Here are some quick shots of my latest prototype. The above represents 1/3 of what I laser cut today (overall it is 1/27 of my digital model). I am really happy with the results, especially the quality of the museum board, it almost has a wooden look to it. For those of you I haven't spoken with lately, the basic concept of my project is exploiting the fact that each triangle in my surface has three sides to it. So what I have done is leave one edge of each triangle physically connected to another triangle. There are then three levels to the system with each level containing only connections in one direction. Each level individually is unable to form a surface, but together, the three levels become interconnected and achieve stability.
The problem that I am seeing is that it is very difficult for me to explain this. And the images above don't necessarily illustrate this either--even when holding the model it is not immediately apparent. The wood dowels I have used are not helping. They appear as if they are responsible for attaching the adjacent triangles together. However, they are only being used to attach the triangular panels to the vertical elements (and thus to the panel below or above it), they don't actually span between any adjacent panels. So although I am very pleased with the current results, I think a change to the wooden dowels could be a needed step.
Any suggestions? Currently I've been toying with a few ideas. Differentiating between when there is a connection between the panels and not. Using a material quite different from the wooden feel of the dowels and museum board (rubber bands, thread, ...). Possibly replacing the dowels with something that actually does make a connection between adjacent panels (although I think this might undermine my original thinking...).