The main properties of the structure need to be –
- Low cost
- able to be assembled on site [due height restrictions of doorways etc.]
- structurally safe, as i will be inside, and be able to support its self [steel- strong enough and cheaper than aluminium]
- Perspex not Glass [as well as being to expensive, glass is too heavy to carry up stairs in to the room i will be installing]
- Needs to have access into and out of the structure safely
After several design ideas using wood and perspex, to get a handle and feel of how the steel structure could be assembled, i decided to make a small scaled down model.
I made two frames out of card, to replicate that of a steel angle frame. I then made several paper angles which would represent the way in which I would assemble the sides of the structure in steel. When it came to experimenting how i would join the two angles together, it quickly became apparent that this method would not work with steel. This way, it would be very difficult to assemble, as it would mean i would have to lift each frame on top of each other, which in turn would create an uneven structure with over lapping angles, that would not be flush with the flooring. This in turn would leave the structure as a whole less stable and aesthetically off balance.
What I also found out from making this small scaled down model, is that if each of the steel angles were to be individual, and capable of bolting together to the side frames, then it would mean that the perspex sheets would have to be laid down on the floor in the internal section of the construction, and then lifted up in to place. This would not be ideal. It would open up issues with fixing the perspex to the steel ensuring that the fit would be appropriate. It would also increase risk of damage to the perspex sheets.
Another solution was needed, one where the steel would be flush, with no overlaying angles. Also where the perspex could be fixed prior to when it comes to installing the structure. This would allow time for the silicon or mastic to fix the steel to the perspex, whilst laying down flat, instead of drying whilst standing up right.