Vol. 03: MakeShift

A commercial real estate mogul wants to put a life-size sculpture atop a tower crane at his latest development. Engineers are scared to touch the problem for under $50,000. You boast that you could do it for $20.



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The Scenario

A commercial real estate mogul wants to put a life-size sculpture of a cow made to look like Superman atop a tower crane at his latest development. A local artist fabricated the bovine. However, the engineers she has contacted to design a mounting solution are scared to touch the problem for under $50,000. Here's why: the cow needs to stand proud on a 40-story tower crane throughout summer and fall in a city that is at high risk for hurricanes. You boast that you could do it for $20.

The Challenge

Create a makeshift solution to securely mount Super Cow on top of the tower crane (no details about where "on top" were given). The cow is a shell structure made of 1/2" fiberglass and weighs 100 lbs. Tools and materials at your disposal include materials that can be reasonably extracted from the environment and items on the supply list. Once you deliver your solution, the site crew will get everything where you want it using another crane.

Supply List

  • 1 life-size fiberglass cow
  • 1 roll of chicken wire
  • 2 rolls of duct tape
  • 6 1-liter bottles of cola
  • $20 budget
  • Surplus of cardboard boxes and packing peanuts
  • Variety of tools (drills, saws, etc)
  • Simple welding and woodworking equipment

Send a detailed description of your MakeShift solution with sketches and/or photos to makeshift@makezine.com by Sept. 30, 2005. If duplicate solutions are submitted, the winner will be determined by the quality of the explanation and presentation. The most plausible and creative solutions will each win a MAKE T-shirt and a SWISSMEMORY USB Victorinox 512MB. Think positive and include your shirt size and contact information with your description. Good luck! For winners' names plus readers' solutions to previous MakeShift challenges, visit makezine.com/makeshift.

Extras

Additional content for this article, available only online.

MakeShift 03: Analysis, Commentary, and Winners

In many respects, this was the most difficult MakeShift to date. No prior art to consider. No books to read. As with most MakeShift-type problems, the variables affecting the solution were typically complex and fuzzy in nature. The best one can do with such problems is strive to understand them as much as possible and then employ strategies like redundancy, factors of safety, and weak links in your design to offset the risks of all the things you don't know. Here is an overview of the winners of the MakeShift 03 challenge.
by William Lidwell; November 01, 2005 | Technorati | del.icio.us

MakeShift 03: Chris Rovers' Most Plausible Winning Entry

Creative use of Quikrete, duct tape, and chicken wire—it doesn't get much better. Here is Chris Rovers' MakeShift Master Most Plausible winning entry.
by William Lidwell; November 01, 2005 | Technorati | del.icio.us

MakeShift 03: Dan Rubenfield's Most Creative Winning Entry

Though chicken wire would be visible when viewed from rooftops or from ground level with binoculars, its impact could be minimized through careful application and creative use of the cape to hide it. A good chicken-wire wrap would have enormous tensile strength and should work well even if the fiberglass shell collapses. Short and simple.
by William Lidwell; November 01, 2005 | Technorati | del.icio.us

MakeShift 03: Andy Seubert's "Rebar of Seville" Honorable Mention

Rebar is the one material at a construction site that is both ample and cheap enough to "borrow" without getting into too much trouble. Here is Andy Seubert's "Rebar of Seville" Honorable Mention.
by William Lidwell; November 01, 2005 | Technorati | del.icio.us

MakeShift 03: Vinnie Forgione's "Chikofsky & Cross" Honorable Mention

Vinnie's design makes fine use of common construction site materials to create a sturdy structure with plenty of strength and redundancy. Here is Vinnie Forgione's "Chikofsky & Cross" Honorable Mention.
by William Lidwell; November 01, 2005 | Technorati | del.icio.us

MakeShift 03: Bobby Joe Snyder's "Factor of Safety" Honorable Mention

Use of the lifting strap is simple, and securing the cow to the crane cable pretty much guarantees that it isn't going anywhere. Here is Bobby Joe Snyder's "Factor of Safety" Honorable Mention.
by William Lidwell; November 01, 2005 | Technorati | del.icio.us


MAKE: AMENDS Errata for This Article

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Correction for page 188
The text of the article includes instructions to send your solutions to makeshift@make.com. That email address should be


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