Burning Man 2016 Project

Updated May 18, 2016: new rotor in diagram. I really like wind-powered projects. Ten years ago I made a wind-powered graywater evaporation device, several years after that I helped Larry “Ember” Breed teach his Gray-B-Gone Evapotron construction courses. But unlike those wind-powered projects, this one doesn’t perform any practical purpose: it just displays the amount of air that has passed the [Read More…]

Wind Load Calculations

Updated May 18, 2016: Use new rotor. See end of post. Burning Man is a bit like an outdoor museum—a museum that can have highway-speed winds! Part of registering an art piece for display is determining the strength of hold downs required to ensure that the art does not tip over or blow away from the wind. The required calculations assume a wind [Read More…]

Design Drawings for Miles

Here is the current structural and mechanical design of Miles. This drawing set includes three views of the piece, an exploded view of the interior mechanism, and detailed drawings of the Geneva device, the main gear, and the worm gear. Later I’ll post a more complete set of measured drawings along with the bill of materials.

Number of Teeth

The rotor on top of Miles spins a worm gear. I want that worm gear to rotate the rightmost digit wheel once for each mile of air that passes by. To get that desired rotation, I need to mount an ordinary gear on that digit wheel. How many teeth must that gear have? Here’s how I approximated that number. A mile of air is 5,280 [Read More…]

Art Deco Font

The details of Miles are inspired by Art Deco screens. Keeping with that theme, the digit wheels will use the Art-Deco–styled font family, ITC Anna. Below is how the digit wheels will display the distance 123.9 miles. In the illustration there are four “digit wheels” and one “fraction wheel.” You can see that these wheels (shown edge-on in white) are separated (gray areas). The [Read More…]

Shape of a Spur Gear

Geneva devices link adjacent digit wheels of Miles. The devices cause 9-to-0 transitions of a digit wheel to advance the wheel on its left by one position. For instance when counting from 19 to 20, the digit wheel that represents the units position advances from 9 to 0. Then through the Geneva device, the digit wheel that represents the tens position advances from [Read More…]

Materials for a Ten-Year Lifetime?

Usually I design Burning Man projects to last for the week. This choice means that wood and metal remain unpainted and that nothing is supposed to get very wet. Then if I want to save a project and return it to the playa in a future year, I need to store it out of the weather, and [Read More…]

Metal Workshop

I’ve been working every day on the fabrication of Miles in this workshop. I think I’m going to complete the project before I need to leave for the Black Rock Desert. Unlike other years, the tools that I’m using are difficult to transport to the desert, and so if I don’t finish the project before leaving, [Read More…]