Shallow Coffee Table Concept
Posted: 19 April 2011 03:38 AM   [ Ignore ]
Rank
Joined  2011-04-18
Total Posts:  6
New Member

Hello all,

So looking for input, thoughts, and to share this concept with the group. My idea here is to build a coffee table to match the low-level of most of my living room furniture. I also don’t want to settle for a screen the size of a my wallet. Instead I want the screen to encompass the vast majority of the table itself with just a sleek glossy border and a fully flush surface. I’m looking to get the full span of a 42” screen in the table. Another piece of design criteria is that it should look contiguous with the room when in function AND not in operation. For that reason, I’ve sketched the below concept. I’m planning on using the same principle in a reflector telescope to reduce the distance required from the camera aperture to the acrylic screen without exceeding an angle that would cause too much distortion. I realize a few complications with this idea;

1) There will likely be a blind spot to contend with, but as this is mostly an aesthetic piece, I’m not sure I particularly care.

2) Ambient light interference. Since the table will have open sides, quite a bit of ambient light will be included. I’m not sure if by carefully adjusting the aperture, I can prevent as much incident light as possible.

Any thoughts on the idea or subject would be greatly appreciated.

Image Attachments
Table Side View.jpgTable Top View.jpg
Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 April 2011 04:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Avatar
RankRank
Joined  2009-05-06
Total Posts:  158
Member

looks good, but one potential issue i can see is getting even/bright backlighting on the LCD with an open box although im not entirely sure since I havent tried to light an lcd with an open box

 Signature 

web: http://www.nemenvisual.com
blog: http://www.purplesquirrels.com.au

Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 April 2011 04:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Rank
Joined  2009-08-19
Total Posts:  6
New Member

I am also thinking about a very similar design with a great deal of consideration to aesthetics and height. I would suggest going for two cameras with wide angle lens and doing away with the suspended cam design. I am concerned about lack of brightness from this back-lighting method, besides interference from ambient light. I am planning a table with a similar tapered design but covered from all sides with glossy paint/glass, a 40-46inch LCD and height not more than 18 inches.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 20 April 2011 07:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Rank
Joined  2011-04-18
Total Posts:  6
New Member

Right, I’ve considered those last two comments (thanks muchly, btw!) and I’ve got a couple of notions that may resolve the issue. If I maintain the idea of suspended camera, I could incorporate something of a concave awning. Take a look at the picture below for an example. It should shield ambient IR light while allowing visible light to continue to pass through. This would give an at-a-glance appearance of no addition (only the mirror at the bottom being visible), but still allow for IR blocking to occur from any ambient sources in the room. This would also add a bit of stability when I consider the possibility that a 4 year old, left unattended and using his best destructive tendencies, could climb up onto the table. (Got it, the LCD screen wouldn’t survive, but I’ll probably keep a protective sheet of 10mm thick acrylic for visitations from the little Decepticons).

I don’t at this point want to go for the two camera system as was mentioned in the last post as I’ll have two physical items at the base of the table/device that I’ll have to mask in some way from view in order to meet the DC that it can be still used and seen as a classy piece of furniture when not in operation as well.

As an unrelated point, I think I’ll remove the speakers at the bottom. Bit of an overdesign I think. I can just link them to the regular speakers in the room as it’s a living room piece anyway.

Image Attachments
Side-panel Filter.jpg
Profile
 
 
Posted: 20 April 2011 08:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Rank
Joined  2011-04-18
Total Posts:  6
New Member

As a report on the design process, if you meet the following criteria and are interested, please read on;

1) You do not have a license or software for using a more advanced CAD program (like, CADKey, Inventor, or any of the other AutoCad programs)

2) You are using a Mac and refuse to give in to the communistical approach to software engineering that Steve Jobs is trying to enforce on everyone in some backdoor attempt at global hegemony.

or as an optional piece of criteria;

*3) You’re outright masochistic and love nothing more than to reduce all your projects to their most root/open source level just to be unique to the point where your shopping lists are written in hex.
________

With that said…

Following an attempt to create a more explicit model and one that would allow me to better visualize my project and counter future design problems, I tried using the 3D generation in my OpenOffice Draw Application (because contrary to the very idea of making a table which will cost me about $1000, I’m actually quite cheap). After about 40 minutes of playing around with the bug-infested layering modules of the program which frankly led me about the closest to committing suicide that I’ve come so far, I eventually gave up and deleted everything.

Following this wonderful purging of data, I’ve started the exploration on other open-source CAD-ing software (that aren’t written primarily to help you better make homemade greeting cards) and I’ll re-engage the problem with the new tools there. Don’t really require much, but if anyone has any suggestions for a solid open-source CAD that won’t lead me to break my laptop over my knee and go off to slaughter all the sand people I’d greatly appreciate a recommendation.

First on the list to try is FreeCAD; partially because it didn’t have much in the way of negative reviews, but MOSTLY because the title was a literal translation of what I’m pursuing, so I’ll post any review of that along with my progress on this topic.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 20 April 2011 09:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Rank
Joined  2011-04-18
Total Posts:  6
New Member

Review of FreeCAD

Program couldn’t be bothered to open. I suppose I got literally what I paid for it, if you exclude the time it took to download the 370 MB file package. Got it, it’s open source, but if it doesn’t open at all on a basic OS X platform, don’t post it with the tag “Latest OS X update!” because I may show up at your home with a crowbar.

While I look for another alternative, I’m trying the new Google 3D rendering program which will probably be irritating and make me feel a bit like a cell in their gigantic network as well, so hopefully I find something else.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 April 2011 09:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Rank
Joined  2011-04-18
Total Posts:  6
New Member

So Google Sketch is definitely only good for adding more garbage into the digital space of Google Earth (why pay people when you can just put the program out there and let them do it for free?).

However, after a fair amount of fighting what’s essentially just a vector drawing program to produce a clinical result, I realized a truth;

Time it takes to grapple Sketch into producing a dimensioned drawing of value > Time it takes for me to develop a cerebral aneurysm

Since you can’t force constrain the dimensions in their program, I’m almost at a loss as to why they bother putting a dimensioning tool on there. It’s as though Google thought, “We COULD base this around all of the other pre-existing CAD programs which are already built to do what we want… no, wait. Let’s make a watery, child-like version that works backwards and uses color pallets taken from a box of crayons (literally).”

So, I just ball-parked the dimensions to what looked about right, and called it a day. I’ll have to do a bit more on good old fashioned engineering paper before I actually start cutting anything. But anyway, here’s the isometric (roughly) of the table as I envision it.

Image Attachments
Table Iso.jpg
Profile