Tuesday, September 10, 2013

INDN 212: Repositionable Lighting

So, I went and talked to my tutor regarding the potentially too inspired work, and we came up with a solution to my dilemma. He really liked the direction I was taking the light by having the lights be pulled across the table, as that takes the ideas back to my original idea of having lights track you across the table.

So, the idea that I'm going with now is more about getting the lights to respond to your presence that is less of a personality, but more functional. I'm actually taking the idea I had at the end of the last blog post and flipping it on its head. Instead of having the lights retract inwards when you sit at the table, the lights will come out from the middle to greet and illuminate your space when you come into the space.

This will work really nicely, as the light is shorter than most dining tables anyways, so having the lights hang down at the extremities of the light will illuminate the space in front of those seated.

Another suggestion my tutor had for the lights was to add small aluminium's tips at the tops of my lights, as this will allow for the cabling to sit central as well as covering the holes in the tops of my lights. For the form, I decided to keep it similar to the lights, with a nice sharp angle that finishes off the top of the lights. For the smaller shades, the angle should be smaller than the top angle of the shade, so it will give a different look than with the larger shade, where the angle is larger.

This way I'll be able to cover up the reasonably ugly section where the cabling connects to the shades and the ceiling mount. I've got three different forms which I designed on Solidworks, all of which are designed for different holes. The first one is designed for the larger hole on the large shade, the second ones are designed to look the same but fitted for the smaller holes on the small shades, and the final one is designed for the three contact points between cabling and ceiling mount.

I'm getting them done on the CNC lathe, as the precision on these pieces has to be extremely high, otherwise it just won't look right, or worse; fit right. I'm currently having these made right now! I'm working on this post in the workshop as the tips happily spin away.

Another thing I need to consider now is how I'm going to tether the wire from the cabling for the small shades to the central point. One idea that I have to make the movement of the muscle wire really felt is to have the muscle wire pulling a pulley. Essentially, this would duplicate the total distance contracted by the muscle wire, allowing for a greater range of motion. Now, to have the muscle wire provide the release (as in releasing the light from the center) would require a slightly different approach. Rather than having the wire provide the pulling force, instead, it pulls on the pulley in the reverse direction, while the pulley is held to a point by a spring. That way, we increase the lifespan of the muscle wire by making sure it is not constantly active and being released, but rather it is constantly inactive and then being activated.


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