CLAWS - The Claw Machine Blog
We are a group of nine juniors at Fellowship Christian School with a desire to push ourselves by making a new large scale project. Last year we all made a Hovercraft, and we decided this year to tackle a claw machine. We are currently taking Electrical Engineering and are working to finish our next big project. We threw around many ideas before landing on the claw machine such as a drone or miniature plane but eventually fell in love with the idea of the claw machine. For the claw machine we will be basing our theme off of Jaws and doing an ocean-themed paint job. The final product will be roughly 38 inches tall.
To help finish the project during this semester we have split up into five groups. We have the body team, which is made up of Tristen Darmo and Matthew Duffin, who will be building the actual frame of the machine and making sure that there is room for the wires, controls, etc. We have the controls teams who is Jackson McGill and Alissa Gaddis, who will be programming how to move the claw and ultimately win the game! We have the gantry team, Payton Marlow and Andrew Zhang, who are responsible for making the claw move around. And last but not least we have the claw team, Drew Fiscus and Max Karetny, who are going to be making the actual claw and programming the button that will make it drop down. That leaves me, Jordan Darby, I am the project manager and will be keeping you all up to date on our latest progress as well as making sure things are coming along slowly, and just overall helping out where I can. Mr.Lawes will be overlooking the whole project along with helping guide us, giving us steps, and continuing to push us forward if we get stuck. That's everyone! We plan to have our project done by May 9, 2019 and cannot wait to show you what we get to be a part of along the way.
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ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING TEAM
Class of 2020
Updated: Mar 7
Feb 28 - March 6, 2019
This week we split up the teams and began working. Our body team (Tristen Darmo and Matthew Duffin) discussed what materials they would be needing and began working on a design for the claw machine. The claw team (Drew Fiscus and Max Karetny) finished programming the drop button and made a CAD blueprint for the claw. The gantry team (Payton Marlow and Andrew Zhang) began ordering their supplies and began a rough sketch of their design. Finally, the controls team (Alissa Gaddis and Jackson McGill) began working on the steppers and got a rough idea of the wiring.
Here is the CAD design for the claw.
Here are the claw, gantry, and control teams discussing the wiring and design of the claw.
Updated: Mar 24
March 6 - March 13, 2019
This week the teams started to get to work. Our body team (Tristen Darmo and Matthew Duffin) made a sketch of what they want the claw machine to look like, and they also cut all of the pieces for the controls box on the front of the machine. The claw team (Drew Fiscus and Max Karetny) made a working prototype for how the claw will open and close. The gantry team (Payton Marlow and Andrew Zhang) got their parts in and began researching and 3D printing pieces for the gantry. Finally, the controls team (Alissa Gaddis and Jackson McGill) built the prototype board.
Here is Matthew Duffin cutting the pieces for the control box. He came up with a very modern, but difficult design and shape, but it ended up looking great!
Here is Drew and Max working with the Laser cutter to make the prototype claw!
Updated: Mar 28
March 13 - March 20, 2019
The teams started to divide and conquer. Tristen (from the body team) began to work on the coding for the LED's in the machine and figure out the different light settings and colors. Matthew (also from the body team) finished making the box where the controls will go, and began to work on a sketch of the final product. On claw team Max made the prototype for how the claw will be able to move up and down to grab your prize; and Drew finished the prototype claw and made it able to open and close with the press of a button. Payton and Andrew assembled the body for the gantry and 3D printed some of the pieces they needed. Finally, the controls team got the stepper motors working as well as the drivers!
Drew Fiscus with the prototype claw!
Here is Payton making a CAD design of the piece he needed to 3D print
March 20 - March 27, 2019
We had quite the productive week! The body team finished up their CAD design of what the claw machine is going to look like, and they even began to build the base! The claw team has their prototype claw up and running and needs to make just a few more minor adjustments before making the real one. The gantry team finished up building the border and railing of the gantry, and now they just need to put on the motor mounts. The controls team finished the motor drivers and steppers and began to plan the layout of the controls (buttons and joystick).
Here is Max making a Fusion drawing of a claw piece they needed to 3D print.
Here is Payton finishing up the boarder for the gantry.
Matthew and Tristen working on the base of the claw machine.
The controls team working on wiring and discussing the layout.
