I have decided to simplify my designs to three simple modules with wood surrounds (public furniture) and the interlocking modules. The plan is to show the modules themselves and give examples of configurations that can be made with them.
I downloaded Scan and Solve as suggested by Ammar instead of using Karamba since it is a lot simpler. This afternoon, I added material properties for mycelium based on information from different sources on mycelium composites, and I ran tests with the simple and interlocking chair modules. A report generated for the chair module is included for download.
Moving forward I will be setting up parameters for testing the different configurations based on how I expect people to apply weight to them. After structural analysis, I will start rendering and creating diagrams of the modules and configurations.
The mycelium I purchased seems to be available again, and they list some properties on the website. It is possible that the store shutting down had to do with COVID-19, but it is also possible that they just got it running again after transferring the main operation to a different company.
Today I recreated my interlocking modules sketched from the weekend in Rhino. I used the same dimensions (17" single seat, 34" double height) as I did for the simple modules, and I matched all of the angles. I tried 60 and 75 degree angles before settling on 65 degrees as the best option. After extruding single and double width modules from the sketches, I tried fitting them together to come up with different configurations.
My next steps are to decide which modules and attachment methods I want to continue with and finalize them. I hope to get started on basic structural analysis by the end of the week. Next week I plan to work on research, diagrams, formatting, and citations for my presentation, but I might be able to extend the designs/analysis into Monday if I absolutely need the extra time.
Today I followed some tutorials on Grasshopper basics for when/if I get to doing structural analysis of my designs. I have never used Grasshopper before, but I think I understand the basics now.
I also checked on the example file from Karamba3d, the Grasshopper plugin for structural analysis. I had had trouble with the file earlier since all of the components appeared blank, but today I figured out that I just needed to zoom in farther. I was able to select different beam materials and adjust the load with a preview.
This afternoon I took some time to sketch out a selection of interlocking shapes and move them around to create different configurations. My intention was to see how well more complex shapes could adapt to form multiple furniture pieces as opposed to the simple shapes that I have been working with. I think it could work to use interlocking shapes, but I would need to test multiple configurations and modify the shapes as I go to be as adaptable as possible.
So far I have been working on attaching the mycelium modules using an additional component, but Ammar suggested designing modules that interlock for some built in structure. In the meeting, we also discussed creating more complex shapes that combine to form multidimensional configurations.
In the afternoon I started sketching ways for the modules to interlock and started thinking about how these shapes could work to create different configurations.
I began my day by continuing the wood slider attachment idea that I started yesterday. I modeled a few different configurations using different combinations of modules, and I added the divots for the slider to fit into.
While trying to come up with another way to attach the modules, I started playing around with adding half-cylinders to the triangular modules, and after resizing the triangle to share the dimensions of all the other modules, I was able to put together some interesting spoked seating arrangements for public spaces. I ended up remodeling the previous configurations that had triangles to use the resized modules.
I modeling the strap idea to show how it only works for convex shapes. While adaptable to different configurations, the strap hangs midair around dips in the side of furniture pieces. During my meeting with Todd (my CSW capstone advisor) this afternoon, he suggested wrapping the strap around a central module before looping back to the next far point in order to resolve the issue with the air gap on concave shapes. It might be a good idea to try out.
I was wondering if modules with slots to fit onto a wood grid might be a way to make the designs completely adaptable, so I modeled a large grid and placed a configuration on it. When all of the modules are parallel or perpendicular, it is possible for the slots to line up in the same spot, but this is not the case for other angles. The grid ends up making it difficult to place the modules, so I don't think I will continue working with this attachment.
Today I spent some time working of different methods for attaching the modules.
I had already modeled the wood plank design over the weekend but did not have screenshots. The plank sits inside two modules to stop them from sliding apart. The planks are not visible, but holes for different configurations are. This attachment is adaptable to different configurations of modules.
My second idea, a wood surround, works best for the triangles. It is visually appealing, but not adaptable. Customers would need to order the surround for a set configuration. The surround holds the modules together as a single piece, and then they can be removed and placed apart for individual seating.
I have not spent much time on the third design yet. So far I have a wood half-cylinder that modules with a divot could slide along. This is based on RISD design that I found which used large mycelium cylinders of different colors on a sliding base. I added a half-cylinder mycelium module that can use used to create a full cylinder, or form a longer bench when combined with the existing cube module. The slider would be a set length, so it is not that adaptable.
I plan to continue modeling different attachments, and come up with new modules and configurations along the way as well.