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small "snap-fit" parts for easy seastead construction

Home Forums Archive Structure Designs small "snap-fit" parts for easy seastead construction

This topic contains 12 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Logan Logan 4 years, 12 months ago.

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
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  • #788
    Profile photo of livefreeortry
    livefreeortry
    Participant

    Just occured to me, how about TSI make a few types of small (3-5 feet diameter, 6 feet length) reinforced ferrocement parts with a simple means of joining the ends together (nuts and bolts or welding etc??). I’m thinking of something like the current PVC pipe industry. We could have L and T shapes, connectors for 2 different diameters etc. In our case though, we might be better off with closed ends rather than open like in PVC.

    These parts are then used to assemble the seastead structure in a modular fashion. The living space requires large flat panels, these could be made as well, or maybe we could try something else, like used shipping containers??

    Some benefits:

    1) Greatly simplified logistics.

    2) Technically easier to make compared to large single units.

    3) Multiple geometries can be tried out by different users.

    4) Helps make seastead more resistant to punctures or damage since closed ends keep water ingress localized as opposed to single units.

    5) Seasteads can be easily repaired by replacing damaged parts. Increase or decrease height/area as required.

    Drawbacks:

    1) Multiple joints increase number of potential failure points.

    2) Limited number of parts may not enable construction of all types of desired structures.

    IMO the drawbacks can be minimized and are manageable, while the benefits are substantial.

    Any comments??

    #4706
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    Cool idea. I´m not sure if this is exactly what you had in mind but I was inspired to draw this up:

    http://wiki.seasteading.org/index.php/Image:Modular_spar_segment.jpg

    Pour these in a cylindrical mould with rebar, with a cylindrical plug in the middle to make the room inside, embed bolts in the rim, cure, stack a number of these and bolt them together to make a spar.

    Then drill or cut wherever you want the holes for stairs and portholes.

    I´m not sure about the exact placement of the bolts. Perhaps they´ll need to be angled inwards in order to be easily acessible through the floor of the segment above. Perhaps the entire wall needs to be angled slightly in order to get the modules out of the mould easily. But I am sure this can be worked out.

    I bet you could get the price for these things down pretty close to the material cost if you could just get a production line going smoothly.

    #4707
    Profile photo of livefreeortry
    livefreeortry
    Participant

    Hi Carl, that’s mostly what I have in mind, except that I can’t decide whether the ends of each part should be open or closed. Open parts allow access to the interior, but will require a fool proof water-proofing solution to prevent water leakage between the junctions. Closed ends solve the water leakage problem, but block access to the interior of the spar. I’m sure there’s a reliable half-way solution, needs to be worked out..

    Btw, here’s a crude drawing of what I have in mind. This’s supposed to be a adaptation of the SWATH design, with added height above water and separate ballast. : http://wiki.seasteading.org/index.php/Image:Snap_fit_parts_and_example_seastead.jpg On the left are the parts that have been used to construct this structure. The living area has not been shown, and the rigid members connecting the top ends together are separate from the parts.

    #4732
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    Some quick comments:

    1. If you make tubes of that length from segments, the joints might need to be very large in comparison to the tube diameter, especially if you are planning to put torque on the tubes. So the end-result might be very heavy compared to a custom made thing. I guess we can make sections of different lengths though,
    2. Things of that size (like the flotation things on a SWATH) tend (I think) to end up being made from steel. There must be some reason for this. Perhaps it is due to scaling and size. Ferrocement might be optimal for a very large SWATH-style seastead.
    3. The bolts (if that is what you will use to join these things) will be in the water. So you will need divers to inspect them from time to time. Unless we can put them (and a human, occasionally) on the inside.
    4. Have you looked at using oil/gas pipeline parts for this?
    #4756
    Profile photo of Patri
    Patri
    Keymaster

    I think it’s a great idea. “Seastead Legos”, basically. I would recommend doing a series of lego kits at different scales. For example, start with a kit for aquarium-sized designs. We actually had hoped to do this for our conference but it never happened.

    Then do a kit for pool-sized designs. And so forth. Each stage would probably require different materials. This would be an awesome project to have at Ephemerisle, so people can build and try various designs. It would also be a great piece of membership swag to sell in our store – a build-your-own seastead lego kit.

    I have no idea how much such a kit would cost – how much small runs of molded plastic cost, for example. Ideally we could find some existing construction system that we could use or augment (like legos, but better) to use their economies of scale to lower our costs. Same goes for a poolsized kit – we might want to use PVC as a construction element.

    Anyway, this would be a cool project for a volunteer to take on (either aquarium-sized or pool-sized kits, to start). If one of you is interested, email volunteers@seasteading.org and we can get the project specced out. We could probably offer a little money for buying supplies.

    #4777
    Profile photo of livefreeortry
    livefreeortry
    Participant

    Carl, I’ve been haphazardly googling for information about concrete modular construction, especially concrete sewage pipe technology that could be adapted for our purpose. I’m also in the process of contacting old class-mates who graduated in civil engineering to seek their opinions. Will let people know if something interesting comes up. Sorry if I come across as lackadaisical, got a lot of things going on at the same time.

    Patri, if only we were having this discussion when I was totally massacring time in college!! I would love to have tried this stuff out! maybe in a few months time, right now my wife’s pregnant, I’m pregnant with my PhD thesis :-) , plus got to read up to hit the ground running in my next job. Great suggestion about PVC.

