About this project
How They Work
These flowers are powered solely by changes in air temperature. There are no batteries, motors or solar panels. The mechanism behind the motion is the thermal expansion of a bimetal coil.
Fun fact! The 50F-90F (10C-32C) operating range is arbitrary and is chosen because most people live in areas with an average temperature of 70F (21C). If you live in a hotter or colder environment, then let me know and I can tune your flower to operate in a different temperature range.
Bimetal coils have been used for many years in almost all temperature sensing devices. You may recognize them from household thermostats, or any thermometer with a dial indicator. Bimetal coils undergo large deformations for small changes in temperature. In the context of the bimetal flower, each flower petal is attached to the stem with a bimetal coil. As such, when the temperature increases the petals open and when the temperature decreases the petals close. When put outside, these flowers will open and close throughout the day as the temperature changes.
Petals: Stamped from copper sheet, then powdercoated
Stem: 3/8" OD copper tubing, 16" long, powdercoated and bendable to any shape
Coils: Top secret, then powdercoated
Bracketry: Outdoor grade acrylic
There are 4 bimetal flowers available: Ruth, Mabel, Henrietta and Ethel. For now, please just select the number of flowers you would like. You will then select your colors via a survey that I send out at the end of the funding period.
Live in an Apartment?
While bimetal flowers are best suited for an outdoor environment, they can also be enjoyed indoors. In fact, you can still get some movement in your flower if you keep it near a sunny window. The flower will open and close with changes in household temperature and will be amplified when exposed to direct sunlight through the window.
Plus you can always use a hair dryer to heat it up and show it off to your friends when they come over.
I love making these flowers. More so, as an engineer, I am passionate about optimizing these flowers for their durability and manufacturability. I need the support of the Kickstarter community to take the final step of allowing me to order material in mass quantity. With your support, I'll be able to offer bimetal flowers at great prices, while keeping all manufacturing and material sourcing in the US.
I made my first bimetal flower about 4 years ago as a gift for my mom, and that flower is still alive in her yard! During that time I have been refining my design and I am finally to a point where I am happy with all aspects of the design. I am now ready to pull the trigger on large scale manufacturing. Please help me make it a reality!
I expect my flowers to last a minimum of 4 years. The first flower that I ever made is still living in my mom's garden. Since then I have made significant improvements to the strength and durability of the design. The beautiful part about a bimetal flower is that there aren't any wearing parts. The design of the flower is incredibly simple. There is a stem, flower petals, bimetal coils and a central bracket, that's it!
Here is a picture of the first prototype flower that I made back in 2010. I can still remember the feeling that I had when I saw this flower bloom for the first time. I knew that I was on to something special. It's incredible how far my bimetal flower has come!
Here is a slow motion video of a bimetal flower on fire! You can see it open up as the fire heats it, then immediately close when doused with cold water.
More About Me
I am a nerdy aerospace engineer. I am fascinated with understanding how things work. I involuntarily evaluate everything I interact with and lose sleep thinking of how and why they exist and work, and if they can be improved. I have a passion for creation and love building things from scratch. Throughout my life I have had hundreds of dreams of new, and innovative ideas, only to later find out that someone has already created it. Bimetal art is the first of these that I truly believe has not been pursued, and is not currently available. I hope that I am offering products which are unique and beautiful, and can be enjoyed by all.
I am ready to hit the ground running. In fact, I feel like I have been jogging for the last 4 years and I am ready to crank it up to a sprint! I will be building and shipping flower orders as soon as they come in. I put October 2015 in as a conservative schedule estimate, but hope to deliver the vast majority of my flowers well before that.
The Future of Bimetal Creations
Bimetal flowers are just the tip of the bimetal iceberg. I have prototypes of a few other designs that I am really excited about and I know that I have many more ideas just waiting to be thought of. A successful funding here will open the door for future development.
Risks and challenges
The biggest risk to me meeting my scheduling goal is material availability. My supplier of bimetal can provide approximately 350 flowers worth of bimetal per month. This will be my largest bottleneck during production. At that rate, I'll be able to make about 1000 flowers before October and 350 per month thereafter. Orders will be filled in the order received.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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