Saturday, December 18, 2010

Fabrics and zip strips!

Hoorray! We got materials!

In order to construct the hoops for the skirt, the team has decided to use zip strips. The original idea was to either use actual wooden hoops, or use metal wires as hoops. However, we decided that wooden hoops would be WAY too heavy, and hard to collapse together, and metal wires...well, we had difficulties finding the right thickness for our hoop, and we thought metal wires might not be rigid enough to retain its hoop shape (we could have easily bent the wires while wearing the suit). So zip strips it is!

We worked hard over the week and constructed several hoops for the skirt. So instead of using one hoop per each segment of the skirt, Heidi suggested we have hoops of the same size to line down the legs (So it's kind of like wearing a tube instead of a skirt), and attach hoops of increasing size to each of the central hoops as we go lower. That way, the strings can pull directly on the central hoops in a way that's perpendicular to the ground, thus avoiding us having to calculate the angles and length of the ropes.
We taped two large zip strips together to form the bigger hoops for the base of the skirt.

Wire strippers sure come in handy when you need to put something, but shears work just as well XD
Consuelo testing the central hoop concept ^__^

To reinforce the bigger hoops onto the central hoops, we made support beams out of cardboard paper and smaller zip strips. Each hoops gets four reinforcements, one on each side to ensure the hoop gets pulled up in an even fashion.
Attaching reinforcements to the hoops.
The end result of the hoop construction looks like this:
The strings remain perpendicular to the ground by pulling up the central hoops of the dress.

We also attached the LEGO motors (two, one on each side) with valcro and tape. 
So the hoops are made now! We also bought some shiny lightweight black fabric to see just how the skirt will look when the hoops are actually pulled up with the dress fabric. And based on initial testing, it looks like this concept will work!!!
Attaching the fabric temporarily to the hoops were a pain! But we managed XD

Because the fabric was so large, we realized that  we will need to sew it onto each individual hoop for the pulley to work properly. 

Final product for testing! And it works!
It's nice to finally have the skirt working. Now all we need to do is jazz it up and refine the shape of the skirt to make it look more...pleasing. As well as program the LEGO motors to behave properly.

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