Monday, September 20, 2010

Design a Week #6 - FerriX Wheel

According to my self-imposed schedule, I turned in last week's Design-a-Week project late. So this week's is early.

This one is a simple concept with complicated geometry. I wanted to make the classic Ferris Wheel into something more 3-dimensional.

At IAAPA, I saw a company using a fixed wheel with a tank track-like belt moving the cars around it. I figured with something similar, the wheel could make turns around a more complicated shape (a sphere instead of a wheel, in this case). In my model, the 56 ball-shaped cars will swing but they stay upright by gravity and 2 axes of passive swivel.

I've mocked up 4 versions of this: basic structure, simple colors, "Atomic Sphere" and "Planet X". You can see some still shots of all 4 models HERE. And there are some short animations of each there too.

Ferrix Wheel (Basic Version) Ferrix Wheel (Color Version) Ferrix Wheel ("Atomic" Version) Ferrix Wheel ("Planet X" Version)

My favorite piece is the fly-around video of "Planet X" (the same one embedded above). It has some interesting color-changing properties depending on your angle. Also, if you find the track layout confusing, you can follow it in this short video.

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