Whilst making this simulation I have encountered a few problems.
Although I glued down the edges of the pipe to make it water-tight, I still experienced some flooding on the top of my wood when the pump was switched on due to the fact that when I pierced the holes in the pipe the force pushing from the other side broke some of the seals. I then proceeded to re-glue all the edges again. Even after doing this I still experienced small amounts of flooding; however it was less than the previous time so I continued to repeat this process until it stopped. Unfortunately, as I had only protected the wood on the inside on the simulation and inside each hole as I hadn’t foreseen there being any major leaks the MDF had already started to swell. This could have been from either/or a combination of the top of the wood getting wet between the pipes or the water droplets not dripping straight down through the holes but running along the underneath of the pipe where the wood was not protected.
These effects then resulted in a new problem. After stopping the pipe from leaking on the roof, I then turned on the pump to see how the simulation appeared on the inside from the user’s point of view. I then discovered that out the 25m of pipe that I had pierced at roughly 1 inch intervals, only a limited number of holes had water dripping through. I do not know what exactly has caused this but I only guess at either the unlikely scenario that the wood has swollen so much that there is no room for the water to drip through or that from re-sealing the entire pipe again from the leaks the glue has sealed up a large number of the holes.
If I was to remake this simulation I would definitely spend the extra money and have an acrylic roof that I then drilled the holes into so that it was water proof and would be less of a problem if any leaks did occur.
Additional aspects I had to deal with:
- Research into different types of pumps to make sure the appropriate pump was used that was powerful enough to pump the water up to the network of pipes on the roof
- Research into plastic tubing to find suppliers of differing diameters, which fit inside each other, to reduce the size to decrease the volume and weight of water as small as possible for practicality and health and safety
- Cutting the glass mirrors down to size to fit inside the simulation
- Making sure the plastic sheeting and funnel leading from the aluminium sheet to the container with the pump was water tight
- Extra battens added to the structure to support the mirrors
- Make a switch for LED’s that was easily accessible
I have attached black fabric around the edge of the curve, where the user stands, down to the floor to hide the mechanical side of the simulation: the drainage system and pump. I have painted the floor black to continue the aesthetics. I have also covered the roof in black fabric to stop the light passing through any of the holes, I have drilled for the water to drip through, so that only the light from the LED’s illuminates the simulation.
I have placed rubber piping around the curve that I have cut out of the aluminium sheet so that the user is protected from any sharp edges. Each of the mirrors have been attached to the battens with double-sided, sticky pads and then glued into place for extra security. A layer of glue has also been placed around the bottom to seal in any water and make the edges of the drainage sheet water tight. In addition, I have soldered the electrics for my LED’s on the roof and covered them in insulation tape in order to protect them against any moisture.