Inspirational Interior Design Photos eBook

EBook having images of interiors designed by professionals. Click the link below for details and download link.Interior Design Ideas

Topic by aurictitan 10 years ago

What's the best kind of paint used to paint ceramic tile? Answered

I'm thinking about painting the ceramic tile in our foyer. It should be able to stand wear and tear (and be walked upon)! Any suggestions?

Question by chitowncheryl 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago

DIY radiator design considerations?

I plan to build a radiator for a room. I can do the physics i.e. heat transfer etc. My question is really to any heating engineers out there: Are there any design considerations that I need to include so that the new radiator does not upset the existing central heating system (that heats the whole house). Thanks in advance.

Question by alexhalford 9 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago

Redecorating My Home

Anybody have any good ideas for home decor, redecorating? Just moved into a new apartment, really bland white walls, old kitchen, etc. Want to redo, get a more personalized, hip, modern feel. Thinking of redoing the walls first, trying to find a really cool unique look. I have some cool artwork of my own, want to integrate that all into the design somehow... If anyone has any suggestions, ideas, products you like, etc. please let me know! Need all the ideas I can get...

Topic by liliafey 10 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago

What is the best LED type for interior lighting?

 I am wanting to improve the light quality in my sailboat. I would like to build fixtures and controls myself and this looks like a good place for DIY ideas. I have a mix of light bulbs and none are serving all that well. All are 12VDC. All lighting will be powered from the 12V house batteries. The best light I have comes from halogen 20 watt bulbs but they generate too much heat and consume too much power. LED replacement bulbs I have tried so far are not so great for interior light quality and cost aprox $40 to $50 USD each and I have 10 fixtures with both red and white bulbs plus 5 reading lights. Total replacement cost could be aprox $1000 USD. Then the other problem is the light is a bright point and can be a bit blinding if your look in the direction of the fixture. I am thinking of wash lights for most lighting and keeping the reading lights for...  well, for reading. I do have an acceptable LED for the reading lights but always on the look out for a better one.  I have been on aircraft that used all LED interior lighting and it was the best LED lighting I have ever seen. The systems used a combination of white LED dome lights and RGB side wall wash lighting. The wash lights could be tuned to an impressive range of color including very pleasant white. So I know it is at least possible get really good light from LED's. Downside to this is it's expensive and designed for 28VDC from aircraft power. The controller was a dedicated cabin interior control module and computer. The other requirement for the boats interior lighting is to have red light for use while underway at night to help keep the night vision. Red LED's I have used for this are very harsh and poor quality for getting around in the cabin. I would like to try RGB LED's for a wash lighting system that will give either white or red. Preferably with both variable and dim-able so it can be tuned or programed as desired. The control modules I have found so far make a lot of claims for their multi-color capabilities but not about their steady on white light quality. Again I am interested in white and red lighting however if a large variation of colors is a side effect that can be turned on for fun thats fine but not needed. I would be happy to document my project and post it here if I find a good DIY solution. So far I have found a couple of RGB controls here and may try one but I would like to hear about the white light quality before I start buying parts. My homework for now will be to calculate an actual quantity of light needed and how many controls I would need/want.  Thanks for your ideas.

