Monday, October 25, 2010


My big project, that I've been thinking about for a while now, is an inflatable tent. This structure will be different from other inflatable structures I've made which were completely inflated on the inside. From my research I've found wall inflatables, meaning the walls are inflated and the inside is hollow (like bouncy castles) and ones which the structure frame is inflated. My tent will be inflated by its structural frame. In order to do this I've made the structure in rhino and I will be unwrapping it to create pattern pieces like in sewing. I have not unwrapped my structure yet, but this is what it will look like:
I started out using a 4-pt star solid. Instead of having the points go in, I made them go out so it became this 8 sided shape. Then I extruded the bottom down about 3 ft so there is some room to walk around the sides where the bedrooms are. I then traced the lines making a floor plane and frame:

After I had these lines I made, what I call, InflataLines. These are the tubes that will be inflated. To do this I selected the curves and used the Pipe command making pipes that are 3" in diameter. I also made the interior walls to block off each room. To make these I just made surfaces going from the ground up, past the top of the tent. These surfaces correspond with the floor plans. Afterward I trimmed the excess surface so the walls go all the way to the roof and stop. I also had to trim the extra surface that goes through the InflataLines so it does not constrict the air flow. The last step will be to create the vents for the blower and the air to escape. Most likely this structure will not be able to be inflated once and stay inflated for a night. The inflatable slides and bouncy castles have air constantly being blown through them so the structure stays inflated and strong. I will also be making chairs, couches, and beds that will be inflated individually and will not be attached to blowers or the structure and will be able to be placed wherever you want.

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