The Cascade series composed of four different shaped sculptures, each approximately 3 feet wide and 15 to 16 feet tall. The structures are laminated FRP panels using spun fiberglass, fire retardant resins and a honeycomb core. “There were different thickness core and laminated skin materials needed on parts of the structures. Our main focus was on perfecting joining techniques because this was a 100 percent laminated structure and the seeming techniques had to be looked at carefully to ensure it would not take away from artistic expression,” says Marhoefer.

From one industry to another

The challenge for Geiger was determining the tolerances and properties of composite materials, specifically resins, to match his material needs. In order to find more information, he contacted several composite industry members such as Pat Hery, sales representative at distributor company Fiberglass Coatings, Inc., in Saint Petersburg, Fla., about spun fiberglass mats and how they mixed with certain resins. He collaborated with Bill Karren, Jr., principal at Lochsa Engineering in Las Vegas, who performed advanced analysis on the composite materials. “It was a complicated process to get the composite information from Pat into a form that Bill could use to analyze, and finally, numbers that could be used to manufacture the forms John was making.” says Geiger. The team built four full-scale prototypes to test the tolerances of the composite materials to submit to LYNX and Orange County building department.

This process of research, testing and meeting building specifications took nearly the entire three-year planning period. “In order to do all the testing required by the county for the design and installation of non-traditional structures, we had to go through empirical as well as technical analysis,” says Geiger. “We even used FARO digital technology to assist in documentation. That way we could model complex shapes.” All the research was completed by Geiger, Entech and Lochsa without public or industry funding. “Lochsa, Entech and I made the investment, which really means that the bus stops were a technical gift to the city of Orlando and to the composite industry.”

Did You Know?

big-movieEntech Creative is known for building a giant piano for FAO Schwartz
that could light up and play when you dance on it – later popularized in
the motion picture Big, featuring actor Tom Hanks. More recently, Entech
engineered and built the dragon in Harry Potter at Universal Studios,
among many other technically challenging projects.