college of engineering white

Group 1a: Interactive Light Table


The goal of this project is to design and build a custom interactive light table for a child to use not only now as an infant but as he grows and ages to help develop sense of colors and coordination.

Interactive Light Table: Cody Minnick Bryce Alcorn Chad Nix Chris Jenkins

Problem Statement

A mother of a boy with cortical vision impairment would like a table with lights that shine through to help the boy wit his CVI. This table will be designed to help the boy see and recognize colors better such as; red, yellow, orange, white, and black. As well as the design of a light table she would like clear blocks for the boy to play with to develop coordination skills. These blocks should reflect color given off by the table. Also the tables should preferably be mobile and able to sit on its side against a wall.

Design Specifications

  • Able to be on top of table
  • Mobile
  • Approximately 3’x4′
  • Give off light through table top
  • Able to use for all ages
  • Child Safe

Background Research

Our coordinator gave us a few examples (shown below) of what to possibly simulate.

These examples came from:

Concept Design 1

The first concept design that was created is a four legged table with  a full plexiglass screen on top. The screen is supported by acrylic posts underneath and springs within the corners to allow the child to be on top of the table. This design has angled legs on locking hinges that allow the legs to fold underneath the table. The table also had buttons to allow the child to interact and change the light colors. The light is produced by LED strips. There is a exhaust fan for to keep the temperature of the table from getting too hot and a carrying handle on the side. There is also a removable rail for the child’s safety.

Concept Design 2

In concept design 2 you can see three views of the table which are labeled. In this design you are given two options, one being half cushion- half translucent glass. While the second option can be all glass, this option is given when the child is able to stand at the height of the table while viewing the lights.

The LED control board has 4 buttons that all have a different command to change the lights around the table. ( We also discussed to apply interactive buttons that could be educational). The LED control board will be able to disconnect and be able to move to either side of the table to insure the two setup options can be available. We plan to hard wire the lights to the board.

The adjustable legs can be moved vertically inch by inch, while having the ability to retract inside the table so the lite bright can be stored in a confined space.

Handles can be found on all sides of the table to help with the load, while including removeable safety rails on the top surface of the table to ensure the child’s safety.

Along the corners and the mid-section a total of 8 spring boxes can be shown while including a detailed drawing of the mechanism designed to hold the stress being applied to the cushion or glass. This includes a metal or rubber cylinder while being surrounded by a spring to provide suspension.

Concept Design 3

This concept design includes folding telescopic legs and handles to allow it to be more mobile. The legs are able to fold into the body of the table allowing them to be hidden and out of the way while they are not in use.

Selected Concept Design

The selection process for the final concept design based on the best qualities of all three concepts. Factors of the choices were based on safety, desirability, and mobility.

Decision Matrix

Overview of Selected Design

This is an interactive light table. The requirements for this table are that it needs to be mobile to be moved from one home to another, be able to safely support a child, and be around 3-4ft long. It features telescopic legs that adjust from 20inches to 28 inches. These legs are also able fold up underneath the table allow the table to sit on the ground to allow the child to be able to sit on top of it and play. The table itself is made up of polyethylene to allow the table to be lightweight while also being durable. The inside of the table will consist of LED strips along the table controlled by an Arduino unit to allow the colors to be changed by pressing the color-coordinated button on top of the table. The top of the table where the light will shine through is 5mm thick white opal acrylic. This is safer than using glass since acrylic will not shatter and splinter like glass does. To ensure the stability and safety of the child sitting on top of the acrylic there is a thin layer of foam liner around the top to allow some cushion and some support cylinders underneath the surface that are completely clear acrylic allowing the light disruption to be minimal. Included are carrying handles that will make the mobility of the table easier to load and set up.

The first design of the table had a safety rail and LED lights along the bottom of the table, we decided against these since the rails would hinder mobility and the lights would create a very uneven light distribution across the top of the table. The second design included a cushioned area to allow the child to sit comfortably, but it would take up too much room on the table not allowing much space to be able to play.

Engineering Analysis 1

Analysis 1 is a calculation of the safety factor of the table. Specifically, the top of the table which will be made out of continually processed acrylic. The boy is going to be climbing on top of the table so we wanted to ensure that it will be safe for him to do so. We did not expect to run into any issues, as the acrylic we will be using has a tensile strength of 4000PSI. For the analysis, we used a load of 100Lbs, as this gives a little bit of room for him to grow.

Engineering Analysis 2

For Analysis 2 we used Solid works to put a load of 50lbf on the top of the table leg to show the stress within the leg. The test shows the aluminum is able to withstand the load with the plastic top taking the most stress.

Engineering Analysis 3

For analysis 3 Solid works was utilized to compute and show stresses in the right side our our table. This was done using a load far beyond what will be on the table to find areas of high stress which we should focus to support. Shown in the figure are areas of high stress. Using high density polyethylene the part is able to bend without harsh stresses and is also very strong.

CAD Drawings

Bill of Materials


2021 Fall