Industrial Floating Bracket Update

For my upcycling project, I have been finishing my final preparation pieces to get ready to assemble my final product.

As a quick project reminder, I am taking 2 old unused brackets that did not fit in their desired application and giving them new life as a suspension sculpture that embodies the floating nature of a tension-strung device. This sculpture will be the size of a large desk ornament in the industrial aesthetic and serve to be a nice reminder for me about how important communication with the entire team is to create a quality solution.

Brackets being upcycled

Over the last week, I have been working on understanding the best way to do the suspension system. I first thought that it would be easy to run the cord from top to bottom right through the circular hole pattern. However, when I placed the brackets into a CAD assembly I quickly realized that this course of action was not possible because there was interference between the two brackets.

CAD image of the brackets when the hole patterns are concentric. Notice the interference

Thanks to this virtual prototype I began to redesign the sculpture to have clearance between the brackets while keeping the visual beauty of the floating component. This led me to the following concept generation:

Concept design for fabrication

The last piece of this puzzle I had to solve was deciding on a cording that holds to both the aesthetic of industrialism and the sculpture concept of the floating tension table. To do this I searched for multiple different options to give myself a wide variety to decide between. I first thought of a fishing line so that it would truly give a floating bracket look. Unfortunately, I believe this doesn’t truly define itself as industrial enough and instead is almost a more futuristic aesthetic. With this concept in mind, I moved on to thinking about using an exposed electrical cable that looks more industrial. I started to enjoy this idea but unfortunately, I quickly started to worry about the strength of these cords in holding the sculpture up for an extended amount of time. Learning from both of these trials I searched for a stronger cord that has an industrial look to it still and I found my solution in black braided steel wire.

Image of black braided steel wire from:

Moving forward I will be assembling over the next week to stay on track with the course calendar and give myself plenty of time to be prepared to run into any complications and be able to fix them. Thanks for reading my update and feel free to comment any thoughts or opinions you have on my project, I would love your perspective on it!

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Hi Colton, this seems like a very interesting way to repurpose these parts! I love the concept and vibe that tensegrity tables give off. I am curious, how do you plan to secure all of the wires? I am having trouble seeing how it will stay fixed in the floating orientation. Will the it be one wire (4 times) fixed at the top bottom and middle? Or will it be able to slide up and down? Additionally, how do you plan to apply the correct amount of tension to the system? I’m sure there are solutions, however, none immediately come to mind. Anyways, very cool so far and I am excited to see the final product!

  • Maddox Mitchell
    February 8, 2024 11:48 am

    Hey Colton, I like your project idea and the progress you’ve made so far. I especially like how this project gives you a constant reminder of how communication with the entire team is necessary for a solution because I have been there before! I am curious to see the sizing of these brackets, I have an idea with the keyboard next to them in the first picture for a general scaling comparison but are they small enough to fit in your hands? I love the industrial aesthetic choice for this project I think that works very well with what you are going for.


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