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The Eagle Has Landed

Part of the Flight Control collection.

Flight Control Complete

It took 81 hours of printing followed by about 10–15 hours of assembly, integration, and testing. I lost count of all the test prints I ran, the bad prints I’ve stopped, and all the circuits I tested, but including those would push the numbers much, much higher.

But it’s finally complete.

How It’s Made

Here’s a little video to give you a sense of what I—and anyone I was on a call with (sorry…)—listened to for 81 hours:

And some shots of the more interesting prints that make up the structure:

Flight Control Top Print
Flight Control Wall Print
Flight Control Top Prints

Subcircuits

In the last post, I showed how the Teensy++ 2.0 microcontroller—the brains of the controller—sits inside the enclosure. It sits in the center, towards the back, right under the Control Mode and Staging controls you see up above.

Everything on the controller feeds into that one location. Cutouts in the interior walls allow wiring to pass through and connect everything. You can see this sort of architecture in the structural framework when assembled:

Flight Control Structural Framework

And on the back center panel, a single USB port is exposed which connects the microcontroller to the computer it will control:

Flight Control USB

To make it easier to manage all of the necessary circuits, the left and right panels are wired up to their own breadboards which then feed into the main connection area in the center:

Flight Control Subcircuits

Finishing Touches

Once the assembly and integration phases were complete, I put some rubber feet on the bottom of the controller to add some stability when in use. And then I finished off with the inlaid letters.

They were pretty tricky, and honestly probably the part I screwed up most. Given the dimensions of the letters, their matching cutouts, and the fidelity of my printer, I had to do a lot of trimming to get each to fit just right. Not to mention the elbow grease I had to apply to get them into position.

Flight Control Letters

And that’s it! The controller is complete. Mark it off as a completed Art Grant.

Time to go play some Kerbal Space Program.