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Hydrogen Properties for Energy Research (HYPER) Lab ME316 Spring 2015

River Preliminary Designs

Designs and Process

Design Parameters:

  • A flowing river system that bends in an s-curve, contains a forced, eye-leve perspective, and is portable.
  • Visually the most appealing and focal point of the entire Machinescape.

The river system represents the overall magnetic and drawing factor to engage viewers to the Machinescape. Each design was drawn to function as an elongated rotary, conveyor belt device to create the illusion of a flowing river.

Light Array

light array roller


Several elongated light projectors in a conveyor belt. The light sensors create a visualization of waves flowing toward the viewer, giving the sense of a flowing river.


  • Visually appealing.
  • Lightweight.
  • Can be made at a low cost.
  • Easy to setup and takedown.


  • Might not be visually effective in the daytime simulation of the Machinescape.
  • The light might cause disorientation.

Rollers w/ Flaps

paneled roller


Several large rollers set on the bottom of the machine-scape, turning in a torque-like motion with ribbons attached.


  • The rollers are lightweight and easy to manufacture.
  • Can be made at a low cost and are portable.
  • Variable roller speeds can be setup for perspective viewing.
  • Can be set at low power and are crank able.


  • If  high density foam is used, the cost would be expensive.
  • The design might not be as durable over time.

Varied Rollers shape w/ Sheet on top




Several sets of large oscillating rollers, turning in a torque-like motion to create waves along a stretchy nylon sheet or tarp.


  • It’s designed with a river-like appearance.
  • The design is lightweight and easy to manufacture.
  • The best visual representation of a flowing river.
  • Can be built at a low maintenance cost and each roller is easy to setup.


  • The design is a collage of small parts.
  • Each part might not be durable over time (Easily replaceable sheet).
Washington State University