The Day the Engineers Dashed Our Spirits… But Not For Good.

This morning a group of us from Studio V met with Chris and Rich at ADC Engineering to get a handle on whether or not some of our movie screen ideas would fly or not.  From what most of us gathered the two had the same ideas about flaws that we did.  We spent most of our two hour meeting with them talking about things that needed to be fixed and tried to find solutions to our problems.  Some of the major issues they believed we would have would be the wind load on the lateral stresses of the screen, closing the screen without it slamming shut and impaling a student in the process, lifting the arms in a more stable manner, and major sure the more vertical side arms are not turning inward when the screen is in tension.

Although we had all of these issues to look at I believe we got a fairly good idea, as well as some number crunches, of what we need to do to fix these problems and make a structure that is stable and ready enough to screen Citizen Architect.  First fix needs to be the lateral stress caused by the wind.  We had some numbers crunched and determined that a beams in the vertical arms will work with the plywood/sheet metal attachments.  However we might need to bulk of the pieces attached to the plywood a little bit.  The idea for having the structure to not slam shut would be a system of gears.  This would allow us to release the structure for small increments instead of slamming closed, or another set of pulleys to counteract the force of gravity.  Another series of cables attached to the higher member of the vertical arms would allow for a more stable opening system.  Lastly, we need to extend the lateral legs out further, make them heavier, stack them in or sand bag them down (we need to add 250lbs to each leg to prevent overturn) and attach close to a 45 degree cable from each set of lateral legs and attach them to the vertical arm for tension support from the screen.

Notes Page 1 Notes Page 2

These were just a few of the issues we talked about, along with a laundry list of other smaller ones.  This seems like it is going to be a huge issue and I am sure it made several of us uneasy.  However, the solutions offered we should be able to tweek and get worked out without having to redo the entire structure.  On a good note they loved our idea and thought it looked incredible.

Ben, Mike, and myself met in studio tonight around 6 for a few hours to talk about the removal of the legs from the structure and making them a separate entity as well as a wheel system and trailer to move the screen around.  However, progression was halted due to lack of communication between us and the main structure group. Hopefully a more collaborative effort will be taken tomorrow. The design is due Friday…

Looks like sleep is in order tonight because it won’t be for the next several.


  1. I think a more low-tech solution than the gears might be Chris’s idea of an extra kickstand type leg allowed to slide along your horizontal piece, with notches to incrementalize the sliding. Still, nice project, and nice little blog.

  2. Oh yeah, and one other thing, the sleeves could be modified so as to just put the legs underneath the structure, similar to as they are currently located, but without the hinge-type connection, and instead more of a sleeve as we previously discussed, except that the end is open. Then you could have the two legs meet together as you have currently when the legs are extended.

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