March 27 - April 10, 2019
After a very restful spring break the teams came back ready to work! The body team finished up the base of the claw machine and began to work on the frame! The claw team is almost done with the prototype claw, it can open and close and grab things, they just need to make it be able to lift a bit more weight. The gantry team finished up assembling stepper motors and rails, and began to work with the controls team. The controls team worked on controlling the stepper motor and began wiring the power supply.
Drew with the prototype claw.
Payton working on the gantry :)
Testing out how much weight the claw can hold!
Here is Tristen cleaning up after a long days work.
Matthew is working on cutting the grooves for the plexiglass to slide into for the frame.
April 10 - April 17, 2019
The teams made a great deal of progress this week! The body team built the control box and made the railings for the plexiglass glass to slide into. The claw team finished the prototype claw and figured out how much weight the claw can pick up. The gantry team coordinated with the claw team for the z stepper motor. Lastly, the controls team started the game design and continued wiring the controls.
Jackson and Alissa working on game design and wiring.
Payton is attaching the stepper motors.
Here is Drew getting excited to test out the new claw!
Drew is testing how much weight the claw can pick up
April 17 - April 24, 2019
The teams continued to work hard and make progress this week! The body team finished building the control box and began making room for the joy stick and buttons. The claw team made some minor adjustments to the prototype claw and added backing to the claws so it can scoop smalls things up (such as candy) and still grab larger toys. The gantry team began to help the controls team with the game design. The controls team continued working on the game design and created the layout for the controls! Lastly, I began to paint the base of the machine.
Tristen and Payton filling the holes in the box to make sure it is nice and flat.
Here is Drew giving a thumbs up to the great progress we made this week!
Max is going back to his roots and got to sand the rails.
Here is Matthew making the final cuts for the control box!!
April 24 - May 1, 2019
Things started really picking up this week! The body team and I laid down a base coat of paint and finished the top of the machine. We cut the plexiglass and now are just waiting to attach the top and the box. The gantry team is working on installing the actual gantry into the top of the box. The controls team is finishing up the controls design and the claw team is working on making the final claw.
Design ideas for the paint scheme.
Here is the box and control box after a first coat of paint.
Tristen giving his approval to the paint designs
Payton and Jackson working on the gantry layout!
May 1 - May 7, 2019
Our spring semester is coming to a close and we are beginning to wrap things up here in the stem lab. The body team finished assembling the actual machine and everything is attached. We also finished up the base paints and now are just waiting to put on the final touches and designs (hopefully Monday). The claw team is finishing up the final claw and the gantry team finished installing the gantry and will be testing it this week. The controls team finished up the game design and has installed the controls, and I finished up the touch ups on paint!
Max and Drew showing off their official claw!!
Base coat of paint is done!!
Here is Tristen modeling his job well done and colored lights!!
Jackson finishing up the controls!!
Matthew giving a light sanding before adding the paint details!!
May 8 - May 15, 2019
Second to last week and the machine is wrapping up. All of the teams are putting on finishing touches. Alissa and Jackson are testing the game designs and making sure you can easily select which game mode you'd like with the controls. Matthew is finishing putting in the LCD screen and Tristen is testing his code for the LED lights. Payton and Andrew finished up and have tested the gantry, and the claw team has finished the claw. Drew decided last minute he wanted the claw to open with the push of a button, and close when you push the button again. Instead of bushing the button, opening, having 5 seconds and then the claw closing automatically. Cole Kroeber and Britta Broyles came in to help us paint the design details.
Here is Britta painting the waves and water base :)
Here is Cole finishing up the paint details.
May 15 - May 22, 2019
WE DID IT!!! THE CLAW MACHINE IS FINISHED!!! After many class periods, lunches, and even coming in during finals week, we did it. During our last week Tristen hung up the lights, Alissa made some adjustments to the game design, Drew made sure the claw would hang balanced, and Payton had to test the limit switches for the gantry. Everyone else helped out when and where possible while I continued to touch up paint and clean up the machine. It was a long, but amazing semester and I could not have asked for a better group to have worked with. We all got to be a part of two of our schools biggest projects and we will forever be grateful for the memories, experiences, and knowledge we gained from these projects the last two years. Long live the class of 2020!!