breathing system

Hi! I'm a recent fine art graduate from Goldsmiths University and for my next artwork, I want to build a breathing system that inflates and deflates silicone sculptures. I have no coding or electronics experience and I'm a bit lost as to where to start.

What would you recommend?

Hi!

I was wondering if the Arduino educational kits are a good place to start or if they are exclusively for institutions?

I'm a complete beginner that wants to learn coding and electronics to have the freedom to create different moving sculptures.

Any advice would be very much appreciated!

learning coding is really hard. You have to have a messy and persistent head.

Well, WilliamTi, that was really encouraging!
We all start from nothing, and some of us progress beyond that.

malva008:
Hi!

I was wondering if the Arduino educational kits are a good place to start or if they are exclusively for institutions?

I'm a complete beginner that wants to learn coding and electronics to have the freedom to create different moving sculptures.

There are a quite few different starter kits not just the official Arduino versions so I'm not sure exactly what you're looking at. Some kits are a lot less expensive than the Arduino ones and still have a reasonable assortment of components and projects to use them. Any should get you started with coding and general electronics but I'm not sure that most projects will be directly relevant to your eventual aim.

But that's o.k. that's what we're here for, to help when you get far enough to be able to ask detailed questions about specific plans you have.

Good luck - Steve

I would suggest you get yourself an Arduino (as suggested one with a selection of modules to experiement with may be a good idea) and have a play, get an LED flashing and take it from there.
The great thing with the Arduino in my opinion is you can build electronics based projects without having to be an expert in electronics or programming. There are lots of cheap modules available which just require a few wires to link them together.
You can build something very basic at first and as you learn more you will realise ways you can add to it.

e.g. a relay module (under £2 on eBay) just requires 5v, gnd and a data pins connecting to an Arduino
then with code as simple as the below you can switch a motor on/off
void setup() {
pinMode(13, OUTPUT); // tell it to use pin 13 as an output.
}

void loop() {
digitalWrite(13, HIGH); // turn the output pin on
delay(1000); // wait for a second
digitalWrite(13, LOW); // turn the output pin off
delay(1000); // wait for a second
}

An end goal may be a good motivator.

Say I got a MCU with WIFI and I want to turn off and on that light from my web site. Now your self learn has a target goal.

Get started Now; Gold, Silver, No-color.

Topics on the same subject moved to a common forum section and merged

malva008:
Hi! I'm a recent fine art graduate from Goldsmiths University and for my next artwork, I want to build a breathing system that inflates and deflates silicone sculptures. I have no coding or electronics experience and I'm a bit lost as to where to start.

What would you recommend?

May I suggest the following, which require no Arduino experience or coding or anything else electronic. I presume you have drawings of the sculpture.
Based on the drawings, you need to explain to yourself exactly the steps needed to inflate, how to know the inflation is complete and what to do after inflation and for how long to hold the inflation. Then do the same for deflation, detailing any steps or timing of the deflation and finally, if you want to repeat the process, how much time between the cycles.
Do you expect any possible failures? How will you detect the failures and what will you do when each one happens.
Then you can arrange the power and method of inflation. Are you using air? Bottled gas? Will you use an air pump/compressor? How will you power the entire operation?
Only now can you begin to select the electronic components to complete you project.
Good luck.
Paul

malva008:
Hi! I'm a recent fine art graduate from Goldsmiths University and for my next artwork, I want to build a breathing system that inflates and deflates silicone sculptures. I have no coding or electronics experience and I'm a bit lost as to where to start.

Hi,
I wonder if you are aware of Tim Hunkins work and his T.V. series "Secret Life of Machines" which can be found on Youtube and may be of help/interest.
In fact he is currently releasing a new follow up series here: tim hunkin - YouTube

malva008:
I was wondering if the Arduino educational kits are a good place to start or if they are exclusively for institutions?

Yup its a good start to learn Arduino, buy any Arduino Starter kit for beginners and then learn basics of Arduino IDE i.e. serial terminal, sensor interfacing, lcd display etc.
Btw as you are new to electronics, so instead of starting work on hardware, you should try Proteus simulator, its best for learning.

I would offer that starter kits are a waste of money if you have any background experience and parts.

if you have no pile of resisrtors and wires and such, then the kit would be helpful.

what is really missing is an ACTUAL starter kit for a purpose.

if you want to focus on gardens, the more on the water valve, soil sensor, light sensor, etc

for a line following robot ?

for sound / music ?

as for your needs, you need to know what you are going to use.

the inflatable lung or plastic bag, needs to have both a pressure soruce to inflate, and some means to deflate.
speed of both is key
noise is important.

so, the mechanics of what you want are important.
if you take two bags, connect with a hose...
set a box on on, the air moves to the other.
if you can pull the other apart (think bellows)
it would suck the air out of the first (deflate)

so, one as control, the other as effect.

getting a souce of compressed air, then shooting it into a bag can be noisy
getting the air out can also be very hard to do.

using an Arduino for either is really a beginner level thing, so it is a good choice as a first project.
mechanically speaking, you have more work to figure it out.

malva008:
Hi! I'm a recent fine art graduate from Goldsmiths University and for my next artwork, I want to build a breathing system that inflates and deflates silicone sculptures. I have no coding or electronics experience and I'm a bit lost as to where to start.

What would you recommend?

Do you have any access to a shop to build the pump necessary to make your project function? I am thinking a 2" PVC pipe for a cylinder, a Tee to mate the 2" pipe to a 1" pipe. A 2" pipe cap to close off the 2"PVC cylinder.
Make a piston of some material. plastic or wood to fit into the 2"PVC pipe so air can be pressed in and pulled out
Then connect the piston to a motor driven leadscrew to power the piston.
Use your Arduino to control the speed and direction of the powering motor.
Connect the output pipe to your sculptures and turn the power on!
Paul