Welcome to Week Eight. This will be CS50s last week as a traditional course, this Friday I will turn in my last problem set and my assigned coursework will be over. What will follow is four weeks of free time in which I will have to complete my final project. Instead of walking through the last legs of C$50 Finance, which tedium reached nearly funny levels, I figure our time will be better spent looking ahead at the final project.
The endings of courses can often feel very strange without a final exam. You spend all term learning a huge bulk of material and then what? When I saw CS50 didn’t have a traditional final exam it felt like a huge relief. I knew the coursework would be difficult, and I figured forgoing a final was a way to let us off easy during a busy time of the year.
Boy, was I wrong. CS50 concludes not with a final exam, but with a large project of your choice. You can build on any of the material you’ve learned in the course. This may seem easy but the course heads are expecting the world out of you here. You just really apply yourself to learn something totally new and totally different and work like a madman to get it all done in time. So the questions was what to do?
For my project I decided to learn a piece of software called OpenScad. OpenScad is a 3D design tool that is built for programmers first, instead of drawling shapes, you program shapes’ as programatic functions. This means instead of your objects being static, you can dynamically change the size, function, and arraignment of your objects as you variables in a program (or more commonly a math equation. This makes OpenScad an incredibly powerful tool for parametric modeling. For my final project I will be building a quadcopter frame in OpenScad.
Multirotors (Tricopters, Quadcopters, Hexacopters and so on) are something I have been building and flying for a little over two years now as a hobby. Most recently I have been taking them on a little more seriously with Aether Aeronautics, but they’ve been an interest of mine for a while. While I have built, tuned, and flown many designs over the past two years, I’ve never taken to designing my own frames.
For my final project I will be attempting to design a quadcopter frame that I will then sling electronics onto and fly before Christmas break. It is going to be somewhat of a huge task, one that I am not totally sure I will complete before the end of the project, but it will allow me to learn vital 3D Modeling and design skills. For the next three weeks I will be updating you all on my progress, and hopefully you will be able to see the final design at our Independent Seminar assembly.