Sand Picture Frame Top 5 Constrains

I have started testing last week and am still in the process of determining which sand and liquid medium to use. I am doing these tests before I spend the time to build a frame. As anticipated, my constrains are very similar to the challenges I mentioned in the Design review. However, I am now aware of the details since I started testing.

Here are my top five constrains:

  1. Sand: it is actually tricky to get sand that has the desired buoyancy and in the same time be light enough to be held by air bubbles. Also the sand needs to be fine enough to pass through very tight air bubbles. From my experiments so far very fine sand tends to make the water turbid and it also sticks together creating a huge particle.
  2. Liquid Medium: I think this is the most challenging by far in the project. The fluid used in current Sand Pictures is a trade secret. I have been able to fix a sand picture frame with 50% water, 25% Alcohol and 25% salted water.
  3. Sealing: Sealing a frame like this tough task. My design will have two thin glass panels sealed with epoxy. This operation is tricky because fluid and sand need to be added while the frame is being sealed.
  4. Additions:  Adding another fluid medium like oil or ink will be tricky since it will disturb the motion of the sand. Also having a pressure pump might not be feasible because the sand might clog it after sometime.
  5. Time: I will need to make to take more aggressive steps in building and testing with a frame after testing. I understand that this might require building a couple of frames discovering flaws and attempting to solve them in a timely manner.



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3 Comments. Leave new

  • […] March 9, 2016 –  Sand Picture Frame Top 5 Constrains […]

  • This is going to be a really cool project and it seems like you have thought out your constraints fairly well. Do you think there is any way to seal most of the container before adding the sand and water? this could help the assembly process by leaving a smaller cutout that needs to be sealed last, making it easier to do so.

  • Matthew Sturm
    March 9, 2016 11:05 pm

    It really sounds like you are going to learn a tremendous amount from this project, and I am excited to see the results! I never would have thought that such specific thought needs to be geared towards the type of sand that should be used. This does present the opportunity for some cool testing though.
    What are you doing to acquire different types of sand to test? I actually wouldn’t be sure where to look for a big variety…


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