Hivestack .2 and pushing tinkercad to the limit

New version of the OSMPBeehive is just about ready for “primetime”, I am dubbing it 0.2 as it’s still just me getting whats in my head down in 3d without figuring out exact numbers (not parametric yet, sorry!).   Looking more at Makerslide, I think that’s our support material – MakerSlide is an aluminum V rail integrated into a standard extrusion profile.

An installation would be two 4′-7′ legnths set 2′ or so in the ground, with the wheel grooves on both facing inward.  Those seem pretty ideal for the type of ratcheting “insert Clean unit in the bottom, remove Full unit out the top” system I mentioned in the brainstorm post.

Without further adue, here she is!

Hivestack .2: 3 Module unit with oval cutaway and some racks removed to see enclosure floor detail

I call it the Hivestack, the bottom unit is suspended off the ground and the bottom holes would be covered by strong wire mesh.  The central nesting shaft is now gone, and  the comb-templates create a sort-of library feeling with narrow corridors between the frames.  I was able to increase the number of full-size frames to 6 with this configuration.  The floor plate which was previously a seperate piece is now integrated into the body, each unit will nest on top of the next with little or no gap.  There are still entrance holes on all four sides, but only one row per module now (two rows was a bit silly) – Also, I’ve angled the round entrance holes up at a 45 degree angle to make them easier to defend and to keep out rain.  Since we got rid of the “floor” piece, that means the top unit needs a roof of some kind to keep out the weather. I havn’t put much thought into it, but when my wife saw it she said it looked like a little elf house made from a tree.  Me?  I’m just subconsciously emulating the Ukranians.  Any ideas or clever things we should build into it?

Ukranian Bee Hives (from the old days)

I didn’t worry about removing the combs individually: Modular design allows the top unit on the stack to be harvested as one piece!

Since each unit is small, in the next version we could dispense with formal “frames” and just print some kind of lattice matrix that would let the bees build comb in whatever way was easiest.  Simply use a centrifuge to extract the honey from the module, then toss it in a large pot of boiling water to remove the wax from the module and sterilize it (this also recovers the wax, but not the comb).  That seems like a pretty slick and sanitary workflow to me. With a conventional hive, do you sterilize the inside & outside walls every harvest? I could even see doing this over the course of several days to minimize the stress, where you remove the top unit, then add one clean unit to the bottom of the stack each day until your harvest is complete.

One Hivestack module by itself (The frames will be replaced by a hexagonal latice matrix as soon as I figure out how to do that) User svarogteuse  had this to say:

Its illegal. Every state requires all the frames to be removeable. Doesn matter if belive they need to be or not its the law. Version 0.2 needs to have all moveable frames if you want to even discuss the merits or flaws of this design over the current standards.

And I very much do want to discuss it here, but I’m curious if others think this will be a problem?  Seems like this design probably fits the letter and spirit of the law, but I’d like a second (3rd…4th…etc) opinion, please chime in!

Size and ratio will be important once someone starts drawing this up in parametric fashion –  bees seem to use how big a hole is relative to their body size to determine how to respond to a breach in the hive.  Whenever this gets to real CAD software, all transit spaces will need to be fixed…. Anybody have experiance with this?  Can we scale part of a design, but not all of it while still tracking where the fixed diameter features are on the overall model (if that makes sense)?

Larve space
space filled
with comb
Small space
space sealed
with propolis
Bee space

My “render” times on tinkercad have gotten into the 10 minute range, and breaks altogether with more than 4 modules so I think this is the last version I can build there.  The next step is to transition to more capable CAD software, and create the 1.0 iteration.  Anybody want to take the first shot at Hivestack 1 plans?  Any suggestions to topics I did or didn’t address here?  Thanks to everyone who has participated so far, if seeing what I’m doing is giving you ideas please share them!

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6 thoughts on “Hivestack .2 and pushing tinkercad to the limit

  1. shinotanaka says:

    You are pushing limits =) Apologies for the rendering issue, Adam. We are working on it, so bear with us!

    BTW, love this quote: good ideas can be physically produced for little more than the cost of material.

    • No worries at all, I’m not one to complain about a free service that has me turning ideas into models others can understand on day one of use.

      As an aside, any plans to make an easy way to fill a solid with a variable lattice matrix? That seems like the next step, but I’m a bit stumped on how I’d even approach it in tinkercad.

      Keep up the good work!

      • shinotanaka says:

        Haha! Well, we are all entitled to our opinions, and we’re always willing and open to hearing them =)

        Hmmm, good question. I’m not sure, but I can ask our designer about this and get back to you with a potential workaround. If not, then it’s something we can definitely add to the feature request list!

        Thanks for the props!

      • shinotanaka says:

        Looks like you have a good discussion going on here =)

        In answer to your question, currently there isn’t a good way to fill a solid with a variable lattice matrix, but you’ve given us honey (?) for thought!

        In any case, I’ll be in touch with you as I received your email and would love to discuss further.


  2. denise says:

    Yep. It is illegal to have frames that can not be removed and inspected. It could absolutely be a problem, especially if you want to sell these, since this is just about the ONLY issue regulated in beekeeping.

    Frames must be removable for a lot of reasons. Back to the drawing board. Also, I am a little unclear about the material you are using, but we can discuss it later.

    • I don’t think you’re understanding (sorry if you are, and I’m not understanding you!) – These frames *can* be removed, inspected and cleaned. They are vertically stacked one atop the other, the picture in this post is not one unit but rather three modules on the frame. Looking at it from this perspective, the two vertical “makerslide” rails that seat all the modules ARE the hive, and each module is a self-contained, removable, inspectable, cleanable (both inside and out, dishwasher safe!) frame. I just added a picture of a SINGLE module to the post if you want to take a look at that (read the caption too)

      It’s a different perspective on what we think of as a Hive, but that’s kind of the point of this project. Am I nuts?

      The material is some kind of thick, insulating plastic – Probably ABS for the first prototype, but the skys the limit. As to selling these, the OSMPBeehive is being developed in public and under a Creative Commons “Share-Alike” license, which basically says anyone can take the idea, improve upon it as long as they retain the same license structure (open to everyone, anyone can modify, anyone can sell) Ultimately, this should be something that can be printed and used where it is needed. If there is a demand for them, anyone with a printer and the know-how can make one for themselves or others.

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