Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A MITCH (ha) needed update

Last time, on Mitch, we saw various plants which I intended on 'biomimicking,' including Mangroves, Banyan trees, Whitebark Pine, and my personal favourite, creeper tendrils.

As I explored my options more, I increasingly seemed to be turning to the creeper tendrils, which seem like a great opportunity to emulate for my bridge. The twisting of the tendrils allow for a much greater rigidity than the minimal form of them would suggest.
As I moved forward with this design, it began to develop as a bridge which literally twisted in the same manner as the tendril, but as a bunch of them.

The central sketch in this image shows the thinking behind this. It would be a series of rings, with steel rod supports between to provide the overall structure. These supports would be connected with details like the ones shown below.

I had even begun to develop a script that would allow the bridge to adapt to different conditions, which may be an unnecessary use of grasshopper.

Upon further though, I felt that the number of tendrils was beginning to take away from the concept, and it was beginning to look unlike a creeper at all. I took a step back and began to think about how the plant actually supported itself, leading me to two solutions, twisting, and the cross section of the tendril itself.
This, however, was abandoned. Going back to twisting, I began to look at tensegrity structures as suggested in a critique.
Like this, but on its side. I like that tensegrity structures allow for a great deal of strength with relatively little structure, much in the manner of the creeper tendril. So, this idea is being developed, as can be previewed in the following details.

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