Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Zonotopia and the Two Trees

Welcome to Zonotopia!

The Two Trees of Zonotopia
Burning Man 2012

To learn more and learn how to help us make this project a reality please click below...

Monday, July 16, 2012

Zonotopia and the Two Trees : Project Update Two

First build of the Silver Tree of Zonotopia was a great success!

File:House of Fabergé - Rose Trellis Egg - Walters 44501.jpg
All the parts did what they were supposed to do and right now the structure stands in the Zomadic studios like a giant FabergĂ© egg.

We designed and cut a temporary pedestal to support the Zome.

In no time we have something sprouting from the floor.

Everything is going together like clockwork. The tolerances are perfect! No soap or sanding required.

Another ten panels fall into place.

It's exciting to see how quickly it comes together.

Within an hour we've reached the equator.

An there's the equator. Happily we were able to spin the Zome around and around as we assembled. This saved a lot of time especially for the upper portions as we never had to re-position our ladder.

Our race to the top stalled when a couple of mis-labeled parts were discovered. Doh!

Problem identified and corrected - the build continues.

Finally at the end of the day we're at the top with inches between the top of the Zome and the ceiling. All the parts have worked beautifully together.

In the morning all the panels and top struts are in place.

The top plate ready.

And it's done. It worked!

The Silver Tree of Zonotopia standing tall.

Right after our first build I gave a slide show presentation at Prepare for the Playa. It was great to see so many friends there excited about Burningman this year and our project.

zome mani padme zome

Friday, July 13, 2012

Zonotopia and the Two Trees : Project Update One

Where does all the time go?

These past two months we've been busy here designing, planning, scheming, playing and working. Here's a recap of what's been going on .

We build the refurbished Zonotopia Zome at MakerFaire where it seemed to bring out the monkey in everyone.

Then we built the Zonotopia Zome again at Lightning In a Bottle where for the second year in a row we were the best afterparty at the event packing the Zome with DJs and dancing until the sun rose every day!

We were invited by fellow Zome enthusiast and master geometer Chris Palmer of Shadowfolds to build one of the Twins for a private party on the shores of Clear Lake, California.

And we set up one of the Twins for Mission Country Club our camp's fundraiser in San Francisco where we hosted belly dancing in the Zome - two great things that go great together!

And concurrent with all of the above we've been preparing our production cycle for Zonotopia and the Two Trees, our Burningman project this year.


We've been hard at work designing our new lighting effects. We've chosen a local LED design firm MaceTech for our systems. This video shows the falling rain effect we've programmed. All of the lighting effects you will see on the playa are programmed in house at the Zomadic studios. Here you see the falling rain effect programmed for the Silver Tree of the Moon.

Once we'd created an 8 x 8 grid of LEDs we began to notice some flicker in on of the columns. 

Garrett Mace of MaceTech came over to trouble shoot our problem.

In short order Garrett identified the source of the issue. See that spike at the leading edge of the square wave...not good.

Garrett then performed some magic tricks!

0.05 microFarads of course.

The spike is gone and so is the flicker. Thanks Garrett!


Also all physical production of the project is happening in house. As with any new design there are no shortage of little issues which could potentially become big issues if they are not addressed early on. Once the wheels of industry start turning it requires significant effort to stop them and re-tune or re-tool. Hence the need to be triply sure that every thing is dead on correct before commencing production.

First two panels of the Silver Tree fresh off the CNC.

All of our time spent designing is really paying off. Everytime we push a new Zome thru the Zomadic Shop it gives us an opportunity to refine our systems and improve the advancement of our designs. The panels you see here are the most sophisticated Zome parts in the world.

It might have taken us a while to get the production machine running but now that we are we are producing panels and connectors at an amazing rate.

Because the Trees of Zonotopia will have an external cladding the internal framing structure is completely inset from the polar zonohedron which defines it's form. This is different from all the other Zomes we've designed and it brings with it new challenges but also significant advantages for moving Zomadic architecture in to new domains.

The new connector system, straight off the CNC.

And we are also getting fantastic yield from our sheet material.

As we cut parts we test them for quality. This weekend we are looking forward to building the entire Silver Tree sub-structure. That will be amazing as it will be the first life size full polar zonohedral structure of it's kind.

And look for us this Sunday at Prepare for the Playa were we will give a live project update and announce the launch of our fundraising campaign. Prepare for the Playa is a burner friendly event happening at Cafe Cocomo, in San Francisco, Sunday July 15th. We hope to see you there.

Stay tuned....you will see more good stuff  in the days to come.

zome mani padme zome