Adjustable Tensegrity Table

For my final project I have widdled down my idea to an adjustable tensegrity table that expands on what I learned from my first table below. 

I plan to use only two cables in my next table, one for the center, and another that acts as the four outside cables using a pulley-system as shown in the CAD model below.

The above image doesn’t show the cables, but one will start at the top of the center bar, go through the bottom bar’s hole, and then wrap around the bolts and loop around one of them to secure it in place. Similarly, a single cable will start at the back-right hole in the top surface and end up in the front-right where it will wrap around the bolts and loop around one (each cable will have a loop at the end of it like the one shown below).

I believe this design will work but think there are a few areas of worry I have. The main one is the aluminum flat bar in the center, this will be crucial piece to the success of the table and if it bends too much in the vertical regions it won’t work. Additionally, it will be difficult to bend the 90 degree angles due to the material and thickness of the bar (0.25″ thick). In addition, the bending of this material would certainly introduce stress which may compromise the already questionable strength.

So, if bending doesn’t work out I may purchase a steel L bar like the one below in order to create the flats on the top and bottom of each vertical bar. This would look something like the photo below. This would require only a 10″ flat aluminum piece with some through holes and with the right L bracket material it would retain its strength.

The final idea for changing my design would be implementing a different way to secure the cables down. One replacement method could be to utilize bike cables rather than the above steel cables, and rather than securing it with bolts, nuts, and a loop, I could use a clamp like the one below. This would give me much more precision when securing down the cables and may be an aesthetic improvement by lessening the amount of hardware.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Looks good so far! Really love the idea of tensegrity, and an adjustable table kinda blows my mind. I like the aesthetic it seems your going for, leaving everything visible in an almost industrial style. What are your plans for the wood panels? What kind of wood and finish would you use? I’m excited to see your final product.

  • Jonah Chapel
    April 9, 2023 6:03 pm

    This is a really cool idea, I’ve always thought tensegrity was so cool, and I’ve never seen an adjustable version. I like the idea of using a single cable and pulleys to make the outer cables adjustable, but how do you plan to adjust the middle cable? Will that also be connected by pulleys? This is a really unique idea and I look forward to seeing how it turns out.


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