For my flying whale/surreal stirling engine project, I have some things to keep in mind…
1. Time is going to be a big constraint. Since I am taking 12 credits as a grad student (which is quite a lot), I have a lot of other projects to work on.
2. Money is my other huge constraint. I want my project to look nice, but I will have to upcycle a lot to keep the overall cost low.
3. Since a lot of my parts are going to be 3D printed, I plan to use the printers in the grad area (in the Forge). However, lots of other people use it, so availability is an issue. I might just have to start getting there early in the morning.
4. I’ve worked with foam before, but for making molds instead of for art. Making a whale from foam might take a few iterations and lots of patience.
5. The stirling engine needs to actually work. It doesn’t have to be very efficient (although that would be nice), but getting it to work reliably might require some adjusting.
I’m feeling the time crunch too! We’ve only have about four weeks left before the expo and there is so much to do. I think the sterling engine is going to be pretty impressive when it’s up and running though!
I’m with you on the time thing- I’m already feeling it. I wonder if there are some ways to expedite certain parts of the project workflow- maybe you can find a whale figurine to work from, or one off Thingiverse to 3D print while you’re doing your 3D printing marathon?
I think all of your constraints are reasonable, and as we all know, time is the biggest constraint right now. I think if you plan appropriately and put in some work this week over break, you can certainly get it done. Upcycling is also a great idea to reduce the cost, as well as give it that natural recycled look. I don’t know a lot about molding but you could talk to Dr. Borden, the heat transfer professor about it.