Over the past few months something you may have seen pop up on multiple places on the internet is “floating” or “levitating” platforms which are seemingly held aloft by some strands of rope or string. These are all demonstrating tensegrity where the tension in those strands provide the rigidity to keep the platform aloft.
Now you can apply that principle to a small decorative table in the form of this 3D printed desk toy by maker Luben Hristov. Aside from the work he’s put into this project you’ll just need some filament and fishing line to make your own.
“I saw somewhere in Pinterest a model of floating table and was immediately intrigued to understand how it was working. Made few sketched for the forces and built the 3D model. The first design was far from perfection, at the moment I have few ideas how to improve the table and to highlight further the levitation effect (transparent top, modified geometry of the supports, etc.). I decided to make it in order to see what is the impression to see the table floating in the air, just simple curiosity,” Hristov tells us.
With this new found curiosity Hristov got to modelling the design in SolidWorks where it, amazingly, took between 30 and 40 minutes to complete before it was ready for printing.
With the completed table being just 18 X 9 X 7 centimetres printing also didn’t take long with the two individual pieces needing 90 minutes to finish.
For finishing work here some acrylic paints were used to create something of a metal look with a patina. Between this choice of colour and the design of the table tops, this reminds of Venetian furniture and other similar designs that incorporate latticework.
As for the important wire that links to two printed parts together and creates the floating effect, SpiderWire Stealth Braid fishing line was used, but any similar product will do. Thinner strands here will improve the effect of the illusion, so pick up something narrow and difficult to see if you’re making your own.
While this is intended to be an interesting desk toy, there’s nothing stopping someone with some spare time (and a lot of filament) from blowing this up to a massive size to make a functional piece of furniture.