Question by viking42 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago

Can you check this design? Answered

On Aug 26 I posted an ask about a design of a new type of motor.  I received some good advices. Redesigned 02/10/12 The previous design had a major flaw, that went unnoticed at first but it became clear as I went into the construction of the prototype: the thermal barrier would be totally useless, because the steam produced in the boiler necessarily have to go through liquid water to make its way into the compression chamber. This would have two disabling consequences: 1) the vapor would cool quickly, 2) the water would heat up quickly, too. Since any heat engine operation is based on temperature differences, this failure is vital. The new design does not have that problem. The water falls directly into the hot boiler, a small amount at a time, with the piston in the upper dead point, or below (note that my drawing is reversed with respect to what would be a conventional combustion engine). The water is kept cold by being stored in a separate reservoir, attached to the motor body only by the inlet and outlet pipes. Water injection is performed by momentarily opening a valve at the appropriate time. Since the interior of the water reservoir accumulates pressure as the engine works, this pressure would be in principle the responsible to force the output water through the tap. If that's not enough, I could add a little manual compression pump to initially load the reservoir with compressed air. So once the Primus heaters worked, which were extremely useful for decades. The exact moment, quantity and duration of water injection should be adjustable during operation of the engine, to find the optimum point for these parameters. These mechanisms have not thought of yet, but they can not be too complicated. As regards the boiler, it is likely that one heated surface be insufficient to rapidly vaporize the water, since in these conditions it usually adopt a globular shape that greatly retards heat transfer (Leidenfrost effect, http://resnickscity.wordpress .com/2011/01/page/3 /,, I think that could be solved relatively easily by a double bottom to the boiler, in order to "force" the water into laminar contact with the hot surface. If this is insufficient, it would still be possible to inject the water by pressure between two heated surfaces. I have to also investigate the possibility of to make "super hydrophilic" the surface of the boiler. Regarding the compression chamber, this design makes it much longer, thus establishing a better differentiation between the bottom hot and top cold. But the main novelty is that the displacer stops acting on a small amount of water to turn acting, as in the Stirling engine, on the entire volume of the steam in the compression chamber. By forcing the steam to move towards the cold zone it produces its condensation, thereby changing the pressure by decompression, and so completing the cycle of the engine. The condensation water adheres to the cold walls of the chamber, then it slides down by gravity, and is intercepted midway by the retaining ring, which leads it back to the water reservoir through a single action valve, spring driven. I guess that to pass the water to the reservoir will be enough the vapor pressure that occurs in each cycle. The accompanying drawings are quite precarious, but only pretend to give a general idea of the design. Please ask me if you want more details ------------------------------------------------------------------- Nuevo diseño 02/10/12 El diseño anterior tenía una falla importante, que me pasó desapercibida al principio pero se hizo evidente a medida que avanzaba en la construcción del prototipo: la barrera térmica iba a resultar totalmente inútil, dado que el vapor producido dentro de la calderita tendría que atravesar forzosamente el agua líquida para abrirse camino hacia la cámara de compresión. Esto tendría dos consecuencias inhabilitantes: 1) el vapor se enfriaría rápidamente; 2) el agua se calentaría también rápidamente. Dado que el funcionamiento de cualquier máquina térmica se basa en las diferencias de temperatura, esta falla resultaba vital. El nuevo diseño no tiene ese problema. El agua cae directamente dentro de la caldera caliente, una pequeña cantidad por vez, estando el pistón en el punto muerto superior, o sea abajo (ojo, que mi dibujo está al revés respecto de lo que sería el de un motor a explosión convencional). El agua se mantiene fría, por estar guardada en un reservorio separado del motor, unido a él solo por los caños de entrada y salida. La inyección de agua se realiza mediante la apertura momentánea de un grifo en el momento oportuno. Dado que el interior del reservorio de agua acumula presión al funcionar el motor, esta presión sería en principio la encargada de impulsar la salida del agua a través del grifo. Si esto no fuera suficiente, habría que agregar una pequeña bomba manual de compresión para cargar inicialmente de aire comprimido el reservorio. Así funcionaban antiguamente los calentadores Primus, que fueron sumamente útiles durante décadas. El momento exacto, la cantidad y la duración de la inyección de agua deben ser regulables durante el funcionamiento del motor, para hallar el punto óptimo de esos parámetros. Esos mecanismos no lo he pensado todavía, pero no pueden ser demasiado complicados. Respecto de la caldera, es muy probable que una sola superficie recalentada sea insuficiente para vaporizar rápidamente el agua, dado que en esas condiciones esta suele adoptar una forma globular que retarda mucho la transferencia de calor (efecto Leidenfrost,,, Creo que eso podría solucionarse con relativa facilidad haciendo un doble fondo a la caldera, de manera de "obligar" al agua a establecer contacto laminar con la superficie caliente. Si esto fuera insuficiente, siempre quedaría la posibilidad de inyectar el agua a presión entre ambas superficies recalentadas. Tengo que investigar también la posibilidad de hacer "súper hidrófila" la superficie de la caldera. Respecto a la cámara de compresión, este diseño la hace mucho más larga, estableciendo así una mejor diferenciación entre la zona inferior, caliente, y la superior, fría. Pero la principal novedad es que el desplazador deja de actuar sobre una pequeña cantidad de agua para pasar a hacerlo, como en el motor de Stirling, sobre el volumen completo del vapor contenido en la cámara de compresión. Al obligar a este a desplazarse hacia la zona fría produce su condensación, cambiando así la presión por descompresión, y completando así el ciclo del motor. El agua de condensación se adhiere a las paredes frías de la cámara, resbala luego por gravedad hacia abajo, y es interceptada a mitad de camino por el anillo de retención, que la conduce nuevamente hacia el reservorio de agua a través de una válvula de simple acción, a resorte. Supongo que para hacer pasar el agua al reservorio será suficiente con la presión de vapor que se produce en cada ciclo. Los dibujos adjuntos son algo precarios, pero no pretenden más que dar una idea general del diseño. Por favor, pregúntenme si quieren más detalles.

Question by rimar2000 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago

Remodeling the bathroom

People today are more conscious of how their bathrooms look than ever before. The concept of bathrooms have now undergone a change from one of mere functionality to include elements of relaxation. The bathroom   now has many facilities that add to your bathing experience. The market offers some of the best equipments and many elegant fittings like the bath tubs, shower cabinets, massage showers, designer tiles etc.   The interior of the bathrooms can be given a great look by changing the floor and wall tiles. The color of the bathroom can be something soothing to the mind and the body. Elegant light fixtures can be used to beautify the bathroom interiors. There are brass fixtures that adorn the bathroom interiors and make it look regal. The designers of bathroom understand the need for spacious and well-kept bathrooms. That's why, they use designs that optimize the available space without compromising on the ease of use.   Re-doing bathrooms have become an important element of house renovation. The beauty of the bathroom has to be maintained properly with the help of designer tiles and flooring. The materials used in the floors and the walls can be of a material that is durable as well as easy to clean. By designing bathroom, you can make your whole house look good and impart a feel good factor.

Topic by benn01 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago

Request for a design of a bright solar-powered yardlight with LEDs.

We live in a neighborhood without street lights.  Each homeowner is required have a automatic light on a pole in the middle of the front yard.  These lights are powered by a 120 volt line running underground.  These lights are constantly failing because of the shoddy way they laid the line just under the sod.  My solution was to replace the light head with a solar light fixture that I purchased from Menards for $68.  It has 12 LEDs, small solar panels on top facing in four directions, and interior mirrors to enhance the reflection.  The problem is that it is barely adequate.  I would have preferred to use the old fixture and outfit it with a brighter set of LEDs.  It would be great if someone could come up with a simple plan for something like this. I would like to have 24 LEDs (I could cannibalize these from an LED flashlight), a chain of small solar panels taken from solar yardlights, rechargeable batteries, and a compact circuit that would sense darkness (possible reused from a yardlight).  I will worry about mounting the solar panels outside the fixture.  Note: this cannot be an 'accent light'.  It should have the output of at least a 20 watt incandescent bulb). 

Question by rhackenb 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago

Would a floating desk made made with an interior door be practical, or should i find a sturdier material?

I've been thinking about making a desk for my new room. The best place for it would be to put in a a corner. I'm looking at dimensions of 41x21". What i want to do is make it floating so that i wouldn't have leg posts in my way. I've seen elsewhere floating shelves made from interior doors and was thinking about incorporating that into my desk design. What i want to do is cut an interior door to this 41x21" dimension. Then hang it up just like you would a floating shelf. Because it's in a corner i would have the advantage of being able to cleat not only the back but also one of the sides. Once i had it in place i planned to put a supporting bracket on the floating side for a little extra support. I just wanted to know what other people thought of this idea. Would it make a sturdy enough desk, or should i use a different material than the door?

Question by ProRock 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago

What's a good wall color for a room with dark green carpet?

Currently the walls and ceilings are white, and the carpet as stated is dark green. It feels very cold in that room. It is northeast facing. Photo is of shoes on the carpet in this room.

Question by Pompom 10 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago

Do you have what it takes for the Design and Build challenge?

