Now read on for tons of pictures and more details of the build.For a bunch of computer jockeys the Core77 team has managed to squeeze out a fair number of real-world objects—our Fila shoe, the milk-crate robot party, the Dutch Master—but nothing has quite had the scope and the fabricate-from-scratch nature of our parade float. From a half-joking napkin sketch the project quickly folded out to Boeing Dreamliner proportions—requiring building out sub-assemblies and recruiting specialized teams of experts!
In the face of such a daunting task we reached out to creative black-ops project specialist Laurence Sarrazin. Laurence has executed a number of projects with Core77, beginning back in the day with our full-size foamcore recreation of the design store Moss for the 2003 NY Design Week.
For this assignment she has put together a "core" team including Hand-Eye Supply staff Eric and Tobias, and highly skilled interns Jonathan Wilson and Spencer Norman. Importantly, she also led the design phase and brought in electronics gurus Paul Stoffregen and Mykle Hansen. Paul is the creator of the Teensy USB Board, which powers our float's 114 electro-luminescent circuits. Mykle is a writer and fabricator who guided our electronics development through its early stages. *For more information on this portion of the project check Paul's excellent post at DorkbotPDX.* Additionally Laurence wrangled over a dozen volunteers who have powered the production of our components and structures and arranged for our production facilities at the fantastic ADX—a brand-new community design and build space in SE Portland, where we not only have had access to a full metal and wood shop but also expert technicians whose advice has proved to be invaluable.
A Process Journal
Sketching and Modeling
The design process was very fluid, jumping from sketch to paper model to Rhino 3D models and back - it continued as problems were encountered and worked out.
Electronics Design and Fabrication
Mykle and Paul formulated and built out the system early on, kick-starting the production phase of the project in the process.
Super-Structure "Wings" Construction
The EL wire is suspended on self-sprung loops of bamboo, with steel supports.
Runner-Up Kate Bingham-Burt illustrated some of our prototypical tools which we scaled up in Aluminum.
Originally planned to be composed of recycled bicycles, the frame grew to a size which required extra strength and quicker execution.
Rigging & Transportation
Moving the float across the river was the last hurdle - its wings pivoted to keep it (semi) road legal.