Fish Tanks

Just after graduating from college, and knowing nothing of how such things were done, I got the idea of making a structural framing system that would allow me to make fish tanks of arbitrary form. This was my first experience with the phenomenon of thinking that one has an amazing design/business idea,

 

I'm embarrassed by this project now, since my designs seem so ill-advised from an engineering standpoint... but given the amount of work involved, I want to give it a place on my site. The images below are of some prototypes, components, and computer renderings. These are the few remaining relics of an epic effort that was begun when the entirety of my experience in making things was the stuff on my early-work page (plus some soap carvings and clay sculptures).

I named the company Aquahedron, and designed a logo, but I didn't register a domain name because I don't think they existed yet!

old-fishtank-02

this is my first prototype, a 15 gallon tank. I think it took me exactly one month to make this. This has kicked around in various storage spaces for most of my life, and is now serving as a coffee table on a porch.

old-fishtank-03

This closeup of my first prototype clearly shows the amateur level of my skills at the time.

old-fishtank-hubs-01

I'm pretty sure I didn't even know what a milling machine was when I began this project, so I made these two hubs by carving them freehand in jewelers wax, and then having them cast and duplicated by a company that specialized casting statuettes.

old-fishtank-hubs-02

octoTank01

The real strength of this method of making fish tanks was that it allowed the creation of unusual shapes, as well as suspension from a ceiling. I thought that a glittering glass and brass fish chandelier would be especially impressive.

ellTank-002

The connectors around the L-shaped tank represent several of the many of my attempts to design an easy-to manufacture, hinged hubs.

uTank-002

This was one of the better designs, requiring a minimum of metal-work.

octoTank-002

hinged hubs being used on an octahedral tank.

uTank-001

this is another idea for a tank that I thought might be feasible.

fishTank-cardboardCutouts-01

Here are some cardboard cutouts of my first idea for hub for an octahedral tank. The blue one in the upper right was for the creation of a "tensegrity" tank using cables and turnbuckles.

© 2016 Chris Taylor