Friday, November 19, 2010


After making my InflataTent in Rhino, I used the unroll command to make pattern pieces. I selected the unrolled pieces and exported them into Illustrator. In Illustrator I made seam allowances for each patter piece by copying each path (individually) and shifting it over about 1/4". I then saved them as a PDF and printed them on the plotter. I taped the pattern pieces on a table w plastic sheeting on top and traced the patterns. I learned how to do this thru sewing, but cutting fabric is a lot easier than cutting plastic sheeting. When cutting fabric I pin each pattern piece to the fabric so it is the exact same size as the pattern piece. I could not pin the pattern piece to the plastic because it would rip and I would be left with holes that might inhibit the tent from inflating. I tried to tape the plastic sheeting as taut as possible, but the bigger the pattern piece the harder it was to stretch it out flat. As a result the pattern piecesweren't perfect and they did not fit together perfectly.

After tracing and cutting each piece I constructed the tubes. I used packing tape to seal the seams. First I put tape down one long side on the back then I rolled it over a piece of 2x4 with the adhesive of the tape facing up on top of the 2x4. I took the other side of the plastic and made sure the middle and corners lined up. I tried to make the seams as flat as possible by pulling the plastic taut while taping it. After getting the inside tape done I went over the seam again with tape for reinforcement. This also helps to make the tubes air tight. I ended up with 7 sets of tubes each with 4-8 pieces.
Although I did not finish the construction of the inflatable, I learned a lot from the process. The first thing I learned is that I should have made it out of vinyl or pvc coated fabric so I could sew it. Sewing is a lot easier than working with tape and plastic. It is also more professional since that is how the inflatables for moon bounces are constructed. I also learned more about working with Rhino. In the past I have had a lot of issues using the BolleanUnion command. This time I figured out why I was having problems with it. After making my tent about 3 times I realized that some of the parts were at too extreme of an angle and not intersecting the other part in the right place. I adjusted them and got every piece to Bolean correctly. This allowed me to have the exact pattern pieces to have a completely hollow frame to be inflated. I also learned how to export the pieces into Illustrator, something I never knew I could do before. Being able to work with Rhino and Illustrator for this project helped a great deal in making the pattern pieces. As much as I don't like working with computers that much, I can see how helpful it can be with certain sculptural processes.

I will be completing the inflatable over the break, hopefully I will be able to figure out how to get each tube to fit correctly. I also really want to do this with fabric and sew it so I might try to find the fabric somewhere in America, since I had been looking before and could only find a supplier in Europe.

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