Forum Replies Created
September 24, 2012 at 7:31 am #21073
Ok, I have for the foreseeable future given up on this project, started breaking down the unfinished balls in my back yard and do not plan on moving forward with this. I will provide a lessons learned for this idea.
The ultimate goal was to have an easy to make small component which would allow for incremental growth of an island which would allow you to actually make the island grow from the actual island. I chose spheres because of the strength that it would be able to hold against waves and for surface area.
I will cut to the chase and describe how far I got. I was able to build 7 ferrocement spheres which could all float. I used nautical rope to connect three at a time, connecting each three to each other. The result was a hexagon with a single ball in the middle and six around the center ball. I had a Walmart pool that I was able to do a few wave tests on, it did appear that the front balls took the brunt of the wave and dissipated the wave by the time it got to the back balls. I was even able to sit (rather awkwardly) on the balls and they held my (~200lb) weight.
My plan was to ramp it up with 30 more balls. I bought the materials and spent one hot Florida afternoon trying to build them all in an assembly line fashion. Unfortunately I believe that my technique was not the best and the cement was too thin and I ended up with a bunch of balls that were very brittle and not able to take more coats of cement before breaking apart.
While I could have probably had 37 balls put together in a large hexagon form and had it floating in the Gulf of Mexico, life ended up getting in the way and an angry wife was not too pleased with a bunch of crumbling cement balls in the nice back yard.
My technique for creating each ball was to buy a $2.50 Walmart bouncy ball, wrap it in mesh drywall tape and cover it in ferrocement. The last part is the most difficult. The first time I did it, I had fairly thick cement and I spread it on by hand with much cement clumping and falling off but after about an hour of work I had what was shown in my original picture. This ball was the heaviest but the strongest of all of the bunch, the thickness was probably close to an inch.
My assembly line approach I used on the next 6 balls fairly successfully. Instead of a thick ferrocement mix, I watered it down a bit to where I could put the balls in the cement and roll it around until all of the tape was coated. I then allowed it to dry and continued to roll it in the cement later for several more coats. Ideally this would be done throughout one day but I took a few weeks doing coats here and there. The thickness was decent enough and the outer coating was a lot smoother. For these I used the mesh tape all over the ball, it is difficult because the tape does not stick and you have to keep globbing cemented tape around the ball.
So I tried to do the same with the 30 balls. I did not have as much tape so I thought that if I did a criss-cross pattern on the ball it may hold the cement in between tape spots to hold and I had planned on doing several coats in one day so I figured that the cement would hold. This was not the case. It only held where the tape was and crumbled off everywhere else. Plus, after working through 30 balls in the hot sun, I was in no shape to continue putting on more coats and it was crumbling anyway so I was very frustrated.
I did get pictures of the balls in the pool and some video but unfortunately the SD card in my phone died.
This would be a good project for someone who wants to try to do something on the cheap but has some time on their hands. You can even pile all of the balls in your truck and drive to the water to test them.
For the 37 ball hexagon I was looking at a cost of about $160 shooting for a price of close to $5 per ball.
The beauty of it is that you can use the balls as a way of breaking the waves and the force would be distributed. A 10 foot wave would only need about 10 feet of balls to break up the wave with everything beyond that having very little motion. You could add balls underneath to add bouyancy but the balls each can hold around 50-100lbs.
I would have loved to just set one of these up out in the Gulf near where I live and put some solar lights on it or reflectors so boaters could go out there and use it as a meeting spot and hang out. It would have been great for camping out on the water as well.
I had ideas for an even sturdier ball with much more buoyancy and even a way of generating electricity by the movement between the balls but that would require a significant capital investment and I was only planning on pursuing such funding once my proof of concept had been finished.
Hopefully someone else can take on this project and go with it.June 5, 2012 at 5:11 am #20665May 25, 2012 at 4:14 am #20570
“Making a flying house is much more expensive and harder”
I saw a documentary of a guy who just tied a bunch of balloons to his house and he was able to fly Up into the sky.
The documentary also showed technology that allowed a dog to talk through a voice machine on his collar.May 23, 2012 at 9:46 am #20536
Anyone can put up a webpage with a project idea and ask for money.May 7, 2012 at 7:34 am #20440
“I hate those fuckers. Their ideas are so Stalinist they got no clue at all. ”
meh, I have no worry for any communist movement that has no force behind it. It would be like going on the attack against left wing talk radio. They tried it, it failed.
