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Cheap modular floating units

Home Forums Research Engineering Cheap modular floating units

This topic contains 6 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Avatar of Ken Sims Ken Sims 3 years ago.

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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  • #1554
    Avatar of michaelmclees
    michaelmclees
    Participant

    I’ve been kicking this idea around for a while in my head. Imagine a plastic (or some other material that won’t corrode) cube, 20 feet cubed. On the corners are holes, like those found on shipping containers, so that they may easily be transported and connected to each other. These serve as the base of your city. Each one can float a certain amount of weight (480,000 pounds I think). Attach them together into a 20 x 20 grid and you’d have quite a little land mass.

    Now, suppose someone wants to add to your city. You may sell or lease access to the perimeter of your land as you see fit. They would merely build, transport, and connect similar structures to yours. You might be able to finance your cubes on new neighbors who pay for the rights to attach to yours.

    Suppose someone wants to build something very heavy on their cubes. The cubes may be flooded and pumped so that a column may sink to the desired level so that another cube may be added on top of the existing cube in anticipation of the new weight.

    What have I missed? Why would this not be preferable to building enormous and expensive structures with tiny living place?

    #14179
    Avatar of shredder7753
    shredder7753
    Participant

    2 thumbs down. wont hold up in a storm. see this. work on beating this.

    ____________

    My work

    “Leadership and do-ership are not the same thing”

    #14191
    Avatar of xns
    xns
    Participant

    As I see it, you’ve got 2 problems to overcome with a 20ft cube, the first being transport from the factory to the site, and the next being the fact that they’ll all be joined on straight lines, meaning they’d flex alot in rough seas. I had a similar design using hexagons though, just search “Modular Island Design”.

    King Shannon of the Constitutional Monarchy of Logos.

    #14467
    Avatar of shredder7753
    shredder7753
    Participant

    the thing with the hexatoons – and im not against them it was a very creative innovation. how do you get them to flex? that in itself will be an engineering challenge. i think its harder than it may seem.

    have u seen my ball and hitch connection system?

    ____________

    My Work II

    “Leadership and do-ership are not the same thing”

    #14474
    Avatar of Yog
    Yog
    Participant

    Not that I really wanted to jump into this conversation but smaller hex modules do work. You need 2 simple tie systems to negate the horizontal and vertical shearing forces.

    For horizontal we use a simple bow-tie anchoring solution. For vertical your floats are grooved on each face and have what would looks like a 2×6 inserted. It’s a snug fit and friction holds it together after you tap in the inserts. We use Grancrete for our outer covering and for the tie systems. The interior is mostly hollow but arched at the top for additional support (if it was flipped upside down it would look like a big egg holder). There is a layer of 2lb closed cell foam that encapsulates the hollow area in case of breach. We’ve never broken one so the foam might be overkill.

    We started out with floats about 1 meter across but scaled them down about 1/3 because they were easier to handle and load on our trailer to pre-assemble small rafts before putting them in the water.

    Then we just back the trailer down the boat ramp and float everything off. We have a 24 foot boat that we use to tow our materials out to the house. It’s our family experiment and on a back bay in our part of Texas.

    Here are some pointers.

    * Keep your modules small.
    * make sure you incorporate locking grooves on the bottom so that you can attach another water-filled float underneath. If you are not an engineer or do your weight calculations before building, you are going to sag or list (tip slightly). A water-filled module that has a hole in the bottom will allow you to fill it with air to compensate for buoyancy can come in handy. Best used in sets of at least 3. The locking grooves and friction hold them firmly in place.
    * stay away from most of your common building materials. A salt water environment is brutal on anything not designed for it.
    * When building your prototype you will find that inflatable forms make the job 100 times easier. A sprayed on foam will provide a support shell that allows you to then spray on shotcrete or grancrete. You can reuse the form again later.
    * Go round whenever possible. Round monolithic structures (like domes) carry 30+% less wind load and are easy to build with inflatable forms. Look for Google images of the dome home in Florida. You can do some neat cut-aways.
    *groove your bow-ties so that you can run wiring underneath them. This makes it EXTREMELY handy when rerouting cables and power across your floats. Nothing to trip over.
    * use concrete, shotcrete, or grancrete whenever possible. You can stain it to look like anything you want (even wood) and it never corrodes. We prefer Grancrete because it is waterproof at just over 1/2 inch and is lighter than concrete. But your working time is very short before it sets up. Do your homework before you try to make it. Your water ratios have to be perfect when mixing it. If your concrete isn’t made correctly or thick enough you will have to worry about the sodium chloride ions eating away your internal support material (usually rebar if you go that route)
    * start very very very small before you go big. Small is cheap and affordable and a miscalculation doesn’t crater your build budget.

    Our place is 34 feet in diameter with a 12 foot “deck” around it. We are working on building a floating “yard” and recreation area now. Total cost to date has been a bit over $23,000 in materials and fuel. We do everything ourselves so there are no labor costs.

