Monday, January 30, 2017

Week 3: Sketch Up Model

Going of my the design my group made, and my initial design, I eventually just came to make a type of 'tent' design:

Going off our idea to do hinges, I put in a design idea of creating a type of panel door (ie tent) to make something that could can be both seen by people but something easy to get to our plant and water without losing it's integrity.

Exhibition Show Piece: Part 2

Exhibition Show Piece: Part 1

Week 3: Jan 24 and Jan 26

Much of this week was mentioned in the last post because my group and I worked through the weekend to create our first transpiration bag so I'm just going to post some of the sketches I made along with our Maquette of what we possibly will make for our final design.

Also, with our Skype meeting, Elizabeth saw some of our sketches from the  first two weeks, and wondered if we could make a mock up structure of what our class is working on to put into the STEAM exhibition for the duration of the series (That will be pictured in a separate post because it took 4 days)

My Initial Sketch:


One of my group members came up with an idea to actually to create a type of hinge system where you can actually lift up a plane of the structure to check on the inside without the hassle of lifting the entire structure as seen in the sketch below.

As appealing as the structure was to our teacher, we needed to come up with a simple design to create for the class to put into the show that can be made a short amount of time.

One group came up with this 'umbrella' like design and everyone seemed to agree on it for it's simplicity.:

So with a design in mind, and a time not on our side we were set to build.

Week 2- Making Our Trough and Water Collector

In our initial design, we knew we needed to create a shape that would allow gravity to work for us is having the water collect at the bottom of the plant.

So I did a quick sketch that looked relatively like this:

ONe of my group partner's Sam came up with the trough idea: A type of bag to wrap around the plant base that would catch the water and angled so the water would be easier to get into the bottle attachment.

The idea overall was to create an easy enough shape so that cutting it out wouldn't cause mush of a hassle, and to create a frame to support it as it covered the plant.

We found some twine so that we could gather the plant safely without causing any damage to the stems, and helped with keeping it from touching too much of plastic; In one of our Skype meetings with Elizabeth, she showed us her quick to make transpiration bag was actually causing damage to her plant, and most if not al the groups came to a consensus to make the bag in a way that didn't touch the plant.

And here, you'll see me doing the most Hispanic ever by hanging out int he back of an opened car holding on our now bag plant to transport it to the greenhouse.

About a week later, a classmate and I went to the greenhouse to check on everyone plants to see if they needed to be watered, and to see if we collected any water and...

TADAH! Transpired water up to the level of the bottom of the label. Pretty awesome if you ask me.

On Tuesday, we a had a general meeting going over more of what was to come with the STEAM show and our projects, and headed over to the greenhouse to see everyone's finished works. We discussed what worked what didn't work, and then decided upon bringing in fully fleshed out sketches of our designs, and a materials list for what we could use to make our projects with at a low cost. 

Our teacher then wanted us by next Tuesday to create a model in Sketch Up  (a modeling program you can download from Google or buy a Pro program that is a simple modeling program) and create a model of our designs for what our water collectors could look like. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Week 2 Notes - Jan. 17 and Jan. 19

Jan. 17

Doctor Ted Fox (Awesome name), came to teach us more about transpirtation as he is a Botanist from the science department at UWF, and a Master's student Patricia Rees (pr26)

What is Transpiration?

Movement of Water through a plant

Words to Know  

  • Xylem- the vascular tissue in plants that conducts water and dissolved nutrients upward from the root and also helps to form the woody element in the stem.
  • Cohesion- Water molecules sticking together to each other as a result of h¥dragon bonding
  • Adhesion- Water molecules "sticking" to the walls of the xylem; Adhesion prevents gravity from pulling the column of intertwined water
  • Osmosis- a process by which molecules of a solvent tend to pass through a semipermeable membrane from a less concentrated solution into a more concentrated one, thus equalizing the concentrations on each side of the membrane.


Vessel Member

Leaf- Evaporation from he stomata
Xylem- Cohesion and Adhesion
Roots- Osmosis into the root hairs

Why should we care?

Absolutely critical

95% of the water escape and evaporates for the stomata

If you are interested in what the STEAM exhibition/workshops are going to have, artists that are coming to visit and information about their own work, you can check it out here:

Trough Experiment:

In our project, the goal is to create an outer casing for our plants that will collect water transpired from them. On this day, we experimented with plastic and water spouts and how bast to create our eventual troughs.

For our project, we a thick, durable plastic, our spout, and a piece of rubber to possibly use as a gasket incase of any leaks that might happen around the rim.

We cut a hole into our rubber sheet from the inside of the rubber ring, and cut out a 2-inch square around the hole.

Using an iron and newsprint paper, we joined together two 12 inch squares much like how two pieces of fabric are sewn together in a double fold. We tried using a soldering iron first, but it burned too hot and burned the plastic instead so we stuck to the iron.

We tested out our seam to see if there were any leaks, and it held fast which was a good sign moving forward.

We for got to take a picture of what it looked like when we cut holes into our bag that would fit our spout that releases the water from the bag. Imagine another layer of plastic ironed together to created a thicker wall to release any stressed caused by the spout on our bag.

(You'll see it on our final design in a later post.)

Jan. 19

Elizabeth Demaray is a sculptor that teaches at Rutgers University, and is an advisor in their computer science department as her work involves both art and science. She combines her mechanical/technical know how into her work within the digital arts field, and we are going to be working with her on our class project to create an object that will capture transpired water; we will be combining our artistic practices with science and that is very exciting.

Her current work involves the environment, finding ways to involve art and science together such as her 'Floraborgs' project:

Demaray set an arduino to react to the light sensor that will move the plant to wherever there is sunlight, and let people know when it needs to be watered. She states that this project is 'designed to facilitate the free movement and metabolic function of ordinary houseplants.'

If you're interested in her work, here is her website:

From the last meeting with her over Skype, the bag had a pretty significant amount of water, but she noted that wherever the bag was touching, the leaf had turned brown. By seeing this, it showcased that when we wrap our plant, we're going to have to make it in a way that it' not touching the plant at all.

After our meeting, we were to make our first bag for our plant. Unfortunately, I had to run to financial aid office due to an email I was sent and had to get that settled, then ran back to class to see what I could help with in my group before class time was over. Since this post has run on for a while, I'm just going to make a separate post of my group making our bag.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

First Experiment Docs

I went over to the school's greenhouse to check on the class plants, and see how much water transpired over the week since last Tuesday. As expected, water marbles coated the bag on the inside, and a bit had pooled down into the bottom oft he bag. Now the only real problem was trying to get the bag off without spilling the water out, or causing any damage to the plant itself.

For how many leaves were covered, I'm very surprised by how much water came off the plant, but unfortunately a lot of water was still on the leaves themselves versus the bag.

Now the next step is to try and gather more water onto the plastic versus the plant, and try to figure out how to measure the amount of water that was transpired so that we can have an estimate to how much comes out during a certain period of time.