In order to prevent dirty bikes causing damage to rented property I wanted to create a simple drip tray which can be mounted under a wet bike to catch any dripping mud and water. When making CAD renders of a solid drip tray I realised this would be far too heavy and space intensive. To combat this I wanted to create a fold down drip tray from light materials which can be rinsed off and wiped down.
Firstly I decided to look at tent technology and the way in which fabric is pulled taut over flexible poles. I visited Go Outdoor where the tents were constructed with either carbon fibre or thin aluminium poles. These could be and ideal lightweight solution as I had initially considered using flexible woods such as pines but felt they make make the piece too heavy. As pop up tents can be retailed as little as £10 which shows the technology is available to create a low cost piece. Sprung poles could be used as a quick and easily way for me to create a firm shape.“…carbon fibre has excellent strength and low density. If these two factors are considered together, therefore looking at ‘specific strength’, then the benefits of carbon fibre look even more impressive.” (Carbon Fibre Tubes LTD, 2017)
In addition collapsible awnings and thier shapes can also inspire my piece as pop up tents can sometimes be difficult to pack away. I would like to create a piece which can be adjusted to suit your space.
Tent nylon could be the perfect fabric to be used in my drip tray as it’s extremely lightweight and durable. It is available in a range of colours and prints and is water resistant. It retails at just a few pounds a metre so would be an affordable solution in creating a waterproof piece .
Another solution would be to use a pram hood type mechanism. Unlike tents which are either ‘up’ or ‘down’, pram hoods are easily adjustable and can be simply pulled and pushed into place. Unlike the construction of a tents they don’t require any skill to assemble, although they are a little heavier and more robust. They still use a similar system of pulling fabric taut over bent plastic rods.
Another method with could be utilised is flexible rubber. I have seen a number of products such as collapsible camping bowls which pop up and fold down as needed. Moulded silicone is strong and can hold its shape while being flexible enough to fold flat. However when considering my piece needs to be around 2m wide it may be difficult to flatten out.
A similar design I found using this technology was this foldout bath tub by Sylwia Ulicka Rivera “Made from rubber treated to be very elastic and spongy this unusual piece weighs less than 3 kgs and juts out only 12-cms from the wall. What’s more a flexible drainpipe starts above the central point of the tub making it easy to fold up.” (Homedit, 2011) Although a great idea and possibly something I could use I imagine this would cost a great deal more than a tent style system. Also this piece doesn’t appear to have gone into commercial production.
Finally, in a similar way to pram hoods and tents, awnings stretch fabric over betn poles. They are often designed in an eliptical shape which would be ideal for my drip tray as to not protrude too far out into the hallway. This shape could be used and combined with a stop mechanism similar to that of a pram hood, this would enable users to open they tray as far as they required or space allowed.
Carbon Fibre Tubes LTD (2017) Technology. [Online] [Date Accessed 26th April 2017] https://www.carbonfibretubes.co.uk/technology/
Homedit (2011) Innovative Bathboard For Small Space [Online] [Date Accessed 25th April 2017] http://www.homedit.com/innovative-bathboard-for-small-spaces/?utm_content=bufferd52a6&utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest.com&utm_campaign=buffer