I have been researching and think a lot about mobile structures specifically campers that are light weight and highly efficient. After spending a substantial amount of time looking around to see what designs are out there I have concluded that there isn't much. This fact bothers me for a few reasons but mostly because I have a vested interests in this topic. Come march I plan to begin living in a small camper while traveling around the country for several months the only catch is I am going to build it. So my question is what idea's can you all come up with that fit within these guidelines. 1- It must be relatively comfortable for two to live in but cannot exceed 60 sq ft. 2- It must include a toilet, shower and sink as well as a space for a camping stove 3- It must be insulated and have windows for ventilation and natural light 4- It must have storage space 5- The interior must be no less than 6ft tall so that I can stand up straight while the exterior cannot exceed 9ft. 6- It must have a water tank but I do not want any electricity / plumbing and I do not intend on carrying water while in transit. As of now that’s pretty much it for requirements. I should mention that this structure is going to be towed by a ‘05 Honda civic 4 cylinder automatic so the entire unit cannot exceed 1100 lbs trailer included. I don’t wish to destroy this vehicle by towing a camper 5,000 miles around the country but I do plan to add an extra transmission oil reservoir for cooling purposes. I hope some of you find this of interest and have some ideas to share with me. I have some thoughts of how I can make this sucker but I wanted to put my thoughts out and see what someone else comes up with. Thanks and I hope you create something beautiful and functional. Sincerely, C 

Question by FAD construction 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago

Two-way hinges

My wife and I bought an 80s designed house that's not that well designed. We keep one of the litter boxes for our cats in the garage, which is accessed from the inside through the laundry room; and we want to install cat doors so our aging felines can pass through the doors easily to get to it, while keeping the draft from the garage out of the family room. The interior door (between family and laundry rooms) is a standard hollow core and the exterior door (between laundry and garage) is fire code rated solid wood door.  We tried a standard top-hinged door with the cats already, at our old apartment, and the cats didn't take to it, so we we're hoping to do french doors, since they know how to get through normal doors pretty well. But we're kinda stuck on our lack of knowledge about hinge designs; we need hinges that swing both ways. Has anyone out there successfully completed such a design/installation and would be willing to share pics and secrets? 

Topic by sirenwerks 1 year ago  |  last reply 1 year ago

Floating Desk

I've been thinking about making a desk for my new room. The best place for it would be to put in a a corner. I'm looking at dimensions of 41x21". What i want to do is make it floating so that i wouldn't have leg posts in my way. I've seen elsewhere floating shelves made from interior doors and was thinking about incorporating that into my desk design.  What i want to do is cut an interior door to this 41x21" dimension. Then hang it up just like you would a floating shelf. Because it's in a corner i would have the advantage of being able to cleat not only the back but also one of the sides. Once i had it in place i planned to put a supporting bracket on the floating side for a little extra support.  I just wanted to know what other people thought of this idea. Would it make a sturdy enough desk, or should i use a different material than the door?

Topic by ProRock 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago

What kind of repetitive elements can you use on a surface with a gluing material inbetween to decorate it and look luxurious?

What kind of materials/repetitive elements/items can you use on a surface with a gluing material inbetween to decorate it and look luxurious?Check my pinterest folder, I want to make a parametric/curved wall ( ) and put plaster on it and some bounding agent to attach the repetitive elements what can I use?

Topic by DIAGONALLIS 5 days ago  |  last reply 5 days ago

SF's Hybrid Buses are Easy to Shut Off

This is an odd one! Apparently, kids have been playing around with the hybrid buses as they roll along -- by turning them off. The off switch is apparently just under a unlocked panel on the side of the bus."When that happens, the drivers can't accelerate, they lose radio contact with dispatchers and the interior lights on the buses go out. The power loss does not affect the brakes."They say that they're working on locking the compartments -- which seems like a good start -- as well as increasing patrol among the areas, as other attacks were common.Chronicle via Gizmondo

Topic by zachninme 11 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago

How do I make this leather belt floor mat?

Below is a link to an example of an expensive floor mat made from recycled leather belts. I want to know is how do you think they are attached? Is there another mat underneath that they are glued to? What type of backing is involved? What type of adhesive would be durable enough for this type of application? What is the best way to cut the leather to make a precise edge? Should the leather be treated to make it last longer? There must be an inexpensive solution. Please help me out. Thanks.

Question by littleaugst 10 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago

RV plans for sale $45.00

The Wildwood lets the home builder make his own motorhome that looks just like expensive factory-built units. It can be built on cut-off vans, chassis cab trucks, or even pick-up trucks with the bed removed if of suitable capacity. Options on the plans allow for long and short wheelbase units. The floor plan shown is a popular layout used on long wheelbase models, however, you can vary the arrangement considerably to suit your own requirements, as well as to suit shorter units. Our comprehensive plans show how it's done, including simple details and instructions for mounting the coach to the chassis, cab attaching methods for cut-off vans, as well as all the other necessary information to allow you to do a professional job. Plus, full size patterns are provided for the contoured sidewall portions for accurate construction. Best of all, you save a bundle by building your own.Specifications*Coach length overall 20'0"Coach width overall 7'11"Interior length overall 19'8"Interior width overall 7'7"Interior height (headroom) min 6'6"Cabover headroom (deduct for mattress) 30"Fresh water capacity (standard) 30 gallonsHolding tank capacity (standard) 30 gallonsLPG capacity variesCoach weight (dry estimated) 3000 lbs.Sleeping capacity 6 adultsTruck type: Designed for use on chassis cab or cut-off van-type trucks of suitable GVW rating.The Wildwood is designed as illustrated ]for use on so-called "long wheelbase" trucks having a GVW (gross vehicle weight) rating of 9000 lbs. minimum which is reflected in the above specifications. The plans provide details for a shorter option for use on "short wheelbase" trucks which should have a GVW rating of 8000 lbs. minimum. It is possible to vary the plans to suit other truck chassis which may not fall into these classifications, as long as the GVW ratings are of comparable minimums or larger. Since truck chassis are extremely variable, the above specifications should be considered an approximation.

Topic by Zuma07 10 years ago

How can I add LEDs safely to an existing power source??

