This method involves building a sun-peg device, attaching it to the model and taking them outdoors into direct sunlight and tipping the model at various angles by hand to achieve desired sun angles on the model.
Above is a summary matrix of the pros and cons of Platform Heliodon methodology. The best method varies with each user and each situation.
- DISTORTED CONCEPTUAL BASIS:
Conceptually, this method confuses the perceived relationship between earth and sun. Unlike our experience in real life, the model or earth tilts and rotates while the "sun" stays in a stationary position in the sky. This reversal can be counter-intuitive and it is sometimes difficult to understand the resulting patterns of sun and shadow. Accuracy:
+ EXTREMELY HIGH, REAL-LIFE ACCURACY:
Due to the divergent nature of a point source of light (ie. the sun lamp), the further a model is from the light source, the more accurate the casting of shadows.
Obviously, the sun is reproducing real life accuracy. Operational Complexity:
- DIFFICULT METHOD LOGISTICS AND COMPLEXITY:
Accurately moving the model usually requires a choreographed effort from multiple persons to smoothly tilt the model, watch the sun peg position, and observe and/or document the resulting shadow and sun patterns. Model Complexity:
- FIXED MODEL CONSTRUCTION:
Because the model tilts and swivels, models must be constructed to withstand being turned on their edge or even, depending upon the situation, nearly upside down without falling apart. Without pre-planning for change, this limits the ability to quickly modify the model to test for design changes or adjustments. Model Size:
- LIMITED MODEL SIZE:
Although the accuracy of this method allows models of any size to be properly represented, the logistics of accurately hand holding and rotating larger models limits possible model size. Placing a model on a tripod platform can help to mitigate this difficulty. Mobility:
+ INCREASED METHOD MOBILITY:
This method can be used at any sunny location on earth. Weather Dependency:
- INCREASED WEATHER DEPENDENCY:
Use of this method is dependant upon Muncie weather. Muncie, on average, has less than 100 sunny days per year. Availability:
+ INCREASED METHOD AVAILABILITY:
Other than limitations based upon weather and time of day, this method is easily available. Sun peg Devices can be constructed from everyday materials using photocopies of diagrams for the proper latitude from the following references: Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings, B. Stein, and J. Reynolds
Sun, Wind, and Light: Architectural Design Strategies, G.Z. Brown.