These are metal tripods which are good for educational displays, craft fair displays, etc. With some modifications, they can also be used as painting tripods.
They are easy to make, and fast to set up. Rubber feet protect floor surfaces.
Being composed of triangles, the tripod is a very strong shape. As a test, I suspended myself from the apex of one with no problem. These ones are made of full 10 ft. lengths of 3/4 inch diameter EMT electrical metal conduit pipe.
Step 1: The Apex Hinge
The pipes are joined at the top by drilling holes through them, running some heavy tie wire through the holes, and twisting the wire.
The joined pipes fold up to make a compact bundle for carrying.
I have several tripods and store them vertically at home, hanging them from a nail by the tie wire that joins them at the top.
Step 2: String and Tape
String joins the pipes and keeps the tripod legs from splaying outward. While maintaining the position of the legs, the horizontal strings can also be used to hang printed material. Since people can see both sides of the hanging papers, I print two copies of everything on card stock material (bristol board), and tape them back-to-back at the top. They then just hang on the strings. If there is wind, one can hold the papers at the bottom with more tape, paper clips, or clothes pins to weight them down.
I use nylon string. After tying it to the pipes, I wrap the area with electrical tape, which protects the knots and keeps the strings from sliding up or down the pipes.
You can also add string loops to the pipes for hanging things this way.
One band of string connecting the pipes is all you need to maintain the pyramid shape, but multiple bands give you more strings to hang papers from.
Step 3: Rubber Feet
The last thing you want to do is damage somebody's nice floor, so make sure you put some rubber feet on the metal poles.
I build up the rubber feet by wrapping them with string and silicone rubber. The string is relatively cheap filler material, reducing the amount of silicone rubber needed. Also, because there is less silicone involved, the feet dry and harden up faster. The string and silicone combination is a good one. The silicone is elastic and the string is not. The combined material is soft, yet tough.
Step 4: Painting Tripods
To use the tripods for painting, you need something to hold the painting that will slide up and down the length of the pipes. PVC pipe solves the problem nicely.
A cut on one side allows the PVC unit to slide up and down. A tab bent out holds the painting. The painting rests on tabs at the bottom and is locked in place by tabs that slide down from the top.
Hose clamps make sure the units do not slide down the pipe under the weight of the painting.
I use a propane torch to bend the tabs, and to weaken the grip of the sleeves if they are too tight on the pipes. As with any heat forming of PVC, be careful not to burn the plastic, which produces toxic fumes.