Introduction: Grapple Wave Technology

About: Industrial Designer, Prototype maker.

Here is the basics of the idea:
Structural DNA

Introducing a novel method for rapidly and cheaply constructing robust complex metal forms from strands of wire using no additional fasteners.

This instructable will be evolving as I further develop this technology, and then manage to translate it into a comprehensible form for you to see.

Of all the ideas that I have had, I feel this has the most potential to make a large difference in the world.

search google for Hitchcock Hole in One Knife and Strawjet Multiwrapper to see some of my prior work.

There is much yet to be disclosed and much to be created in making this a fully realized technology.

As such I have put this out as it is to start everyone thinking about how this could be used to create forms.

The parts in the photos were made by two different methods which I will briefly describe in subsequent installments. Neither was what will ultimately work to make this a viable method. That said, I am seeing very good progress in making a rapid forming tool.

Another aspect will be to create cad drawings of the form and its iterations and show what it can do. I will also do cad drawings of the tooling to create the form in subsequent installments.

I have created a 13 minute video further demonstrating this, but because of bandwidth limitations here, I have been unable to upload this.

I am going to the desert for a week or two so I won't be able to respond to comments till I return during the first week of September.

Why am I doing this.

In the past I would have considered this a patentable technology. Rather than hoard it, I want to share this by putting it into the public domain and develop it in a way that benefits everyone in the most effective way. Thus this is a public disclosure of the basis of the technology, which is the wave form fastening system.

What is this?

The concept is to create truss forms, in this case an initial set would be three parallel wires equidistant from each other, and constrained by three convoluted wires which anchor successively between two of the parallel wires. The wire is formed to create a hook around the wire with a spring detent shape to hold the convoluted wire to the straight wire, the wire then crosses the span to the adjacent wire and repeats the hook shape, repeating till the wire ends. typically angling at 60° between rails.

Thus all three straight wires are now held in place by a series of interlocking webs, providing a truss of equilateral dimensions.

What can this do.

What is unique is that by varying the length of each web crossing an infinite variety of truss geometries can be created. Put another way, the variation of the shapes is controlled by the creation of the web dimension for each iteration between straight wires. Thus one tool and one dimensional variation is all that is needed to fabricate complex metal forms from spools of wire or other suitable feed stock. A simple explanation is that for a straight wall all the web dimensions would be equal, and the weave would move from one facet to another in a 60° pattern, repeated till the desired dimension is attained. (see photos) to create a curve two methods could be used, one would add to the length of all the top facing webs relative to the bottom facing webs. the trusses would remain straight while each one would be angled relative to its neighbor. a more complex means defines the curve along the "formerly called" straight wires, which can be interlocked in a curved posture, thus generating a curved surface in the original and successive trusses. By varying the length of each iteration of the weave, the entire structure can be custom made, as an extruded kit to be zipped together or using an applicator similar to a wire welding gun, the structure could be formed by passes generating each new truss in exactly the right place.

trusses would be locked in place by spot welding rollers, applied matrix like cement, or by swaging the connection of adding an additional tie wire to each joint.

where and how can it be used. What got me thinking of this was how to construct and interconnect trusses. the idea is how to create large scale 3d printing of complex shapes. this could be vehicle bodies, structures for all purposes and other realms that desire the ability to craft forms. current 3d printing is limited by several factors, slow material depostion rates being the main bottleneck to large scale 3d creations, the second being the need for large apparatus to precisely locate the desired deposition in a 3d envelope. Both of these constraints can be overcome by this technology.

options are to make Kits and do onsite builds.

Part 1: First forming method involved making 1/2" deep indentation in the wire at the intervals where the hooks would be formed, then I bent the wire together and bent the hook with needle nose pliers. this is very slow and tedious.

Part 2: Iron Butterfly with spike heels forming method. (my apologies, the photos of this operation are not in sequence and a bit hard to understand)

Here is a rough draft of a method of bending the hook in one motion. the upper part is a door hinge with the pivot pin in the mill chuck. the pins (spike heels) at the lowest tips grab the wire and force it onto the center pin in the vice. when the wire starts to bend down, the hinge halves rotate towards each other and form the two loops of the hook, the assembly then goes down against a boss below the center pin to form the back bend in the hook.
I still need to figure out the feed and storage strategy, plus this needs a mirror image press for the opposite side form. probably best accomplished by having two presses mounted adjacent and movable relative to each other , forming both edges at the same time, so the input and out put don't need to flip around during the forming process. With a pair of these and refinements, I can make the bends fairly quickly.

Ultimately a forming roller would be the best and I have been studying old patents of similar designs.

Will put more up mid September.

Metal Contest

Participated in the
Metal Contest