So It's been awhile since I posted, but a lot has bee ngoing on here. Mostly planning, testing, and a lot of trial and error. I finally recieved and assembled my own Prusa MK2S 3D Printer and haave begun prototype components. It's a very iterative process with each component usually having to be revised several times until the whole system works properly. I spend a lot of time in 3D, designing and refining each component. I have to create a back plate, to whole all printed Circuit Boards, all rotary encoders, and all LCD displays, as appropriate.
While this is going on, I am purchasing the electronics components that i will try to use in each system, testing them with an arduino board, and seeing if I can get them to work with X-Plane in an unassebled state. I need t know if I can make the components work correctly, just from an electronics point of view, as I am very new at this aspect. One I can get the components working properly, I need to get them set up with ArdSimX and X-Plane.
Once I have the Avionic system working from an electronics perpective, them I move into building a case, circuit board, and base to house everything> I try to make each system look as much like a real system from a real aircraft as possible, though I do make some compromises for funcitonality. In the case of the Audio Panel, the buttons that i aquired have LED's build right in their center. The real KMA30 has their LED indicators offset, with works printer on their buttons. The Audio Panel also has teh Approach Lights for Outer, Middle, and Inner indicators, which hve to be included as well. I deisgn the PCB using diptrace while making sure its 3d footprint fits inside my case design. Both are augmented as needed until I am satisfied, then the PCB is ordered.
jOnce the PCB arrives, the electronics are soldered to it. From here on out, any changes required to allow the design to fit and work will be done to the printed 3D parts, as all other components are set. The case base and cov.er are printed and test fitted. Any issues discovered with occlusion or component fit are iterated out via several revisions.
Once finished, I assemble the parts and connect everything to an arduino board. This unit will share a single Arduino Mega board with my GNS530 unit. Some simple X-Plane texting verifies that all aspects work as expected. Any issue with wiring or programming are refined out. The final results is an audio panel that works with the C172 and B58 aircraft in X-Plane 11. Will likely work with any other aircraft that has a similar audio panel, but this has not been tested.
Note the awesome (see: awful) printed cover with verbage and icons straight from the KMA30. it looks horrendous lol But I have a plan for future cover plates. At a later date, I will be able to print 3D components with up to 4 different materials simultaneously. It is my hope that I will be able to print text directly into the plastic! Time will tell if this works out like I hope. For now, I have moved on to the Radio Panels, but more on that later. For now, a sneak peak!