January 2012

Some technical specs: Getting down to details

Last week I had a meeting with the Assistant Technical Director of the Huntington Theater and we hashed out some of the technical specifications for the elevator design.  These specifications serve to bound the larger, more abstract goal of just ‘building an elevator’.  Here’s a list of some of the details that need to be taken into account in the design process…

  • Should replace the existing hydraulically-operated lift system using the same travel distance and floor space dimensions.
  • Lift a 7×7’ platform
  • Ability to lift a maximum of 1000 lbs.
  • Hybrid operational capabilities, ie. be operated using a standard endless loop electric winch or by hand with a counter-weight arbor system
  • Be comprised of self-contained modular units capable of a breakdown and setup with minimal re-stringing of the cables.
  • Designed with all lifting forces resolved through the lift’s framing and not the building structure.
  • Designed so that during winch operation all reaction forces anchoring the winch are lateral along the trap floor.
  • Utilize the existing lift brake system during winch operation.
  • Utilize a foot-operated brake override during hand operation.
  • Designed to achieve a maximum platform speed of 50 inches/sec.
  • Constructed using light gauge structural tubing (15 gauge).

Now that the problem is starting to become a bit clearer, I can begin to conceptualize some ideas on how to make this work.  Time for some brainstorming!

Huntington Theater stage lift project has begun!

As an independent study project for the spring 2012 semester, I’ve undertaken the task of re-designing a stage elevator for the Huntington Theater Company here in Boston.

This blog will hopefully provide insight into the design process, highlight certain problem areas and compare the pros and cons to one design over another.  I’ll be updating this blog weekly with details of ground covered, CAD drawings, sketches, and other information inherent within the process.

Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments!