new organic

New Greenheart Website!

Welcome to the Greenheart Project’s new website!

What’s new on the site?

Also check out our new design forum (now actually a forum!) to read and discuss further details about the ship design.

 

Shout out to the folks that made the new site happen

Last year, a friend in our network told us about a contest being held by a professional web design firm called Organic Communications to find Ideas that Matter and provide pro bono web design services to help make an impact where it is most needed.

Long story short, the Organics (sorry, internal nickname) not only thought Greenheart stood out above the rest, but also were patient enough to put up with our not-always-tech-or-copy-savvy crew over the following months as we worked together with them to put up a new site.

Michelle, David, Will – you have no idea how much we appreciate all your hard work on our behalf. Thank you!

 

Yes, she is facing the wrong way.

Building a scale model GH vessel

Hi! Volunteer Seba here. I want to tell you about a little friend we sometimes bring to conferences to help explain Greenheart: my 1/25th scale model of the ship!

I like to tinker with things. Arduinos, model planes, the lot. I also do scene setting for a variety of theatrical venues and expos. When I joined Greenheart, the thought of getting this Idea into the real world was enticing enough to make me want to spread it. Screenshots and fancy computer graphics are interesting, but do not add any substance to a venue. So, I decided to build a model ship that you could walk around, view at odd angles and play with (mind you, don’t break off any delicate parts).

The model was to show the versatility of the ship and should represent what we are doing – a constantly changing work in progress, a rough sketch becoming finer and finer as our work progresses. I also wanted it to be environmentally friendly, just as the ship will be, so I chose mostly natural materials and scavenged items. I happen to have access to a laser cutter – so starting with the 3D model of the ship, I could just shoot some plywood into shape for the spars and keel. Next step was adding a solid hull – I started with carton, which turned out less than ideal. Back to the lab, then. The only valid option was fibreglass, which I got from a friend’s workshop’s trash can.

Fill, sand, paint – hours went by, but the product is quite sturdy. The paint is acrylic and can be written on with a pencil, so the model becomes a 3d sketchbook for all the little additions and details. The model has a removable wheelhouse which shows the cargo hold, the main back hatch and a few containers made from carton (salvaged from a supermarket, where the sheets separate six-packs of water). The rig is made from old kite rods. Sails are made from real sail cloth, the forestay is wire from a construction site.

Of course, the day I finished it with all its nooks and crannies, Pat told me that there will be a new iteration… sometimes, you just hate progress. Just this month, we received a serious proposal to go back to a simple, 2-mast A-frame rig… maybe I should wait with the upgrade on the model, just in case we switch to a kite or a warp engine, neh? Kidding. The design iterations and steps are done by the real professionals for very real and practical reasons and constant communication with them makes sure we won’t put anything out that will fail. The new masts can be folded for transport, just like the original.

The model has accompanied us on many venues now and and looks like what the real vessel is intended to be: a sturdy workhorse ship that can take a beating. Thanks in part to a loosely stacked crate in an expo parking lot… fortunately, I quickly repaired it before the expo began the next day. A feature it shares with the real ship – easy to maintain and repair! We will see how much the big one will look like the small one – stay tuned and come visit the model on the next fair we will attend!