light it up.our goal for tomorrow is to light up the matrix and the led strip.


Our goal for the morning was to light up the matrix and the led strip. Today we soldered the matrix on the right way. We searched up ways we can code the matrix and then we made it say all of our names and light up a smiley face and sad face. We are going to try to change them to different things.



We also got the led strip to light up. The wire that we soldered onto the neopixel strip fell off so we had to solder the wire back onto the led strip.

In the afternoon, we are going to work on connecting the neopixel strip to the accelerometer. 

Our goal for tomorrow is to hopefully 3D print our bracelet using the design that we created on tinkercad. If our filament does not come in, then we will continue working on figuring out how to get our components working together.


This morning, our goal was to connect the accelerometer and the led strip together, but the accelerometer seemed to not be working so we did research to try to figure out the issue. We worked on code with George to try to get them working together.


WE FINALLY DID IT!!!! It took all day, but we finally got the accelerometer and the LED strip working together. 


Sadly, our filament hasn’t came in yet, so we weren’t able to try to 3D print our bracelet design and make edits to it.


Today, we’re going to keep working on the accelerometer and the neopixel strip. We’re also going to try to use the arduino pro mini with it instead of using the redboard that we used yesterday. 

We had a ton of technical difficulties with our code and we were never able to connect the arduino pro mini. Trinity did solder headers onto the pro mini and we found the piece to connect to the arduino. 



While we were trying to fix our code, we did get the arduino mini set up to blink an LED.



YAAYYYYYYYYY!!!!! Our SemiFlex filament finally came in, so now we can start 3D printing the bracelet.O ur goal for today is to do research on the SemiFlex filament and how to 3D print it because it’s different than the regular filament. What we found out is the extruder temperature is 225-235 degrees celsius and the platform temperature has to be 80-110 degrees celsius. Unfortunately, someone got to the 3D printer before us and we were unable to actually test it because we all had to go out and teach.


Yesterday we actually got to test the filament and we made a small box. oh yummp.Our goal for today is to actually 3d print the bracelet. Chante is going to be adding adjustments to the bracelet on tinkercad. When Chante is done adding adjustments we will 3d print the bracelet. Hopefully we get to print it before we go out and teach.

Update: We printed the bracelet, however it was not able to actually clip together because we put a raft when we didn’t need to. The bracelet was also too small to fit any of us, but it was just a prototype so that we could get an estimate for the sizing. After we printed our prototype, we edited the original bracelet design on tinkercad. 

We were all teaching in the late morning/afternoon, so that was all we accomplished for the day.


This morning, we were all out teaching except for Kiley. Kiley had to resolder the neopixel strip because the wires fell off. She put the strip in the bracelet to see what the neopixel strip looked like in the bracelet. The clear SemiFlex filament diffuses the light, which looked really cool.


Today we are going to figure out how to store our code on the Arduino mini. We are also going to do some research on different battery sources. In the afternoon we will all be teaching.


Today, we worked with Ming. He helped us figure out how to set up all of our parts in our bracelet. We’re going to use an Adafruit Perma-Proto 1/4 sized Breadboard to put our arduino mini, accelerometer, LED matrix, neopixel strip, and a battery on it. We also worked more on the design of the bracelet. We looked at designs of bracelets that people have made to get ideas on how to get our neopixel strip wires out of the bracelet. 




08/08/2017 & 08/09/2017

Today we’re going to continue working with Ming to figure out how to wire everything. After we figure that out, we’re going to work on finding a battery to power our components. We’re going to start with a 3.7 volt battery and see how long that lasts. Once we do that, we will try different batteries depending on the results from the 3.7 volt battery. 


Update: We decided that we’re going to use a 3.7v LiPo battery.


We have everything wired the way that we’re going to wire it inside of the bracelet



we got the code working and the accelerometer working all together.


today chante drew out the diagram.

In trying to print out the bracelet design on the ninjaflex/semiflex without a raft, the print failed. Only a thin layer printed and then it stopped.  Here are some links to printing with flexible filament that could be helpful:

This maker had the same problem!  Check the solutions on the forum

Some things to try are:

  1. check the design with Ming
  2. making sure to use both glue and painter tape on the bed
  3. making sure to adjust the print speed & infill speed before printing 


Trinity soldered the headers and the wires on to the board.

what was your favorite lit moment in project building?

On the Friday that we has to stay for a long time, to complete our project. Because we had the chance to learn more about each other.

what challenges did you face and how did you over come them ?

our challenges was actually staying focused on our project and wanting to give up but we over came them by actually pushing each other and being their for each other.

what was your coding journey?

It was stressful, because many times the codes for the lights was wrong. So to help, we found many example codes, then with the help of Gorge we completed all the codes