Immersion Wheel – Top 5 Constraints

  1. 2 plates with identical patterns (necessary for Moire effect)

By definition, a Moire effect is a pattern that emerges from moving two identical patterns against each other. Perhaps there are unique results from using two different patterns, but the intrigue in this project is really the production of distinct geometric forms solely from rotating one pattern again an identical one at different rates.

Yesterday I went to the machine chop to check on the cutting of the 2 steel perforated sheets. To my surprise, even a professional metal fabricator was having some trouble cutting the 2 sheets with a common center. Although the sheets were both cut in to circles with a center hole, the edges of the circles did not line up with each other when an single axle was placed through both. The moire effect was happening even with the uncommon center, but because the overall form will be circular they must have a common center so that the circle doesn’t turn into a blob when spinning.

2. front plate must be see-through (translucent or perforated)

The moire effect would only be observable if the patterns on both plates is visible. I have chosen to use two steel sheets with perforated holes. However, if the steel sheets prove to be to burdensome because of weight or fabrication, I may resort to laser cutting acrylic sheets. After doing some brainstorming around the acrylic approach, I believe that an equally immersive effect can be achieved with this material; thus the design does not depend on metal perforated sheets.

3. plates must move in different directions in relation to each other (rotational or linear)

As seen in the rough prototype presented, the moire effect is apparent when the sheets are slid linearly against each other. So there is an opportunity to different motion paths in this project. But the fact that I’m trying to create an Immersion Wheel, rotational motion with a common center for both plates is the clear choice.

4. plates must able to move smoothly (to allow desired haptic  experience)

I do not want a squeaky or bumpy wheel to deter from the immersive exeperience

5.plates must be safely restricted (to prevent safety hazard)

Inviting users to spin two heavy steel plates requires safety measures. Ideally the Immersion Wheel will be safe enough for young children to play with.


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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Thomas Brunsgaard
    March 11, 2016 12:03 am

    I didn’t even consider the safety aspect of having two metal wheels spinning against each other. It will definitely be necessary to make sure that the edges are smooth, so fingers can’t get sliced if someone where to grab the wheel while it was still spinning. I think that the entrancing effect will be greatly enhanced if the rotation is smooth, and aligned well with the center axis. I wonder how diffident this will be to achieve with the hub less design? You almost need some way to constrain the wheel along the bottom ring, so it is forced to rotate about a fixed position.


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