    #4809
    Profile photo of DanB
    DanB
    Participant

    This fab-at-home 3D printing technology might allow you to construct these parts easily:

    http://fabathome.org/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page

    Might be cool to build up a whole seastead-oriented open source library of 3D parts.

    #4853
    Profile photo of Patri
    Patri
    Keymaster

    Fab at home technologies are quite expensive, I believe, compared to mass-production. It would be neat to have an open-source library of 3d parts, but I think it would work better to use mass-produced objects and distribute them as kits.

    #4868
    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS
    OCEANOPOLIS
    Participant

    Yes, thats the only way to go. I designed a modular floating structure shaped as a kite(a quadrilateral polygon).The bottom is not flat but more like a v-hull(so it can be ballasted) and the freeboard is much higher than of a barge of similar lengh(for ocean going,thus wont take spray over the bow).Several kite shaped modules can be rafted up, not only to create a variaty of seastading shapes, but ad infinitum.As we speak I am working on a scale model of my project involving “kite modules”.I will post some pictures soon.Give me a buzz for more infos,Tavi.

    #4872
    Profile photo of livefreeortry
    livefreeortry
    Participant

    OCEANOPOLIS wrote:

    Yes, thats the only way to go. I designed a modular floating structure shaped as a kite(a quadrilateral polygon).The bottom is not flat but more like a v-hull(so it can be ballasted) and the freeboard is much higher than of a barge of similar lengh(for ocean going,thus wont take spray over the bow).Several kite shaped modules can be rafted up, not only to create a variaty of seastading shapes, but ad infinitum.As we speak I am working on a scale model of my project involving “kite modules”.I will post some pictures soon.Give me a buzz for more infos,Tavi.

    Tavi, I’d like more detail of what you have in mind. As I see it, a modular seasteading approach should involve parts that can be constructed and assembled by amateurs (like us) using simple machinery. That would limit us to blocks of a 3-4 meters dimensions and 3-4 tons weight which are designed to be joined together in an innovative but simple manner to construct a small family-size seastead.

    If you are thinking of barge size structures, these may be out of TSI’s reach, IMO.

    #4888
    Profile photo of Al3x
    Al3x
    Participant

    yeah I think the problem with modular designs like that is they may also get structuraly week? Imagine you have 10 blocks connected together and there’s a large wave lifting up 1-2 of them on the edge, the “joints” are gonna be under a lot of stress.

    #4906
    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS
    OCEANOPOLIS
    Participant

    OCEANOPOLIS wrote:

    Yes, thats the only way to go. I designed a modular floating structure shaped as a kite(a quadrilateral polygon).The bottom is not flat but more like a v-hull(so it can be ballasted) and the freeboard is much higher than of a barge of similar lengh(for ocean going,thus wont take spray over the bow).Several kite shaped modules can be rafted up, not only to create a variaty of seastading shapes, but ad infinitum.As we speak I am working on a scale model of my project involving “kite modules”.I will post some pictures soon.Give me a buzz for more infos,Tavi.

    Tavi, I’d like more detail of what you have in mind. As I see it, a modular seasteading approach should involve parts that can be constructed and assembled by amateurs (like us) using simple machinery. That would limit us to blocks of a 3-4 meters dimensions and 3-4 tons weight which are designed to be joined together in an innovative but simple manner to construct a small family-size seastead.

    If you are thinking of barge size structures, these may be out of TSI’s reach, IMO.

    [/quote] Yes my design can be at any scale. From 3-4 meters modules to ??(any) size. Yes they are floating, and barge like(if u wish). I will scan and post some drawings and few photos of the scale model I am working on, so u have a better understanding(a picture its worth,….).The reason I opted for the floating design is because any seastead design that is permanently atached to the sea bed will be under the scrutiny of whatever entity that has authority over that seabed. In international waters its EEZ, and the U.N. Seabed Authority.In the 12 miles territorial waters its the countries. Good luck to enybody building a permanent seastead in the u.s. waters,….in California(San Diego,for example)you cant even anchor for more than 48 hours.You have to move and If you dont, they’ll give you a ticket.(Unless its a designated anchorage,….). The only place(in United States) I would say it would be easy to get away w/a seastead(I mean anchored only) its in Key West ,on the lee of the Christmas Tree Key off Malory Square. If we are talking now about international waters, the advantage of a floating seastead is that u can anchor anywhere,even inside the EEZ(if u are not inside a heavy traffic maritime lane). By the way,check out the Misteriosa Bank location. Thats where Oceana was supposed to be. I like that location. Even though in the EEZ of Honduras and the Cayman Islands it is shalow(@some points 20-30 meters) pretty far from land and relatively close to the beautifull reefs of Belize.It would make a good candidate for a seastead-micdronation “thing”.

    #9005
    Profile photo of Logan
    Logan
    Participant

    i think AI3x may have a very valid point, when you build a structure of modular prefab pieces, its likely that the joints will be the weakest points of the construction, build the structure to large or put it in a wind that is to strong and there’s a chance that the stress will cause a joint to break, which will set in motion the downfall of the whole object (especially if its built up so there’s a lot of downwards force)

    There are probably ways around this, but i don’t know them, that said I’m not an engineer or anything similar so why would i know of them, heh

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