Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Maker Faire Pics

The Maker Faire was last weekend, and it was incredible! I think the natural teacher in me came out when I explained how the light pipe worked and why I decided to build it. Real fun! It was also wonderful to hear everyone's great ideas and suggestions. I'll be incorporating some of them into future prototypes for sure.

I must add that this fiber light pipe idea would have never been realized without the help of a handful of really great friends. Dan's stand design was inspired. Jess's etches were amazing. And Shay's big 'ol sign was eye catching and beautiful. Also, Shay stayed up with me until the wee hours of Saturday morning to make sure every part of the pipe was good to go. And then there were the folks that helped me man the stand. Jill was a perfect fiber light pipe spokesperson throughout the weekend, masterfully aligning the dish to the sun and rattling off optical factoids. Jess, Kale, Shay, Dan, Beanie, and Kim were there to take over when Jill and I had to take some breaks. I can't thank you guys enough!

For those of you who weren't able to see the fiber light pipe prototype at the fair, I'll explain the setup: We had a the solar collector mounted to a wooden 2-axis mount. A secondary mirror and heat absorbing glass were mounted to the collector. In the center of the collector was a rubber stopper with a five-foot bundle of eight fibers. These fibers led into an enclosed box (a 2'x2'x2' PVC pipe box covered in black fabric), and were attached to an acrylic pane with etches on it. The pane had reflective tape along the edges and it laid on top of a mylar-covered base. When the dish was aligned with the sun, the panel lit up the inside of the box.

Now for some pictures.

Figuring out how to set up:

The setup:

Explaining it to some folks:

The sun melted a plastic knob when the earth rotated:

Sunlight in a black box (no flash, no external light):

Jill and me toward the end of the day on Saturday:

One last thing. You can find the link to the Current TV video about me and the project here.

1 comment:

John Flournoy said...

I assume you have seen this:

I love that you're DIY and have wanted to build one of these things for a couple of years. What do you think of doing an instructables post?