Two Materials

For my PComp/ICM final, I’m projecting a 180 degree video onto a paper lantern that people can stick their head into. However, there’s a metal tension rod that usually holds up these lanterns structurally to expand them into a sphere, and the metal runs through the middle of it, which would obstruct the whole experience. Without it, it looks a little sad:

I initially thought I might weigh down the bottom to make it expand, but then remembered that in class we got to see vinyl material that was somewhat flexible. I thought using strips of that kind of material to adhere to the inside might work as a more elegant solution.

I went to Blick and found a 36 inch sheet of plexi, which was, right down to the inch, the perfect length. I also got some velcro, since I wanted to be able take the strips out to collapse the lantern/sphere for easy transport.

I started attempting to cut strips of this using a box cutter, which was basically impossible:

Someone suggested I use the bandsaw, and I was really grateful that I had the chance to hone my skills with the duplicate assignment, because this wasn’t as intimidating as it could’ve been.

I ended up with pretty decent cuts, which I added velcro to, as well as on the inside ends of the sphere:

When I tried attaching the plexi to the sphere with the velcro, it worked really well, but I realized I would need to cut two more because using just two of them distorted the shape a bit

By the time I did the 3rd of 4th strips, I got really good at making fast, straight cuts on the bandsaw 🙂 I’m really happy with the result, especially since this was a tricky design issue with the material being so fragile. Now I have my sphere!