For the past six weeks we have been working on Grove, an interactive forest that will be at Burning Man 2016. Last studio, we made a Grasshopper file that generates leaves for the trees. We also came up with the idea for a stacked plywood platform for the trees, and designed a flower that will open up to reveal a breath sensor.
This studio, we did a complete redesign of the breath sensing flower. The new design is much simpler to make and use. The petals of the flower uncurl to reveal the sensors while looking like a more natural flower.
We began by designing the petals of the flower. The new petals have a more simple frame that consists of just a single piece that goes down the middle of the petal shell. The shell of the flower now acts as the hinge of the flower, reducing the amount of complex parts needed to construct the flower.
As we designed the opening mechanism we started out by making a base and a center pin. The base of the flower cupped the petals and had slots for the ends of each petal to fit into.The pin is designed so that when the user pulls the flower down the pin will stay put, pulling the ends of the petal frames up with it. The first center pin had eye hooks coming out from its sides, which we soon learned stopped the flower from opening and closing correctly.
The second mechanism consisted of a larger base and an inset center pin with eye hooks on top. The base was made larger in order to fit an inner layer of petals, but we later decided not to use these. The eye hooks for the center pin were moved to the top so that when we inset it into the base they would still be accessible. We ended up removing some of the screws holding the petal frame to the shell because it allowed the petals to curl like a real flower petal.
The final flower for this studio has a slimmer, more natural base and a center pin that connects directly to the petal frames. We got removed the inner petal slots on the base, allowing us to make it smaller. We also chose to give the base a more cone like shape so that it would match the design of the rest of the flower. We removed even more parts from the flower by attaching the petal frames directly to the center pin. Instead of having eye hooks, the center pin now has slots for the petal frames.
Over the next two weeks we will shrink the flower petals, as well as adding the sensors and a locking mechanism to hold it closed when not in use.