Burning Man 2013 Honorarium Project / Impossible Triangle Now Made Possible

First plasma cut flanges

Dewb, Jacob, and Max are members of the world’s coolest maker space, Artisans’ Asylum, which is right around the corner from Blake’s shop. The folks at Artisans just installed a fancy new plasma cutter, so Dewb decided to cut some test flanges when he got checked out on the machine. The results look great.

The machine still needs some calibration, but it was very helpful to be able to measure how the tolerances of the machine. In particular, we don’t what to have to drill out the bolt holes once cut, so it is helpful to measure the test parts, then compensate.

The flanges as designed looked like they would do a great job dealing with the stesses of the structure. In engineering, however, it can be all too easy to miss areas where you overdesigned something. Sometimes it takes holding a piece in your hands to realize that it is way beefier than necessary. Holding one of those pieces in my hands was one of those moments, so last week I re-ran the simulations and decided that 1/4″ would do perfectly well for the flanges on the upper structure and 3/8ths would be fine for the base flanges.

Thanks to Dewb for making the test pieces and neucleating the optimziation. It might also save him a hernia when it’s time to fab the production pieces.

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