Communism fails on its own. No need to go after it.May 4, 2012 at 6:10 am #20381
Good idea. I mainly saw it more as having a large amount of energy generation surrounding each stead. Being an energy producer is quite beneficial.
This article http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/12/saltwatercrops/ shows how we could use salt water crops for food (vegetable oil) and fuel.
But it may come down to efficient use of breakwater “real estate”. I doubt that the floating plants you are talking about could thrive in 10-50 foot waves which means that they would have to be behind a breakwater where the water is more stable. But then you are giving up liveable space where someone could have their own seastead.
The first steads will be much like early homesteaders though where you need to have crops and sources of fuel, initially just for survival with the hopes of one day producing something for sale or trade.May 4, 2012 at 5:56 am #20380
I could see it as, he was able to get all of the local wildlife into his boat as opposed to “all animals in the world”. And the area he lived in was hit by a big flood. Perhaps a plate shift occurred or a massive weather occurrence.
He was the original Doomsday prepper.May 4, 2012 at 5:44 am #20379
“I mean if someone is gonna copy your patented idea to make money and go out in the ocean who’s gonna go after them and shut them down?”
I believe that initially there will need to be patents because we do not have seasteads where manufacturing will be taking place, all of that will likely occur in some country, selling to people from that country to go out into the sea.
If someone were to build a seastead and start using patented technology then that would be something the patent holding nation would want to have to decide whether they want to deal with it or not. Judging from the way that the US deals with China and their copyright theft, they would likely be free to copy.
But initially, just like choosing a flag of convenience, we need to play by the rules of the countries of choice until we reach the goal of truly seasteading.May 2, 2012 at 9:27 am #20301
The new poor man’s patent (at least here in the US) is filing a provisional patent application.
This locks you in for a year of showing off your invention and exposing it to the world without anyone being able to patent it. But all it does is gives you that one year to file for an actual patent.
It only costs like $125.April 30, 2012 at 5:02 pm #20294
One reason for the patent would be so that you can build your own invention without someone else patenting it and then keeping you from building your own invention.April 30, 2012 at 7:43 am #20275
Cool idea for a plant float. It would actually be cool just for the aesthetics of a seastead to have a bunch of floating plants surrounding it.April 30, 2012 at 7:27 am #20274
“Any one actually currently doing this yet? I ask since this thread of the forum is labled “active seasteading” and I see great ideas but none actually doing it yet. I would love to see someone do it and pass on their experience/advise/cautions/etc.”
Currently seasteading is in its very early stages. That means that most of these projects are in the prototype stage. Basically someone comes up with a concept and builds a small model and sees how it goes, they work out the kinks and try it until that small scale model works as desired. Then they build bigger and bigger scale models until they have a working prototype. After the prototype is developed and the kinks are worked out, then you apply for a patent so that other people do not steal your idea and run with it.
There are several stages of prototype seasteads being developed by people on this board. From the ferrocement dinghy to a working scale Bergstead to CompulsiveCoder’s bottle design. I am personally at the beginning stage of patenting my prototype after satisfying some of my initial testing. I hope to be able to start the next phase which is seeking investors and manufacturing within the next month or two. I believe that such a venture will be in high demand once Obama wins a second term and people scramble for an escape route.
The closest there is to an actual international waters seastead has been a few families loading up on their large sailboats and taking off to live remotely for years at a time.April 25, 2012 at 1:23 pm #20184
“an actual Bergstead wwould cost at least $5 million”
ya, I was not talking about selling the scale version, just the final version
You never know though, someone may be willing to pony up a good chunk of change to get a discount or the first Bergstead in production. But that is a whole different search.April 25, 2012 at 9:59 am #20178
Funding suggestion for ya…
Most manufacturers count on the cost of the final retail product being several times the manufacturer cost. Manufacturer sells to wholesaler, who sells to distributor who sells to retailer who sells to the end user. Each one along the way wants their cut.
So you could sell the opportunity to be able to buy the first Bergsteads at cost.
Say the final product will cost $40-50k to build but the final cost to the buyer is going to be closer to $100k. You ask for a $5k contribution now in order to lock in a Bergstead at the $40-50k price.
For cheaper products on kickstarter I have seen them sell the actual product for a contribution of like $1k (the manufactured cost of the product). So the first X people will get it at manufacturer’s cost and then you start making profit.
Just a thought.April 23, 2012 at 4:14 am #20161
That is quite cool.
The only problem is that it uses helium to stay up. Helium eventually escapes and needs to be re-filled. Helium is not an abundant element. The claim of this being “environmentally friendly” when it uses helium is a stretch.
cool concept though