I'm working on designing a way to light the interior of a NES (the original Nintendo Entertainment System.)  What I would like to do is remove portions of the case and replace them with plexiglass... then wire some LEDs together to light the interior of the unit.  I have a couple of questions.  1.  Can I wire the LEDs and resistors into another piece of plexiglass that I've drilled holes into to accommodate them or simply affix them with hot-glue?  Do I need to wrap bared bits of wire with electrical tape or should I spray them down with more hot glue?  I've seen both in DIY projects... 2. How can I safely find a place on the system board to tap off of (power source and ground) or multiple sources if need be?  How much power can I tap without causing problems with the system's primary functions themselves?  Would I need to add any other setup to do this or is it possible to simply solder wires onto the source(s) and then "tap" the power from them to the LEDs/resistors? Thank you in advance for your answers and please bare with me if I seem totally ignorant to the world of electronics as I am just starting off!

Question by nevileca 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago

Ideas needed for pimping out a motorhome.?

Hello, Im moving to Australia in November and intend buying and living in a motorhome. I would like to change the inside, not remove things like beds, just get rid of the excess things extra cabinets that i may not need. I would like to install a home cinema (My brother doesn't use his anymore so its free!!!), would like to add other cool things, like funky shelves, non electrical washing machine, solar/battery air cooler, home made bbq and would do interior design to my liking. I have a background in sculpture so i enjoy looking in skips for useful stuff and enjoy making things, so im open to all suggestions anyone may have to pimp out the motorhome. Thanks all.

Question by donaoh 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago

What is the optimum amount of rubbing alcohol for explosions?

I am working on a mini-cannon based project. The cannon has a chamber with interior volume of 15.2 cubic inches. For propellant I am using rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) that is electronically ignited. The barrel on this gun is about 2 feet of 6mm tubing, designed to shoot Airsoft BBs. I was wondering if anyone knows what the ideal amount of rubbing alcohol to use was (I am using 70% alcohol now, but i can get at least 90% at the store). I could also possibly use butane or propane, if that is better. I went on the internet and looked up the stoichiometric ratio for isopropyl alcohol, but that just told me "1mol fuel to 4.5 mol oxygen at 100 percent concentration." I am not mathematically or scientifically capable of turning that bit of info into a usable amount. 

Question by ilpug 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago

I need to know how to make a dash board like in a papermache way so I can make a mold. cheap to nearly free is preferred

I have the rare opportunity to create a new interior for an aging kit car. I know what I need to do. I have the design, but little to no money. How can I create say the dash, and center console? Im looking to eventually make a mold of this so it can be replicated. I was thinking of eventually using glass resin body filler as a final fascia to provide an eventually super smooth surface once the carving and modifying is complete. Im talking to a master molds man in a few days, but could use some ideas for a construction materials to start with. So I can get to the point of making a mold for it, and start replicating my construction. Any ideas?

Question by ydeardorff 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago

Laser Cutter Origami

The New Yorker printed an article about engineer/physicist turned professional origami artist Robert Lang. He's dropped by Instructables/Squid Labs to use the laser cutter to score curves otherwise impossible to fold; it's some neat stuff. This spawned a comment thread on using origami techniques to mold concrete for the Universal Nut Sheller. (Scroll up one comment for first post in the thread.)I don't know how long the article will be available, so here's the laser cutter's cameo:One clear, chilly day not long ago, I met Lang at Squid Labs, a high-tech research-and-development company headquartered in an enormous concrete building that used to be part of the Alameda Naval Air Station, near Oakland. Lang and his wife and their teen-age son live about twenty miles east of Oakland, in a comfortable ranch-style house that has a separate studio building in the back yard, where Lang works amid a clutter of math books, seashell guides, computers, and a menagerie of paper animals. He was spending the day at Squid Labs to use its industrial laser cutter to help him crease paper for some complex folds. He said that he may be the first origami artist to use a laser cutter, which he dials down to a smidgen of its power, so that it scores the paper rather than slices it. Lang was working on paper prototypes for two commissions: one for an interior-design piece to be made of metal, another for a leather fashion accessory, and on a design he was making for himself, which he didn't want to describe, in case he jinxed it. All three of the designs were so intricate that it would have taken him hours just to crease the paper in preparation for the final folds. He was using large squares of tweedy-looking mauve Hanji paper from Korea, which is sturdy but still slightly translucent, like the flesh of a fish.

Topic by canida 12 years ago  |  last reply 12 years ago

Apexstone Amoy Marble & Granite

Pexstone Amoy Marble & Granitehttp://www.apexstone.net6th floor, Guangxing Building, 466 Nanshan Road, Xiamen 361006, China厦门市湖里区南山路466号广兴大厦6楼 Tel:+86 592 3761099Fax: +86 592 3761099Email: 公司类型:生产主营业务:Stone Slabs,marble&granite; slabs , granite tiles, countertops, vanity—tops企业行业:建筑、装饰、房地产 >> 建筑材料Apexstone Amoy Marble & Granite,a Xiamen,China based manufacturer and exporter of worldwide marble , worldwide granite , china granite, china marble , sand stone, travertine, limestone, Our range covers slab, tile, countertop, vanity top, tub surround, soap dish, sink, fireplace mantel, stone molding, mosaic, medallion, drawer knob, for interior designers; fountain, sculpture, statuary, stone carving, urns and vases, for decoration specialists; lite panel wall cladding, column, baluster, railing, step, garden furniture, paving stone, for architects; on commercial projects or industrial constructions.

Topic by apexstone 9 years ago

Living in a box, living in an expensive box...

