Sand Picture Frame 4/6/2016 update.

A quick recap:
I am working on the sand picture frame. The frame houses sand, air gaps, water and alcohol.
Please check my posts about this project by going to the students page and searching Aly Badran.

This week has been a little slower than the last in terms of building, but I am moving forward in with my design and finding materials.

I finally found 3 usable sand samples that have approximately the same size grain. The colors that I am going to be using:
1- White
2- Black
3- Brown
I am still trying to find a way to separate the coarse from the fine grains of sand. Any recommendations?

I got some pipets to experiment with. I am trying to integrate the pipets in the sand frame and see if I can create a turbulent environment with it and if this will help. The challenges are:
– Avoiding the sand from getting in the pipette
– Integrating it in a way that looks good (without sticking out)
– Avoiding the sand colors from mixing up too much and losing its color layers
– Having the tip of the pipette small and narrow enough to fit between the glass.
– Sealing it
With all of these challenges, tests are still in progress though, but no promises on including it.

I got clear silicone so that the finish looks better than my first prototype which used dark brown silicone. I am hopeful that the one I got is as good at sealing and waterproof. Still to be tested.

Dry Sand Frames
Experimenting with sand in frames without water! This is new but I got a response from professor Said Shakerin at pacific university recommending to experiment with some of these sand picture frames with only sand and patterns (no water). I will share more details if I have success with it.

I ran out of alcohol doing my tests so its stopping the final build. This is on my first priority shopping list, so I will have to get it as soon as possible.

Frames and Stand Flippers
I still need to decide on a frame design and a stand to it. I need to make progress on it because it has been delayed so much .

Camera gear
One more thing that was stopping my finial build is that I want a setup that I can document the build and do a tutorial video and post on YouTube. Now that I got a good camera with a better tripod setup I think I am ready to start building :).

Alcohol, frame, Sand, Silicone
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4 Comments. Leave new

  • HI. I have made about 6 or 7 sand frame pictures all with varying sucess. the main problem i have is with sustaining the bubbles i have tried various sufactants to create bubbles but they don’t maintain there integrity for any length of time.
    I have spaced the glass 2mm apart i found this gives a better flow rate. Is there any advise you could give me on how to sustain the bubbles. This is my last obsticle to overcome and i am sure you had the same issues.
    This is the most informative site i have found and i wish you luck with your project

  • wow, this looks like some really good progress has been made. Using a dry frame could be a good option as well. How are you going to smooth out the edges of your frame? they seem a little rough. I like the simple colors of the sand. Would you conisder something other than a wood frame? maybe something of metal?

  • Brandon Boiko
    April 12, 2016 12:14 am

    Hey Aly it looks like your project is going well. I have some suggestions for you on your project. You stated that you need to find a way to separate coarse sand from the fine sand. You may be able to buy a sifter from mcguckin’s or home depo, or perhaps you can find someone that you can borrow from. Look for anything that can act as a fine screen, maybe multiple screens layered on top of each other could work. As for finding a way to integrate your pipettes, it may be useful to have some sort of flap to prevent sand from getting back into the pipette, think valves in a heart. Now, over time sand will accumulate in the pipette so you would have to clean it every once in a while, but a flap would stop the bulk of the sand from getting in. You can try to cut a groove into the frame to fit the pipette so that it doesn’t stick out. This can be done with a ball end mill to get the round shape you need. It looks like you are doing well so far, let me know if you need any help with machining, that’s somewhat my area of expertise.

  • Matthew Sturm
    April 10, 2016 6:28 pm

    Sounds like you have overcome a lot of road blocks! Good job learning how to tackle different parts of this, and especially good to hear that you reached out to that professor.
    What is your next step in the project? Make sure that you do not get too distracted by the long list of things that need to be done, and just focus on one thing at a time! I have definitely been suffering through my project because I keep getting overwhelmed and accordingly stop making progress.


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