Friday, 8 July 2011

Playing around

While I still haven't solved the lack of space, restricting my ambitions to go bigger, I continue to experiment with new ideas. I build Tetroid some time ago, and had it with me at the market quite often, but I wasn't too happy with it overall. The tendon length didn't work out properly, so I decided to connect the three strut in a corner in a star shape instead of a triangular loop.

With more tautness than before, each strut could move laterally a lot more, and the network of tendons now distinctly outlines a tetrahedron. I wonder if an octahedron build like this could still collapse....

Marsupial (Large tetrahedron mounted on 3-strut tensul with small tetrahedron suspended)
The new corner configuration increased the appeal straight away, as next step I mounted the tetra on a tensul, using the 'edges' as mount point. Tapping on the top, the structure bounces and rotates a bit. When done carefully, you can rotate it on the spot. The size invited to suspend something in its middle, a 'traditionally' build tetrahedron. The 'baby' tetra swings in its own frequency when the model gets in motion, like a Joey bopping its head out of its mother's pouch. Well, at least with a lot of imagination.

United Duals (Octahedron with a cube intersecting the edges)
I still want to build a tensegrity merkaba, and discover how slight variation produce very amazing outcomes. I started with an octahedron, and added 3-strut moduls to the edges of each triangular face. I moved the strut close together, so that the 24 struts surrounding the octahedron appear like 12 struts in a cube. The struts of the octahedron are a bit less twice the length of the cube struts. The corners of the cube are too small to provide balance for the whole structure, but the model can be 'suspended' from each octahedral corner, which stands slightly out from the cubic faces.

Merkaba (stellated octahedron or octangula)
Having cube and octahedron united was nice, but unexpected. I went back to my small merkaba model and noticed that I had join the tensuls to the corner, and not the edges of an octahedron. It still folds along opposing corners of the octahedron, but the two intersecting tetrahedra remain hidden in the chaos of 36 struts. Having the octahedron in a different colour could bring out more interesting pattern, it's fun to play with, yet a bit visually overwhelming.

Hyper Tetra
Hyper Tetra has a green tetrahedron at its core, surrounded by four tensuls connecting to the edges of it. I made the corner triangles quite large to allow balance on each corner. Now I realise that this model comes closest to the idea of the merkaba: two intersecting tetrahedra. Of course, the 'outer' tetrahedron is roughly twice the size, same sized tetrahedra intersect along their edges. This idea invites to a bigger rebuild, using a 6 strut outer tetrahedron with center holes.

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