This part concentrates solely on the controller and cleaning up the prototype wiring to increase the ease of use of the machine.
The controller was created from scratch. The process used here was concept > breadboarding > prototyping/alpha > beta > final product. So what does this involve?
- The breadboarding stage is experimenting with different circuit designs. You dont need to commit to anything as nothing is soldered. The wiring ends up looking like a mess of spaghetti and can easily fall apart if knocked around. This is not a useable circuit past the point of testing particular modules.
- Prototyping/alpha. Everything is transferred from breadboard to a prototyping board (double-sided circuit board with pre-drilled holes) and soldered together. At this point we can use the product in our testing. This allows us to figure out what else needs to be added/removed from the design and shift things around to make it, well, better. During this stage I figured it would be best to include a speaker, extra LED’s and buttons for controls. Also, I decided to remove one of the larger relays and clean up some other bits in the alpha.
- Final beta. Remove/add all components. Make sure it all works. Double-check the actual board is what you can see in your designs on the computer.
- Final product. Extensive debugging and testing. Make a PCB design which can be printed/etched and put together parts list etc… Package everything in to a solid and nice box. WOO!
The source code for the project is on GitHub here: https://github.com/Aristocles/FrankenSculptor
I usedFritzing (free/open-source) to make the design. Check out the screenshots i’ve put below. Your own design might be different.
Once I am happy with the code I will post it online. Be warned, there are a few known bugs which I am not planning on fixing. You can work around them anyway (see the code for more info).
I also used Fritzing to print out the circuit design on glossy photo paper using a laser printer. The idea was to then transfer the laser printed image on to the copper-coated fibreglass (which ends up being the PCB after etching) using a hot clothes iron and following instructions I found on YouTube. But I couldnt get the image to transfer over no matter how many times I tried, so I ended up drawing the PCB tracks by hand using a permanent marker. It looks terrible, but it works.
Finally, the Arduino code was developed a little further to include a basic menu system and navigation using buttons. You can use my code found on GitHub. I’d like to see someone fork and improve it.I am interested to develop this further if others are too.
At this point the project is complete. This version is finished (for now) and currently under testing stages. Because it takes ~3 months to notice any difference after getting a Coolsculpting session done I cannot know if this works just yet. Pretty sure it will though (so long as the actual Coolsculptor works, I dont see why this won’t work. It abides by all the fundamental principals of how the actual device works).
This blog post is the final one for this machine. Any questions or comments, please post them as a comment on this blog.
I am thinking about building another Frankensculptor (if I prove that this one works to reduce fat) but this time with a vacuum system (using a cow bell and TEC’s), but not sure if I will go down that path. We’ll see 🙂 Good luck!!!
Edit: I have linked to some before and after photos in the comments section below. Results are good!