Four Europeans are in the final stages of selection to be locked into a series of sealed boxes for a year and a half. They are competing for two of the six places in Mars500 - a full-scale simulation of a short-stay Mars mission (a year and a half each way, a month on the surface - don't get me started on how wasteful that is...). The Mars500 facility, which is located on the IBMP site in Moscow, comprises four sealed modules. The total interior volume is about 550 cubic metres. There are no windows. The walls in the living quarters have been covered with a wooden panelling to make them feel slightly less austere. Looking after the participants' needs will be a mission control-room sited just outside the containers. But the experiment's designers are determined to make the training exercise as realistic as possible, so they will introduce a time delay in communications after two months. Because it can take about 20 minutes for a message to travel from Mars to Earth, it will take this amount of time in the simulation also. Message delay The crew and their ground controllers will send text messages to each other and then have to wait for the replies. It means there can be no real-time conversations with friends and family - and, in moments of crisis, it will mean the crew will have to make crucial decisions themselves. I think the biggest test will be the social side - how will six humans, no matter how well-selected, deal with having nobody but each other for years on end, and being in each others' faces twenty-four hours a day? Could we end up looking at the first murder in space? BBC Story ESA article Institute for Biomedical Problems

Topic by Kiteman 9 years ago

PVC vs Hydroponics and Rain water collection - a timely warning

Hello one and all- I've been interested in hydroponics for a very long time.  Now the time has come around that I should get out and get some form of it built and begin using it.  I began researching different styles and of course reading here on Instructables. I read about all the different styles and methods.  I looked at kits, partial kits, and building my own design.  I also began to think about moving away from the use of the well on my property.  I looked into rain water capture.  Here in the north east there's been no shortage of rain even in a "dry" year. In nearly every tutorial or kit I've found them based on a PVC product or using PVC materials.  I remembered that there had been an issue with Lead (Pb) being in PVC. I looked it up.  It appears that there are serious issues with the use of PVC and Lead is only one of them. Here is a sampling of the links to the issue of Lead in PVC - This is just a few links - there are a ton more. It's an interesting read and should give everyone working with PVC cause for pause.   For example instead of using the PVC gutters I had planned on for the rainwater collection I've been thinking about making them from wood (Plywood) and coating the inside with Food Grade Shellac.  I will be using PVC pots for container vegetable gardening this year but I will rough up the interior of the container (taking precautions - respirator, gloves etc) and again using Food Grade Shellac to prevent the PVC coming into contact with the growth media or growing vegetables. I was sort of surprised by this info and just thought I should share it just in case someone was unaware of the issue.  I would like to cross post this but am not likely to do so for concern of running afoul of some rule.  Feel free to share this info though.  In fact please share this widely- Good luck with your projects, Marcintosh

Topic by marcintosh 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago

Question on using a Peltier/TEC device for air temperature control - Help please.

I want to have some control over the temperature inside the Orchidium I'm designing and I thought it might be cool :) to use a Peltier Device (device aka module) (Peltier aka TEC or Thermoelectric Cooler). I find I need a lot of help! (Please!) Alright, this isn't a completed Instructable, it's a plea for help, and maybe if the subjects lie in some of your fields of knowledge then we can all enjoy and learn from it. So, the Orchidium I'm designing is an acrylic case 24"W x 18"D x 30"High. It's to grow species orchids indoors in a microclimate, with LED grow lights, proper humidity, air movement and temperature control. (Of course, other critters would like the case, too: poison dart frogs, newts, carniverous plants, etc.. But I'm going to call it the Orchidium.) I've got it all pretty well planned out so that it can be built for a very reasonable price (yes, including the LEDs) and still be aesthetically pleasing and real purdy, too. All planned out EXCEPT FOR THE TEMPERATURE CONTROL. I was looking for some way to cool my case and I stumbled across Peltier devices in eBay. They are CHEAP, costing about $5 or more, depending on the Wattage, etc. The eBay sellers intimated that all you have to do is plug them in and the device gets ice cold. Later, with diligent web-study I learned that actually ONE SIDE of the peltier gets cold, while the other side gets hot. Also, you MUST attach a heat sink and fan to both (?) sides of the peltier. Also, that these devices are not ready to be plugged in; you must attach a DC power supply to them. Oh, another trick that these miraculous devices do is reverse their hot & cold sides when you reverse the polarity of their juice. Ideally, I would like a Peltier device with heatsinks, fans, a thermostat and a DC wall transformer attached... the Peltier/heatsinks/fans would measure about 2" x 2" x 6" and would be mounted in the sidewall of the Orchidium. When the temperature is 65-85F degrees the orchids are happy and the device is Off. But when the thermostat senses the internal temp going over 85F it turns on the Peltier, cold side inside, and so the inside of the case doesn't go up to 90-95F like mine does now; it cools the case a little. Conversely, for someone with chilly orchids or sneezing newts the thermostat would switch the Peltier to hot-side-in to heat the Orchidium a bit. The retail cost for us to buy a Peltier device, 2 heatsinks w/fans and a DC transformer is cheap... roughly $30. The thermostat might be cheap, but I don't know enough about what's needed. If it's too expensive then the Orchidium can do without it. I was hoping I could find an off-the-shelf Orchidium cooler/heater. No such luck. These miraculous Peltier devices are still practically undiscovered -- relatively speaking. People want to use them to cool their computer chips but are hampered by condensation; my orchids welcome condensation. Pathetically, it seems the most common use for Peltiers now is to cool/heat the little boxes on your car seat... they plug into your cigarette lighter and keep your 6-pack cold. Come on! You folks at Instructables can surely help me figure out how to best make an Orchidium cooler with this barely-discovered and poorly-utilized device. I started out a few weeks ago writing to many of the Peltier manufacturers around the world in hopes they might help me in choosing which of their modules I might purchase for my Orchidium. None of them was any help. They wanted to know how many million Orchidiums I planned per year. They told me my basic plan was hopeless or inefficient cost-wise. A Swedish company wanted $800. An American company wanted $500. Some other company wanted $5,000 to $8,000. I wrote back and said I could get a Peltier on eBay for five bucks. The Swedes snottily claimed that their Peltiers were very high quality. No. No way is any svensker Peltier $795 better than ANY other Peltier in the known universe. They both get cold and grow ice crystals on one side. I just need to cool the case A LITTLE BIT, like from 90 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. I am not trying to make a refrigerator or freezer. The case (Orchidium) is large, at about 7.5 cubic feet, and there is practically no insulation. Acrylic provides a little insulation, that's all. The temp of the interior of the case is derived from the ambient room temperature of your house... and the lights... which is why I designed it with LEDs. There is a constantly-operating muffin fan inside the case to provide air movement for the plants, but it does not provide any evaporative cooling since it's a closed case. So, first off what size Peltier do you recommend... do you think a 40 Watt would be enough, or what? Next, the placement. I envision the Peltier device mounted vertically through a hole in the side of the case. It might be a plan to mount it in the ceiling, but remember that the LEDs take up most of the ceiling. Next, the heatsinks. I confess I'm not totally clear on this, but I "think" that 2 heatsinks-with-fans may be needed, with one sticking out the outside and the other inside the case. I went ahead and got 2 heatsink/fans from Newegg for supercheap ($1 after rebate), but they aren't really what I want. They're actually shaped to fit some AMD chip. What I think I need is a copper heatsink with a flat bottom a little bigger than the Peltier, and fins... and a heatsink fan attached... and some way to attach it to the Peltier, and through the case to the other heatsink. See? Simple... well it should be but I can find nothing. Next, the power supply. I know it has to be DC, but I don't know which brick to get. I did find a bunch of DC or AC Wall Transformers for sale at alltronics... around $10 or so. All that stuff would be enough... at least to test the cooling power. But if we want to go whole hog then the icing on the cake would be thermostatic control of the Peltier. Well, I throw that out in case one of you is sharp in that field.

