assignment.04 | processDefinition

Recently I have been diligently working on my Grasshopper definition, trying to get it to the point where I can bake my geometry and then go directly to the laser cutter with my material.  To make a 32″ diameter lamp, I will need 16 sheets of 14″x17″ bristol, which is the material I have been using up to this point.  I think I can get the amount of sheets needed down if I can use the RhinoNest plugin.  If you have not heard of this plugin, it can save you time energy and material…RhinoNest.  However, it is not free, and the algorithm I would have to create and implement to do something similar is not a trivial matter.

I have also been refining the connections at the top and bottom of my sphere.  I am trying for a more elegant connection instead of the bulky ugly connection of my prototype.  It is not quite resolved completely as of yet, but it uses the same notching language as the connections between panels in the field of the luminaire.

One of the major problems I have been running into is how I am going to make this thing move.  I have contemplated servos, dc motors, stepper motors, solenoids, and muscle tubes and muscle wires, the problem is I do not have any of these to test with.  My goal is to make my final purchase of electronic goods by this weekend, so I will most likely be making a pro and con list to determine which will work best.  If anyone has any ideas of how I can make this work, please let me know.

Update:  Thinking about using a floppy drive stepper motor, small, cheap/free, and hackable.  Anybody have any helpful hints or experience with these?  Adam?  Alex?

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One Response to “assignment.04 | processDefinition”
  1. nywcheng says:

    Geoff, it’s very exciting to see your progress on this. I didn’t understand the extent of your work until I saw the adjustable aspects on the Grasshopper definition. I would be interested to see which part of the GH generates which part of your lasercutting pattern.

    To expedite the design process, I would try out the luminaire with the number of components minimized to make sure that the pieces will have the bending movement and springiness you want without so much labor, and make sure you can get the light and electronics to work right. If you haven’t already done so, you could also lasercut a small set of the actual pieces at 1:1 scale to check the joint configuration in the typical skin and at the top and bottom. It could be that strips of v-cuts from your original single sheet design would be more effective for working with the activation because the stiffness of the single sheet resists the motor better so that it springs back and you don’t have to worry about pulling and pushing.

    For your top and bottom connection, you could consider gluing the paper to a single layer of acrylic (perhaps toothed like a gear to ensure alignment.

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