Upon arrival at our station on the Maker Faire grounds at the New York Hall of Science, we unpacked the trolley and got to work setting up the Super Table, beginning with the pvc pipe structure. All of the pvc pieces are pre-cut and each joint is labeled, so it was a quick process to reconstruct the legs of the table. See other postings for more details on the pvc structural design.
Next, the polycarbonate table top was placed on top of the pvc structure. The polycarbonate table top is joined together into one foldable/unfoldable surface using masonry string in a jacob’s ladder fashion. Since it is hard to handle more than two pieces of 2′ x 4′ polycarbonate joined together at once, we strung together the third panel on site.
The main idea behind this low-tech flexible joint made of strings was to have a light touch, and to allow for different scales of the table top to be deployed. The string joints are endlessly repairable, and different users can choose how many panels to use at any one time. Also, by keeping the polycarbonate edge clean and free of permanent alterations, the structural rigidity of the table top should not deteriorate over time or throughout many uses. Finally, the string joint allows for the passage of other infrastructure through the hollow cavities of the polycarbonate (such as lighting or power).