The Build

Time to start building the final prototype, starting with the reservoir. Obviously this has to be water tight so to avoid any seams in the base I opted to vacuum form it – until I was told the vacuum former is completely knackered! So instead I’m doing it by hand, bonding styrene panels together using liquid solvent cement.

As it turns out this process is actually quicker than vacuum forming and just as water tight. I built into it four legs that will hold up the pyramid feature in such a way that it can be removed (in case we need access to the pump). I’m hoping it will give it a ‘floating’ effect as well!

The next stage was building the pyramid feature which basically involved different sized squares of clear acrylic being fixed to the central pipe which will later be fixed to the ‘floating’ platform. It was quite a lengthy process since I took extra care to ensure everything was perfectly aligned.

Now the final part of the build is the base. This part is mostly for aesthetic purposes but will also house the Arduino and the rest of the circuitry underneath. Pretty self explanatory, it’s a carefully measure box with the bottom about an inch off the ground to allow room for the Arduino which will sit on the inside of a lid that simply slots on underneath the base.

With everything built its just a case of staining the wood and coating it in a water resistant varnish (for obvious reasons) although theoretically the water should reaming within the styrene base unless it’s cascading beautifully down the pyramid! While we’re waiting for the first coat of varnish to dry (it takes 5 hours and we need at least 3 coats!) we filled up our water feature and took it for a test drive. Think of it as a sneak preview of the final product!

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