Building the Full Scale Prototype
We've begun building our first full scale prototype!
As of February 1st things have been going alright, we are on track to finish by our mid-grant on February 10th. At the moment, our design is a bamboo hexagon, 8 feet point to point. Each corner is held together by adjustable brackets, with a shallow depression to accomodate the many sizes of bamboo available across the globe. They will be tightened with wing nuts by hand. On top of this, we'll use trampoline mesh as our primary layer, becuase it is tough and light, and water can pass through it so that puddles will not accumulate. We're still looking for a small scale supplier of bamboo that ships to the U.S., for the purpose of prototyping.
We had test brackets fabricated last week and recieved them on February 1st. They are flat, and will act as stand ins until we can have rounded brackets fabricated. These brackets will be manufactured for a later prototype, not our Mid-Grant. Unfortuanately, due to an error in sketching, the brackets we recently had fabriacted were not what we had wanted, being 30 degrees off, so we had to rush to our school's metal shop after hours to cut, grind, and weld the brackets to the desired angle.
On February 3rd, we assembled the platform base! Using thick posts, our redone brackets, and aeroseal clamps, we got the frame together. Some of the posts were thicker and required larger clamps, but we had no other issues. We flipped the frame onto the trampoline mesh that will be our surface, and put nails around the edge for the hooks to latch onto.
The platform was suprisingly comfortable, although we'll certainly need to tighten the mesh in the final product
February 4th we built legs!
First we tried using our "poly-repair pipe", a black, PVC-like tube, but it flexed far too much. We used the left over ends of our posts to make basic legs, as well as a 4x4 to support the middle. Our final product will use feet to distribute the weight evenly, but for now we have a working model! We hope to have a lot of community interaction and advice at our Mid-Grant.