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 art piece during the week, measured in miles.… Read the rest

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.… Read the rest

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. … Read the rest

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.… Read the rest

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).… Read the rest

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.… Read the rest

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 that takes space that I don’t have.… Read the rest

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, I won’t be completing it on site.… Read the rest