Wednesday, February 24, 2010

design process

This week, Doll pretty much explained what limitations we had and suggested a module we should use for the 'wall'. We brainstormed on ways plastic can connect to our structure, different ways of forming plastic, and several other ideas. Each member of our group will meet later this week with a design proposal.

Today, rather than melting plastic, I thought that platic bottles already have a shape, texture, and, to some extent, a kit of parts ex. the bottom, the middle, and top/cap to play with. Also, I thought this enhanced our project considering that we are trying to use sustainable, readily available materials, and since it eliminated any platic form making from the process. Lastly, many platic bottles have a round cilindar in the middle, and a inwardly curving top, which can make a hyperbolic paraboloid, a very simple and strong structure (look at the work of Felix Candela). This weeks challenge will be to figure out how using such a shape can be inegrated into our wall project. I will likely have another proposal that considers either its transparent or 'tensile' qualites (considering it already has a form).

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tutorial and plastic model

This week, I did the 'lesson 1' catia tutorial. I had trouble during the seminar, so the tutorials are really helping me understand the program.

This weeks model was an attempt at making the skin have an influence on how light is perceived. Derek had the idea of using the plastic of a milk cartoon, and melt it over a form that would wave and dip creating different levels of opacity. I made the form in Rhino, made the CAD drawings, and cut it using cardboard.

The image to the left describes the process of this model. The first image is the form, followed by the contours of that shape. The shape is cut in half, contoured, and separated for CAD.

I am about to bring up the idea of using the negative of the from also as a way to create a second from. Considering we are using readily available materials, and trying to be sustainable, it is probably a good idea.

Super LED

Well might parts have all come in get the RGB led working

Parts so far
  • 10 watt RGB LED (ebay)
  • 3x LED Drivers, one for each color (
  • Wire (sparkfun)
  • 3x 10k Rheostats (sparkfun)
  • Heatsink (savaged from spare parts bin)
  • TIM, thermal interface material (spare parts)
  • 12v powersupply (using spare atx pc power supply)
  • Arduino Mega
  • Character LCD 2x16
LED's are finicky things, they like constant current power instead of the typical constant voltage power. They also need an exact amount of current (amps), too much and you will burnout the LED. With normal led's, you limit the amps by using resisters but doing that with these high power leds is horribly inefficient. That's where the LED driver comes in. It uses a special chip to convert the power into something the led will like with great efficiency (up to 98%).

Sureelectronics had the cheapest led driver I could find for high power leds($4each) but they were out of stock the 350ma ones I needed, but they had plenty of the higher capacity 700ma ones. I looked at the spec sheet and found the only difference was the 700ma one had two addtional resisters on it that I could easily remove. The chip on driver determines what the output amperage by reading what the resistance is between to of its pins.

So the first thing i did was remove the two resisters to change the output amperage to 350ma. A little work with my soldering iron and they were off. Next, I soldered the drivers into the adapter boards that have the nice screw terminals.

Next I soldered leads to the LED which I then used to connect the LED to the drivers. Then drivers I the wired together to the 12volt powersupply. The white wire takes 5v PWM from the arduino to control the brightness of the led.

I mounted the LED on a heatsink to exhaust the heat it generates. The led needs to be in perfect contact with the heatsink so I put some TIM on the bottom of the led to fill any gaps between it and the heatsink. Then I tacked the led down with a bunch of Hot glue.

I got the rest of the arduino wired up with three rheostats, one for each color-, red, green, and blue athing them to the analog inputs 0-2.

A little debugging to get the get values right (the lcd is perfect for this)

and voila! I can turn the knobs to create any color I want! The LED is blindingly bright so until I have time to fabricate a shade for it, a rolled up piece of trace paper works.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


So I picked up a couple of RGB LED's while I wait for some more parts to come in
right the lights slowly fade through the whole spectrum.

These are really fun to work with because you can generate any color light

I bought a even higher power 10watt rgb led to play with in our project.

Rhino + laser Cutter

and you get this:

An no glue. all of the pieces have cuts that interlock

Process for Cave-like Box

So, here is an image of the box I made.
First, I made a simple square box not to any particular scale. I moved the grid surface onto the surfaces of the box and drew a spline on each surface. Then I combined the lines forming blob like forms, capped those forms, and then cut them out from the box.
The box was then scaled to 4x4x4". I then cut the box into layers equivalent to the thickness of chipboard I would be using. Lastly, I separated those cuts, imported them into CAD, and cut them out with the lazer.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Digital Project- Skin

Using digital Project as a 3 dimensional modeling tool our team will be able to create our "skin system" or portion there of. The program is rigourous and can be utalized in many different ways.

The system needs a concept, a driving point. The skin should have a relationship that spurs interation of some kind whether that is human or from the environment. I feel that basics of the skin need to be played out. what are some of these factors?

Just questions to be concerend with:

a humanistic space

a spatial narrative... could be anything



Experiential complexity.... triply reapeating minimal surfaces. UK Work professor showed us.

Experiment... have fun, go figure.

so complexity, simplicity, technology, materialality (one), interaction, structure...concept?

Foliage... maybe. Filtering light.

DP: Example? up top