Initial Concept Initially, the representation of color transformation was supposed to be colored smoke/fog. However, several reviews from 5Wits do not recommend fog as creating fog involves putting materials into the air that would quickly stick to the walls of our clear box. Theatrical glycol-based foggers or ultrasonic water vapor fog would both quickly make the box grungy.
Description of Sketch Model
Hence, we have decided to use a different approach with a self-contained water container (less likely to leak) and lighting the water up. Added to the water is Mica powder that causes a swirly effect of "smoke" within the container, it also helps disperse the light causing a realistic colored swirly effect.
Furthermore, instead of lighting up the whole box, we have reworked the layout of the crafting chamber as shown in the looks-like model and decided to only light up the body of the firework. It would then represent the color of the fireworks when it explodes in the air.
The purpose of constructing this sketch model is to test the feasibility of using the Mica powder to simulate the swirly effects of smoke and to test the effect of lighting it up.
The color transformation is achieved by using a colored slide which acts as a filter for the flashlight. This allows us to experiment on how to achieve the best lighting effect. It should be noted that the actual product is not illuminated by using colored filters and would instead involve RGB LEDs that is able to change the color of the light it emits.
Testing and Lessons Learnt
The video above shows the final product of our works-like sketch model. As shown, the slides act as a filter for the flashlight, illuminating the body of the firework.
We have exprimented with different concentrations of Mica powder that is still able to achieve the swirly effect yet would not hinder the penetration of light throughout the length of the bottle. We have found that if we light the bottle from the bottom, only a low concentration of mica powder can be used as a high concentration would illuminate only half of the bottle. Hence, if we were to move forward with this concept, we would recommend using LED strips to light it from the side of the bottle, ensuring that both a high concentration (more swirly effect) and good penetration of the light is achieved. The thin LED strips could be embeded into the stick which connects the rocket to the ground and the stick would be hollow to hide the wires leading up to the rocket.
Another problem that surfaced was that the Mica Powder would settle to the bottom of the bottle after a long period of time. To ensure that the swirly effect is achieved, it is suggested to place a low-power heating element at the base of the rocket to produce convection currents within the bottle. The convection would ensure that the Mica powder would always remain suspended in the water and would create great swirls.
Sketch Model by Rachel Deghuee, Tiankai Chen & Rushil Batra