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This project used 1,581 recycled soda bottles to create a canopy for shading from the sun.  The project incorporated 3D modeling and scripting software to generate the desired surface created by the bottom of the soda bottles. The project sought to stimulate creative alternatives for recycling and reusing materials.

Each bottle is filled with a small amount of colored water.  The specific color of the water is based on the elevation of the bottle relative to the groundplane. Each bottle is hung from a grid by a unique string length ranging from 6" to 30". 

Basic Materials:

1,581 soda bottles
masons line 1000+ yards
hot glue
masking tape
wood 4x4 and 2x6
wood screws
food coloring
outdoor paint
basic tools
many volunteers!!
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Step 1: Digital Fabrication

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I used Rhinoceros, a 3D modeling program to create the surface that the bottom of the bottles form.  From this form, we used Grasshopper (a scripting program) to generate a dataset containing the length of each string corresponding to a coordinate grid system.  For simplicity, we label one direction of the coordinate using numbers, and the second direction using letters. The dataset, in addition to providing the location of the string, provided the color of liquid in each bottle that would hang from each string.

Step 2: Cutting String

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For this step, over 20 people volunteered their time throughout about 3 weeks working to prepare each individual string to hang each bottle.  Each string was labeled and cut to a specific length per the length denoted by the table.  A washer was tied to one end of the string so a bottle cap with a hole drilled in it could be hung from the string. This step takes many hours and is rather tedious.  Each individual was given 51 string lengths to cut in one sitting (the number of bottles in one column of the structure).  Doing it with other people makes this step in the process much more enjoyable.
mukena4 months ago

Superb, I want that beautiful canopy too. Where I can get that bottles?

petraq1 year ago
msaggese11 year ago
idea fantastica..
pvanwormer2 years ago
Really like this and may make something similar for my backyard.
dardy_72 years ago
I think this project was constructed very well. However I'd like you to elaborate as to how you came across your desired form in rhino
cle grand2 years ago
Awesome Job!
WUVIE2 years ago
Wow. What a great amount of work! Fabulous result!
OMG that is a labour of love for sure
samie8282 years ago
This is a very good environmental creation, I like it.
Thank you for sharing this idea.