Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Inner strength

I got asked to build a tensegrity model that shows excitability on the outside, and has some core adding resistance against heavy loads. That's the inspiration for the Inner Strength models, both of which have already arrived in Queensland, with one unfortunately broken in transport. 

Inner Strength - Purple Heart
Inner Strength Purple Heart served as concept study for this idea. I used an already build up octahedron and experimented with ways to install an icosahedron in its centre. The most difficult part was to figure out the length for the tendons leading to the centre, they needed enough tension to withstand forces. Probably too much, one of the purple struts broke while the model was squashed by something heavy during transport.

Inner Strength Hard Core
I used the experiences from the first build to play with the variables a bit - a heavy, solid core held by low diameter struts for the octahedral shell. The weight of the core adds to overall tension on the outer shell in seemingly stabilising way, with still an amazing amount of varying movement throughout the structure.

Cube in octa
I already discovered that I didn't need struts in the centre, tetrahedron, octahedron and cube can be constructed by tendons joined at the corners. The Cube in octa is suspended from the center of the triangular faces of the octahedron, creating redundant network paths. The nylon tendons highlight that the cube was made without struts, and embed a familiar shape in a less conventional surrounding.

Copped Hypercube
Copped Hypercube was my first attempt to suspend the frame of a Platonic Solid in a small scale model. The struts of this model were recycled from a models that lost most of its tension, after being very floppy to begin with. The current emanation is extremely springy, and it seems like the cube adds resistance against total collapse, while some its edges slack off.

It's fun to build a framework entirely from string, so that it entirely depends on tension to hold its shape. I will have to upscale to find out more about the change in behaviour depending on the relation of inner and outer structure. The large scale model on display at the moment has a tiny tetrahedron in relation to its out shell, which still seems to contribute to its overall stability and movement.

Thursday, 7 June 2012


I decided to open a new account for all the tensegrity related videos I shot. As the user TouchThisTensegrity you can find slideshows, howtos and exploration of single objects on youtube. By and by, I will replace the videos in blogposts here with their new location.

It's also a good starting point to collect playlists of other tensegrity explorations. Hope you'll enjoy the new channel.

Changed market dates

I can't come to the market on June 24th. I will figure out next sunday which alternative date I pick, and what to do in the next market season. However, I found a new way to relatively safely send models via mail, so your last chance to obtain one of my wonderfully weird works hasn't come yet.