We’ve only just begun
Things were starting to get interesting now. We had solved how to join the pieces sideways, but we still had a lot of other issues to resolve to make our wall work in the real world.
Can you join two courses (layers) together and build upwards?
Could we make corners?
How do we fit windows and doors?
Is it possible to attach a roof and a floor?
At this point Richard Parker, E3 design’s boss, took over the design aspect of project and brought method to the madness; every idea was defined, questioned and refined to try and meet three criteria:
- Try and make every improvement solve more than one problem.
- Use as few components as possible
Blocks don’t build walls, layers do
We could now build a one course (layer) room, which was great, but not very practical in terms of height so we needed to go upwards. We could put grooves on so that it could be stacked simply enough but how do you join two courses together?
Enter the Dickie Bow Tie (DBT)… by putting a trapezium shape (a triangle with its head cut off) into the bottom of the ‘L’ it would form a ‘dickie bow’ shape when the bottom of one course meets the top of another – all we had to do was create a peg to join the layers together.
A Different Corner
As mentioned in the previous blog we had identified a simple method of manufacture called extrusion to make our ‘L’ shape. This method is also used to make plastic window profiles so just why not just copy them when making window and door frames?
A major problem solved, simple, no additional parts, and more than one use of the L profile….winner! We could build a room.
Hole Lotta Love
If you think about it, walls only have limited uses unless you put controllable holes in them. By which I mean the ability to put windows and doors in.
So we needed something to attach windows and doors where there was a reveal (building jargon for a hole) in the wall.
We invented the SED – Strengthener Endcap Divider – something that we could attach windows and doors to but something that would also serve other functions.
The Pipes of Peace
Normally cables and pipes are chased or drilled into a wall but we were able to incorporate channels as part of the design so this laborious task was no longer required.
Taking it Easy
Developing all these different ideas and finding the simplest solution sounds simple… trust me, it wasn’t. To design, test, improve, redesign without impacting other areas of the design takes time and to get to this stage took three years!
But it was worth it as we now had a design that fitted multiple applications and, all being well, would be impossible to fundamentally improve upon… time would tell.