Special thanks for the Orlando Science Center for allowing me to do my project for them. I've been going to OSC all my life. They make science and technology fun for kids, which hopefully inspires lots of youth to go into related professions, like myself. I believe an Eagle Project should be something you are passionate about, and for me my passion was "Space". So we found a project that fills three purposes: First, provide OSC with desperately needed seating for their exibits. Second, be a learning tool for OSC visitors. And third, my own way to say "Thank You" to NASA by honoring those programs that are so important to America's history.
Each of the four benches was dedicated to a specific era of the space program. Images were carefully selected and all have meaning. OSC was provided with complete descriptions of each image so they may further educate guests. The original design of the bench was to have images on both the seat and the back. OSC recommended that we remove images from the seats, so artwork had to be redesigned to fit a smaller space. This had two positive effects. First, since printing was the most expensive aspect of the project, my project completed under budget. Second, we had an airbrush artist create stunning, yet subtle, space art on the seat and also protected the entire bench with a heavy glossy finish. The starry pattern was better than ever.
The bench object was downloaded from a library of free elements from RevitCity.com. With the help and instruction from my dad, I was able to modify the original bench design from a short 4ft to 6ft length, adding a third leg for support, and then changing the slotted seat to a flat seat that I could apply printing to. The Revit application is an architectural tool and automatically generated most of the plans and material breakdowns. See the complete set of documentation.
I first constructed the prototype for OSC approval. Engineers carefully examined the prototype for strength and durability. The lincoln-log style connections were difficult for OSC to reproduce, so rather than change the design, I cut an extra set of bench parts for OSC to use as replacement parts, just in case. However I don't think they will ever need them. Also it was recommended to add several support brackets to secure the backs, seats, and for weight bearing joints. Then construction continued.
About half way through the project, OSC asked if I could have my benches completed by October 5, 2013 for the Orlando Maker's Faire. This put me into overtime, but I'm glad it did. The Orlando Maker's Faire was a huge success. Lots of scouts and families got to see my project and hopefully may have inspired a few "outside-the-box" Eagle Projects for the future.