Topic by Knuten 11 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago

Advanced Helmet

Advanced Helmet By: Arseny Ratnikov I want to create a helmet that looks like a sci fi helmet (mass effect, titanfall, halo, etc.) and that; **Want to make cool helmet, need help with having multiple camera feed output to multiple screens** * Protects my head (able to decrease force from impact by significant degree) * Can filter the air I breath (does not need to be super extreme filter, just filter out general junk, the better the filter the more pleased I am, but if it becomes too bulky/expensive then it is unnecessary)(Optional/Most Likely) * Has a HUD with my vitals on it. I would wear some sensors, such as HR monitor to have some cool biofeedback, maybe also include other information.(option) * Maybe even have it be a digital display where there are cameras on the front and maye back of the helmet that then are displayed on the interior screen, where I have voice commands setup for some different things. * Have the helmet be as sound proof as possible and have microphones where my ears would be, then inside the helmet speakers, so that I can modify the noise around me to be how I want it to be. I understand this would be rather difficult (at least including all of the bullets) and that it could even be a touch silly. Yet, I find this a rather intriguing pursuit and think it will help contribute to becoming a cyborg. Any tips would be greatly appreciated as I don't really know where to start for this. I can imagine a lot of the work might be done on an arduino, but I simply don't know the feasibility of modifying noises of the world around you and having the cameras on the helmet. So here's a little prioritization sheet I worked out, it is not exactly in order, and maybe you all have some suggestions on what might be more critical to design and functionality. Prioritization 1. Functionality a. Head protection a1. Padding/Inertia dampener a2. Sturdy/solid b. Control of phone through bluetooth b1. In helmet speakers b2. In helmet microphone b3. Voice control c. Control of other systems such as screens c1. Voice control of screens c2. Screen modification c3. Screen HUD and other functions (maybe GPS map, time, etc.) d. Camera view d1. Camera live to screen with little to no latency d1a. 360 degree view compressed to 180 degree screen (maybe) d2. Computer control of camera feed d2a. Visuals, different HUDs e. Sound modulation e1. Sound cancelling e2. Sound reproduction at low to no latency e3. Sound modification e3a. Changing pitch e3b. Change decibel levels e3c. Change relative level of external sounds f. The HUD f1. Display of vitals f1a. Heart rate, oxygenation, etc. (Requires some monitor) f2. Display of time and other running interests f3. Display of current location on google maps/GPS system g. Air Filtration g1. Filtration of air, relatively high quality g2. Seal on head or seal over mouth and nose or full body suit that connects to helmet h. Extra Features 2. Style a. Look good b. Look like popular sci-fi media c. Does not interfere with functionality and accents functionality How should I do this? I am planning on using some old phone screens if I can for the screen part and multiple cameras. I plan on using a raspberry computing system (might need multiple) to modulate the output from the cameras. How could I make multiple camera outputs lay onto multiple screens that looks good at three to five inches from the eyes? Also how can I make the raspberry pi control my phone and computer via voice, or at least change a screens properties? Thanks

Topic by ArsenyR 1 year ago  |  last reply 1 year ago

Kite-powered proa (boat) collaboration/comments

Added 5/26/07: Please read the comments below to see how the project is evolving. Design specs, goals, etc, have been modified after discussion.Hi Folks,For several years I've been wanting to build a kite powered proa. A proa is a kind of boat with a narrow hull and a smaller outrigger. These Instructables are about building a proa with a traditional sail: are kite-powered proa-like vehicles for land and ice: for the project:1. Make at least one good boat.2. Publish a good Instructable.3. Work with interesting people.I am definitely going ahead with #1 & #2. #3... anyone interested?The Boat: Generally it should be appealing/attainable by as wide a range of budgets and circumstances and skill levels as possible.a. It should be fun to mess around with starting in about 6 or 7 mph of wind (3 m/s).b. A beach boat, not an overnighter. Should be able to carry one or two people, a paddle, personal flotation device and maybe a sandwich and a water bottle.c. Storable in a typical apartment (maybe even a dorm room?). I'm thinking a 2-part bolt-together hull like Wade Tarzia's above. Two halves, each under 8 feet long so they can be stored on end, maybe used as bookshelves as suggested by TimAnderson. What is a typical ceiling height? Mine is about 91"d. Possible to build on a restricted budget ($200? is that possible? $400?). I'm budgeting about $500 but as a cheapskate packrat scrounger type I am hoping not to spend it all. Should also avoid necessitating rare and expensive tools.e. It should be possible to make a "good looking" version if the builder chooses.... sort of financially and chronologically(?) scalable. Someone might want to build something as quickly and cheaply as possible, and another person might want to spend all summer working on the fine details and finish. The boat should be worth building in either case.f. Should be able to take a passenger (is that possible if we rely on weight-shifting for steering?), but be sailable single-handed.g. Possibly be adaptable to a traditional sail? Would this be hard? This is something I don't need for myself, but I bet someone will ask that question as soon as we publish it. If someone doesn't already have a kite, is it easier to build a kite, or a sail and associated mods to the boat?h. Probably plywood stitch-and-glue construction main hull, but maybe carved from a couple of Styrofoam billets with a plywood stringer and/or deck? Leaning towards all plywood. If we fiberglass the whole boat can we use 1/4" interior luaun at $9 per 4x8 sheet? Is that more practical and cost effective than something like occume at $60 per sheet with glass on just the keel and joints? We'd need 3 sheets. Need to do some calculations on this.i. Usable in flat water, chop and small waves (and bigger waves?). Mine will be used mostly at an ocean beach.j. Steerable by weight-shifting, i.e. moving towards the front or back of the boat. No rudders or daggerboards. Maybe paddle-assisted steering when carrying a passenger/helmsman?The Instructable:a. Should be a good read, even for folks who won't undertake the project. b. Doubles as an Instructable on how to collaborate to make a great project and a great Instructable.c. Represents everyone involved in the project in some way.d. Gives the potential builder a rough "how to sail it" as well?e. Presents the reader with several options for materials and/or construction.f. All the regular "what makes a good Instructable" things.The Interesting People:a. Everyone is interesting in some way or another, right?b. Some people like to do research on the web.c. Some people have built boats.d. Some people some know about wood, or glue, or paint, or kites, or sails, or writing, or... e. Maybe someone will build the boat concurrently so we'll have pictures of two or more versions at various stages when we publish the Instructable.Let me be the first to sign up :) I have been using kites to get around fields, beaches, frozen lakes and the ocean for 10+ years. I make my own kite boards and have made my own kites (I use commercial kites now but still love my homemade plywood boards). I've done a fair amount of web research on proas and plywood boats (and some on tarp boats, canvas covered canoes, surfboards, etc.) but I have never built a boat. I experimented with a busted up, rudderless old hobie 14 for a while, but my homemade foot-steerable rudders broke almost instantly, and shortly after that I had to abandon the boat because I moved to a place where it couldn't be stored. It was enough to get me interested. I'm pretty confident I could build a usable boat as a solo project but I want to see how much better it could be as a collaboration, or at least having a few folks commenting on my ideas.I have a small assortment of cheap power tools. I've used epoxy and fiberglass a few times and I have some on hand.I have permission from my lovely bride-to-be to use part of the kitchen, part of the time, as my workshop (that's true love). I also have a small are outside where I can work but I can't leave anything there.The pictures are my initial hull ideas. For each hull one pic shows the hull from 3 angles and the other shows how the side pieces would fit on two sheets of plywood. A third sheet would be needed for the deck and a fourth (of thicker stuff, I would guess?) for the frames, bulkheads, etc. I'll attach the files for the hulls too. You can get the freeware to view and edit them at simple V hull would mean less cutting and joining. The other one looks better (in my opinion) and can float more weight with the same amount of plywood.Could instead go with a flat bottom like Wade's.Let me know what you think.Thanks!

