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Design and manufacture – when it all goes wrong

Author: David Akers

There have been many painful (literally, painful) developments on the ZORB ball and experience, many of which have been forgotten or consigned to the cellar of the ZORB museum*
*Not actually a museum, more a chamber of horrors
We are happy to share some of these abominations – after all you can’t spell SUCCESS without SUCCS, and some of the following sucked pretty bad:

Abomination #1: The glue-applying stick

Unable to afford a device to apply glue, like I don’t know: a syringe or glue-gun, Andrew and Dwayne made the first ZORB ball out in the sun on a wooden deck outside a rented house in Auckland, New Zealand way back in the 90s. Their technique was to construct small and large spheres from PVC using the pattern known to the geometry geeks as a truncated icosahedron (one of the 13 Archimedean Solids, obviously) and to the rest of us as the soccer-ball pattern. See https://mathworld.wolfram.com/ArchimedeanSolid.html for further details.
Prior to Archimedes’ discovery, football was played with a cube which is why people yell at you to play the ball square even today. We all know Archimedes was a handy right wing in the GreekAthens United under 11 footballdevelopment team, but he must have slipped on the soap and banged his head when he leaped leapt out of the bath because the truncated icosahedron is a major pain. It’s made out of 32 hexagons and pentagons. , and iIt’s pretty spherical, but so many joins and so many corners!
Anyhoo, once the PVC sphere was made the boys got inside it, opened a can of glue and applied glue to a whole lot of little bits of plastic to stick to the inside of the sphere to attach the strings – using…wait for it… a stick.
And it wasn’t a glue stick either, it was a stick from a nearby tree. Needless to say, the fumes were eye-watering and they needed to go for a lie-down in the shade after a couple of hours inside the ZORB.

Later, someone said “er…why don’t you use a syringe, and also glue the bits together BEFORE the entire sphere is made” and that is how we do it today.

  • Also in this series:
  • The melting Polyurethane
  • The between-the-legs Harness
  • The Mickey Mouse ZORB
  • The Rainbow ZORB
  • The Moonhopper and the Wooden Door of Death
  • The UV-melting glue
  • The Harness and Water ride
  • The Ice Ride
  • The Ramp
  • The Zorpedo
  • The Zylinder
  • The Ocean-going Zurf
  • The sinking of the Ocean-going Zurf
May 6, 2022