    Power comes from solar cells we custom built and embedded into the outer dome while it was setting up. They kind of look like mosaic tiles. they aren’t very efficient like the monocrystalline solar cells, but they make better use of ambient light and don’t require direct sunlight. Onsite water is provided by a simple solar evaporation system using evacuated solar tubes like you find on eBay (which is where we got ours).

    Seasteading is possible and doesn’t have to cost a lot. It’s not for open water like the Gulf, but there are a lot of neat places you can still go.

    I would post pictures but I don’t seem to have that capability here. Good luck guys.

    #14476
    Avatar of shredder7753
    shredder7753
    Participant

    Yog wrote:
    Not that I really wanted to jump into this conversation but smaller hex modules do work. You need 2 simple tie systems to negate the horizontal and vertical shearing forces. For horizontal we use a simple bow-tie anchoring solution. For vertical your floats are grooved on each face and have what would looks like a 2×6 inserted. It’s a snug fit and friction holds it together after you tap in the inserts. We use Grancrete for our outer covering and for the tie systems. The interior is mostly hollow but arched at the top for additional support (if it was flipped upside down it would look like a big egg holder). There is a layer of 2lb closed cell foam that encapsulates the hollow area in case of breach. We’ve never broken one so the foam might be overkill. We started out with floats about 1 meter across but scaled them down about 1/3 because they were easier to handle and load on our trailer to pre-assemble small rafts before putting them in the water. Then we just back the trailer down the boat ramp and float everything off. We have a 24 foot boat that we use to tow our materials out to the house. It’s our family experiment and on a back bay in our part of Texas. Here are some pointers. * Keep your modules small. * make sure you incorporate locking grooves on the bottom so that you can attach another water-filled float underneath. If you are not an engineer or do your weight calculations before building, you are going to sag or list (tip slightly). A water-filled module that has a hole in the bottom will allow you to fill it with air to compensate for buoyancy can come in handy. Best used in sets of at least 3. The locking grooves and friction hold them firmly in place. * stay away from most of your common building materials. A salt water environment is brutal on anything not designed for it. * When building your prototype you will find that inflatable forms make the job 100 times easier. A sprayed on foam will provide a support shell that allows you to then spray on shotcrete or grancrete. You can reuse the form again later. * Go round whenever possible. Round monolithic structures (like domes) carry 30+% less wind load and are easy to build with inflatable forms. Look for Google images of the dome home in Florida. You can do some neat cut-aways. *groove your bow-ties so that you can run wiring underneath them. This makes it EXTREMELY handy when rerouting cables and power across your floats. Nothing to trip over. * use concrete, shotcrete, or grancrete whenever possible. You can stain it to look like anything you want (even wood) and it never corrodes. We prefer Grancrete because it is waterproof at just over 1/2 inch and is lighter than concrete. But your working time is very short before it sets up. Do your homework before you try to make it. Your water ratios have to be perfect when mixing it. If your concrete isn’t made correctly or thick enough you will have to worry about the sodium chloride ions eating away your internal support material (usually rebar if you go that route) * start very very very small before you go big. Small is cheap and affordable and a miscalculation doesn’t crater your build budget. Our place is 34 feet in diameter with a 12 foot “deck” around it. We are working on building a floating “yard” and recreation area now. Total cost to date has been a bit over $23,000 in materials and fuel. We do everything ourselves so there are no labor costs. Power comes from solar cells we custom built and embedded into the outer dome while it was setting up. They kind of look like mosaic tiles. they aren’t very efficient like the monocrystalline solar cells, but they make better use of ambient light and don’t require direct sunlight. Onsite water is provided by a simple solar evaporation system using evacuated solar tubes like you find on eBay (which is where we got ours). Seasteading is possible and doesn’t have to cost a lot. It’s not for open water like the Gulf, but there are a lot of neat places you can still go. I would post pictures but I don’t seem to have that capability here. Good luck guys.

    gosh u already seem like one of the most knowledgable people ive seen on here. could we get some pictures? plleeeeeaase. i used to not be able to either, but someone showed me how. for some inexplicable reason, you have to upload the pictures to another website (dont ask why). i use a dedicated google docs word document. then you just copy it from one tab and paste it into a comment on here. at least thats what works for me with Chrome. try that!

    how does the price of grancrete compare with concrete? is that something that a local vendor could bring in a big mixing truck?

    ____________

    My Work II

    “Leadership and do-ership are not the same thing”

    #14484
    Avatar of Ken Sims
    Ken Sims
    Keymaster

    Pictures can be updated to the Personal Files area of your profile on this website, but the images are limited to 500×500 in pixels and 100KB in actual file size. And the total storage per user for all images is 500KB.

    That’s why for anyone who wants to have more than just a handful of fairly small images it’s better to put them elsewhere and reference them here.

    Be sure, of course, that where you put them allows external linking so that they will show properly to the other users.

    Ken

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