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Let's learn to build underwater structures at greater depths.

I was pondering how we could develop structures that would look one way before going to great depths in the sea then as the pressure crushed them, they'd turn into the structure we needed via pressure. We could use the pressure to link materials together like clasps and slowly build what we needed where we needed it. Couldn't we also use this method for developing deep sea diving vessels?

But similarly, I feel like I'm missing some basic concepts as I propose this idea. But at least it's something to think about in terms of how we build structures.

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    Jun 28 2012: So if I am getting your idea right, you are describing some sort of a 'natural' hydroforming process.

    See :

    If this is the case you could definitely get your idea running. But before this you should consider a view questions such as the following:

    1) Is there any advantage or necessity to form your structures directly at deep sea levels instead of shaping them onshore and diving them later?

    2) If you are going to use the the water pressure at deep diving depth for deformation purposes how are you going to control this deformation the way you wan't it to. Are you using a mould or defined collapse zones?

    3) If you are using a mould, how do you demould the final part at these deep underwater levels? Or stays the mould inside the part? If so, what about the cost issue?

    4) As you can only form within a given pressure difference, your unformed precursor needs to be a completely sealed volume or a volume equip with controllable valves (vessel).

    5) The highest possible pressure difference will be based on a technical vacuum inside your sealed precursor volume (vessel) and the maximum depth you can possibly dive this equipment. Your vessel, whatever form it is before it gets shaped in deep seas, has to at least withstand ambient atmospheric pressure so it won't collapse on land already.

    6) By forming 'against' a vacuum the control of the deformation process would be diving depth and sinking rate only. How is this to be handled?

    7) If you are forming against an inner vessel pressure (may this be in gas or in a liquid) the vessel has to cope with this inner pressure by itself and the medium inside needed to be let out in a controlled manner via valves during the final forming process. How is this as well as the diving depth handled?

    So far I can not see any advantage of this methode described over just sinking finished shaped parts which were produced on land before hand. But let me know if I missed your point
  • Jun 23 2012: I'd love you to build more onto this discussion! I'm playing with a thought experiment that I'd like you to check out, Zac - it's a shallow-depth idea, but it's a low-cost dome concept -
  • Jun 20 2012: I do a lot of mechanical thought experiments in my head, but have no practical experience.

    In some ways, perhaps I am suggesting an underwater city. Honestly though, its not so much an application for expansion for an idea for utilizing our environment to make complex structures for us.

    Similar to creating structures on very windy plains. Imagine instead of having to set some structures up and work against the wind, we instead, use flexible rods or interlinked rods that snap at a tension and become rigid enough to make a structure. So the simple act of snapping a towel means instant tent.

    Or generating a wall.

    @Maikel I would love to continue this idea further, however my expertise is virtually non-existent. Oddly enough an experiment I did in high school is now being pursued (by no influence of my own) by MIT. It involves a low friction array of electromagnets reacting to outward electromagnets to create a "perpetual motion machine." They, from the last time I checked, managed to equalize it's output to the input, but they're making it too complex by requiring too many electro magnets and it's too heavy. Utilizing smaller units in larger batches means you start one, maximize it's output then outsource it to start others. It equals a slower start time, but generates a larger output. It can be done on timing systems and rhythms. Or have a human powered starting element.

    Combine the ideas of pressurized power generation systems in some gymnasiums and align those on undulating motivated by current you might have a power source for the underwater city. If it's feasible. I have no idea. It might be too stagnant or might require different stimuli, but if it's in a flexible array and allowed to move and press, it might be feasible.

    I'm by no means an expert on anything....just someone who likes to play with mechanics in his head.
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    Jun 19 2012: Are you suggesting an underwater city?
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    Jun 19 2012: That's a very interesting idea! This way of utilizing the pressure could be the beginning of underwater-building which in turn could prove to solve many other problems of the current industrialized world. Do you have experience in this field of expertise and do you plan to continue this idea further?