Topic by flywoodkb 12 years ago  |  last reply 11 years ago

Technology Makes Cheap Drinking Water from Air

INTRODUCTION:   How can we best apply basic technology to help the underprivileged and/or disaster-hit countries like Haiti? Daily hygiene and nourishment are among the top needs for disaster ridden regions!  Simply put, no water means no hygiene. The Romans understood that over two millennia ago and created their complexly beautiful aqueduct networks for handling both fresh and wastewater! Other ingenious water systems like “air wells” have been found in the city of Theodosia (cf: discovered in 1900 by Zibold, see Zibold’s Collectors/Dehumidifiers) dating back to Greco-Roman times during the Byzantine Empire. These were strictly passive systems that naturally dehumidified air, collecting its potable water in underground basins. All air, even in relatively dry desert regions, will precipitate or release its natural water content (initially in the form of vapor) through condensation when it hits its dew-point temperature and below. That means you “chill” it to an appropriate level that is anywhere from 5F to 50F below its current air temperature, depending upon how much water content (relative humidity) it has locally absorbed. The condensation of the water vapor releases its internal latent heat (reheating the cooled air) which must be constantly dissipated (absorbed by something) in order for water formation to steadily continue. So how do we dissipate this resultant vapor-heat and chill our air without any infrastructure or electricity, in an underprivileged or disaster-ridden region? We simply bury a long cast-iron or any metallic drain-pipe sufficiently underground where the temperature of the earth is naturally held to a constant at around 45F to 55F. That’s our “free” chiller gift from nature. One end of the pipe, Figure-1,  sticks out of the ground to suck-in local outside hot air, and the other end dumps cooled dry air and water into an underground cistern where it gets collected and is piped to the surface to both exhaust the cooled dry air and connect to a water pump. We need a hand operated water pump to lift up the water above ground, and we need an electric fan to constantly pump air through the ground-chilled piping system. We can even force the cooled piped air to exhaust into a tent-like structure where it provides air conditioning as an added bonus, but this adds the penalty of both power and the increased fan size necessary to drive our required airflow further into an enclosure! While this concept is not “passive” (requiring electricity to work) like those clever Byzantine air-wells, it will produce much more potable water and within a smaller volume than those elegantly passive historic devices. The electricity for our fan power requirements can be produced by any one of four ways using either “active” or “passive” techniques: 1) An active playground or bike-pedaling-person or oxen-driven mechanism-generator, 2) A passive windmill generator, 3) A passive solar energy collection system that directly generates electricity, or 4) A passive thermo-electric system that directly generates electricity using the Peltier effect, operating solely on temperature differences between the cell’s top and bottom surface (we jury-rig the cool pipe and hot ambient air to contact separate sides of the cell). Depending upon how much water is needed, the required air volume plus pipe length and diameter, together with the fan will be sized accordingly. We can also configure groups of parallel fan-driven air pipes that are radially fed into the cistern. The sizing of this underground network depends upon the ambient air’s local average temperature and relative humidity (how much water gets absorbed into the air) plus buried pipe depth and effective underground temperatures achieved. The basic concept is one where we “wring” water from air at some given humidity content. The higher its relative humidity the more water is recovered from the air. The air-wringing process simply chills the air as it scrubs along the cooled internal pipe surface until it starts to rain inside the pipe from condensation onto its surface. The condensation is like the dew that forms on car windows, grass or any cooled surface in the early morning, before the sun comes out and evaporates the dew back into the heating air. A further bonus is that our dew-formed water is naturally distilled and very clean. It is potable water ready to drink without the need for additional sterilizing agents. Of course, we must make sure that the interior piping and cistern network is biologically cleansed before burying it underground. The hand pump with its 10 to 15 foot extended piping to reach the underground cistern must also be cleansed. The beauty of this constantly replenishable water supply is its convenient underground installation anywhere! After the in-ground installation, we have a virtual, partially passive, no moving parts, non-breakdown system containing above ground total access to all moving parts that could breakdown, namely the water pump and electric fan. Also, it is easily maintained, with few moving parts (water hand-pump and electric fan) and basically lacking any technical complexity which makes it ideal for technologically backward regions. The example below uses a relatively small industrial fan moving air at 1500 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) with a DC motor rated at 1kW. This fan together with our underground piping system will conservatively generate 12 GPH (Gallons Per Hour) of potable drinking water without need for any purification chemistry. Based on an average electrical cost of 14-cents per kWh (kilo-Watt hour), the typical commercial distillation of one gallon of drinking water costs roughly 35-cents as compared to our cost of only 1.2-cents. Furthermore, if we decide to go green and use solar energy for generating our water, it would effectively cost us nothing beyond the initial installation! USING A PSYCHROMETRIC CHART TO SIZE OUR WATER SUPPLY: The following gets a little technical and is only provided for those die-hards who are truly interested in how the science works. Those non-technically schooled may skip this part and not miss the basic concept. Figure-2 shows a Psychrometric Chart for air. This chart summarizes some of the basic thermodynamic properties of air throughout its typical range of operating temperature. The chart uses six basic air properties that defines the physical chemistry of water evaporation into air:  (1) the enthalpy or total energy contained within a unit of air which is a combination of its internal and external energy, expressed as the amount of BTU-energy per unit mass of reference dry-air, (2) the specific volume or the ratio of a unit volume of local air to its mass of reference dry-air, (3) the humidity ratio or the amount (mass) of moisture in a local unit of air divided by its reference mass of dry-air, (4) the percent relative humidity per unit of local air, or the mass ratio (expressed in percentage form) of the partial pressure of water vapor in the air-water mixture to the saturated vapor pressure of water at those conditions (the relative humidity depends not only on air temperature but also on the pressure of the system of interest),  (5) the dry-bulb temperature or the locally measured air temperature, and (6) the wet-bulb temperature or saturation temperature which is the local air temperature experienced during constant water evaporation (a wet-bulb thermometer is typically used:   a thermometer that measures resultant temperature while wrapped in a water wet-gauze and spun to generate local air movement and max-evaporation)  1.0   The Process and A Sample Calculation Our Psychrometric Chart uses six thermodynamic properties that help to determine the amount of water available for extraction from the local ambient air as a function of its temperature, pressure and relative humidity.  Let’s assume the following local ambient conditions for the region we plan to construct our water system at:  (1) Typical daily air temperature Td = 106F and one atmosphere pressure assumed at sea-level, (2) Relative Humidity, RH = 55%, and (3) Typical underground temperature down at six feet is measured at Tu=55F (at 12ft. it drops to ~45F). This yields the following calculated results for obtaining a steady-state supply (changes at night) of water to fill the cistern:      1)      In our example, the “local” air (dry-bulb) temperature is Td=106F, at a relative humidity of RH= 55%.  Fig-2 indicates that the resultant Humidity Ratio is HR= 0.0253 Lbs-water/Lb-Dry-Air (intersection of Td=106F line and RH=55% line, then horizontal to HR value).  We then determine the “gulp” of air volume containing the HR Lbs-water which corresponds to the point of intersection of Td and RH. Interpolating on specific volume “mv” yields mv=14.7 ft3/Lb-Dry-Air (this value sets the optimum unit airflow for our given ambient conditions, and creates a ballpark pipe length to diameter ratio needed later). It represents the basic unit of air volume that will enter our underground pipe per given time, and ultimately defines the size of our fan and piping network. For increased water creation, multiples of this unit volume will scale up the additional amounts of water that can be collected. 2)      As the inlet air cools down to a temperature of Tu=55F, from contact with the relatively cold underground pipe, we follow the constant enthalpy line (red upward left-diagonal) from the intersection of Td and RH to its saturated air temperature condition of Ts= ~88F, which is its dew-point temperature where the corresponding local RH=100%.  At this temperature or under, the air precipitates and releases its moisture content, resulting in water condensation onto the pipe walls.  Since our air will chill to a final pipe temperature of Tu=~55F, we follow the RH=100% saturated curve (green) down to yield an HR=~0.009 Lbs-water/Lb-Dry-Air. This is how much water is left in the air when it gets to 55F.  Therefore for every pound of local outside air that enters the pipe, mw=0.0253 – 0.009 = 0.0163 pounds of absolute pure, distilled potable water precipitates onto the inside pipe wall (per pound of dry air that is cooled and dehydrated) to gravity-flow out the pipe exit and into the cistern. 3)      We now convert pounds of air per unit time into a unitized volumetric airflow that yields gallons of hygienically pure potable water production per unit time. For every Va=100 ft3 of local volumetric air movement per minute (CFM) through the pipe, which translates into ma=Va/mv= 100/14.7 = 6.8 lbs. of dry air per minute or 6.8 * 60 = 408 lbs. per hour (PPH), to yield a water-flow of mwf=ma * mw = 408 * 0.0163 = 6.65 PPH or 6.65/8.345 = 0.8 GPH of water.  An industrial fan rated at 1kW DC will typically move 1500 CFM at a pressure of 8-iwc, to continuously produce 15 * 0.8 = 12 GPH of pristine potable water. 4)      Not shown here are the design details of sizing our pipe, fan and solar collection system for electric power requirements using heat transfer principles coupled with a thermodynamic heat balance, and aerodynamic fan performance assessment. These details help to size the electric power generation requirements plus margin used to properly size a solar collector containing further margins for overcast days. The engineering involved here is straight forward but beyond the scope of the current project.

Topic by RT-101 7 years ago  |  last reply 1 year ago