Saturday, April 29, 2006

Finally arrived

The Festo Muscles arrived! They look amazing...

We put some load on two segments and tested the mechanism of the pulley sytem and the hardstops.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Ghetto load testing

We load tested the top (i.e. weakest) segment using big trash buckets filled with water. We left the 700 lbs (=~ the weight of the entire tower except for the base) on there for the day.

Peter enjoyed being a water fountain!

Big Green Alien

Chris Dewart and his son are making the foundation anchors for us. A green alien landed in their workshop.

Overnight we moved all the pieces from the paint shop that started to feel like home to the N51 architecture wood and metal shop. We are assembling the entire tower (horizontally) in the court yard to check all the connections, hardware and tolerances. The spine of the tower is arising. It is exciting... and scary!

Let's bring this pile of dinosaur bones to life!!!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Assembling the modules

Finally, all the fiberglass pieces are finished. We assembled two units with some of the hardware to test if everything comes together and works as designed... but mainly also to motivate us!

It looks impressive! We are indeed all motivated again... (?)

Troubling news from Festo: our muscles are being held in customs. They are in Boston but they haven't been cleared yet.

Many itchy hours later...

We've just spent a week and a half in the shop (8 to 12 hours a day) laying fiberglass, grinding, drilling, and all kinds of very manly things! There was no time for pictures or updates... Slowly and painfully we saw the pieces getting finished... It was hell! Every arm (and we have 24 of those) had to undergo about 10 steps before being entirely finished.

We got help last weekend from Justin, Matt, Will, Jimmy and Emily. All of you really helped us quite a bit!

Everything asks for a creative solution. A bundel of garden hose tubing will serve as damper for the joint between two levels... Long live Home Depot!!!

Move some dirt

Free pizza, nice weather and 6 o'clock in the afternoon seem to be a better combination to attract some volunteers! Thank you all!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Hell of a weekend

We got a lot done this weekend... but not quite there yet. In the picture you see an assembled segment of the spine of our structure. Just to give a sense of scale: Axel is over 1m90, so that is a huge piece! We are stacking six of these on top of eachother onto a base that is as high. oh oooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhh....

Professor digs foundation!

It was wet, cold and way too early for a saturday morning to come out and play in the mud. The hot coffe and donuts didn't seem to have the hoped effect and the huge crowd of volunteers hit the snooze button and turned around in their bed...

The foundation will not leave a single trace. No concrete is poured; instead the design uses a wooden frame that provides an ankering reaction by the weight of earth. The foundation is designed by Prof. Ochsendorf and Chris Dewart. Thanks a lot, Noel, Chris and John, to come out and move some dirt!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Production line

We shifted into fabrication mode... 15 arms a day! it is exhausting, the fumes make us high and with all the fiberglass sticking in may hands, i feel like a cactus...