Light Up MIDI Drums

A prototype by Flynn Cooper

2nd Best Overall Arduino and SOLIDWORKS Design Project,
Mechanical Engineering Freshman Class, UCSB

The Problem

Existing DJ performance tools, including turntables, mixing consoles and drum pads, while powerful, are generally misused.

Instead of creating and editing music live, most EDM artists perform with very few live elements. Even performances that are done live with DJ equipment, while very interesting individuals familiar to the industry, can be boring and confusing for a normal crowd. This is why drums that light up could be so beneficial to the industry. Traditional drumming is much easier understood to the common concert goer, and adding lights to this classic form of music could bring it up to speed with the EDM scene.

The Solution

Concept Generation

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A pugh chart of several design options

The first step in the project was to brainstorm possible solutions. I had to consider factors like brightness, modularity, power consumption, weight, and manufacturing limitations.

Initially, I wanted to go with a cylidrical design for appearence, however after determining that laser cutting was the most economical form of manufacturing, I decided to switch to a different form factor.

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An early design sketch


The final design concept

My final design utilized right angles so I could use a laser cutter to build the product.

CAD Model Creation

Drum Exploded Cropped
exploded drum houseing cropped
Drum Red Light Cropped

Electronics Prototyping