Failure and Iteration – Tom Vagnini

This week I made progress towards the most difficult part of the project, which is the initial structure of the globe.

I have a plan to make the structure so it will be easy to build, and will be strong enough. The “equator” of the globe, will be made of cut glass pieces assembled into a ring. From there, I’ll use 14 gauge solid copper wire to provide a support frame so pieces can easily be added on to all parts of the globe. In the following render, there are 2 support rings at 90 degrees, but I may choose to include 3 or 4 rings if necessary. The copper wire is a good stiffness to work with for the frame. One of my concerns in the past was how bumpy the sphere would be using glass recycling. These pieces that make up the ring are made from small glass bottles, so this is the worst case scenario.

The cut pieces are cut from glass bottles. Hopefully I’ll be able to use larger diameter bottles so the outer surface isn’t as bumpy, but here is an example of how those pieces can be cut. The bottle is cut into rings about an inch high, and then the ring is divided into 5-6 pieces depending on the bottle diameter.

I was able to successfully cut a bottle properly this week. There was one piece that didn’t cut perfectly, but I learned that scoring the bottle completely is really important to get cut it. I found out a few things during this process. First, it’s difficult to make multiple score lines on the bottle, you really need to score the bottle individually, then cut a ring off, and score the next piece. The bottom of this bottle has a score line lower on the bottle, but it’s now difficult to cut this since there’s not much room to hold the piece you’re removing. You need to dunk the bottle in boiling water to cut the glass, so it’s necessary to have room to grip the bottle for safety. The next thing I learned is the bottles don’t necessarily have a consistent thickness. This bottle varied from 1.65-2.65mm thick in the cross section I cut. I don’t think this will be an issue, but it was surprising.

The brown glass makes a beautiful amber color on adjacent walls.

I was hoping to get more work done this week on the actual construction, so I will need to put in a lot more time at the beginning of this week to catch up to where I’d like to be. Next week I hope to have a physical model that’s really taking shape.

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