I don't think I've ever built the same thing at this scale twice before, at least not with such a period of time between the two iterations. That was interesting, but it was helpful to already have a working starting point. I did want to make some changes to the initial design. First of all, removable legs would be a huge help to transportation. The new legs are square steel that fits snugly into square steel tube, and that worked really well.
The main issue I wanted to address was in the lighting department. Under the bright stadium lighting of Cole Fieldhouse, the illumination for last year's fire ended up pretty washed out. This time, it would be nicer to see more color in the fire and less white fabric. To do this, I decided to work with LED strip lighting, something that seems to be pretty popular, although I've never worked with it before.
I decided to go with three separate channels of RGB strips. With the RGB strips, I can change the color of the light to whatever I like using an Arduino. With the three sets, there would be plenty of room to make interesting lighting effects to make the fire more dynamic.
After the frame was welded, on with the paint, fans, logs, and lights, and all the wires that connect it all together.
For the placement of three sets of LED strips, the first set was laid along the six half inch strips on top and also on the triangular inner frame, as shown above. The second set was placed along the six lower bars from the box fan frames that support the fans. The last set was around the inside of the outer hexagonal frame.