Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Moved to Wordpress

I'm now hosting my blog on my own domain using WordPress. Please click here to see my updated blog.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Da Vinci Accordion Project

Industrial Design Fundamentals Assignment:
1. Design a wooden toy inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci.
2. Make a model of your toy.

Visual Reference Board:
Bellow Prototypes:
I found this site useful in coming up with my method for building the bellows.
Here are my first bellow prototypes. For these ones I used an x-acto to cut out the trapezoids from poster board and masking tape and fishing line to connect them together.I switch to a thicker chipboard for the final set of bellows:

Cutting fabric to cover the bellows:
Glueing the fabric on the bellows was the longest part of the process and was the most frustrating and sticky. I used a whole bottle of Elmer's glue so it ended up being really strong.

Here is a video showing the bellow action. I was kind of disappointed because the bellows ended up stretching less and less with each layer of fabric.

One bellow finished:
Chipboard mockup of body:
Two bellows done:
I cut a bunch of plywood to the profile of my keyboard and glued them together to make a mold:
Then I laminated 3 pieces of thin veneer together and stuck them in the the vacuum bag on top of my mold. I will use this to cut out my keys.
The wood for my keyboard didn't quite take the full contour of the mold so I had to adjusted the end piece of the keyboard casing to match the new key profile.
Here I've put together the keyboard and bass button casings and I have the bellows and unfinished keyboard resting in place. The edges of the casing are burnt because I cut out the wood on the laser cutter. On the keyboard I've masked off where I need to cut the wholes for the black keys. I've also got my unfinished sound ports resting on top.
I sanded off the burned edges and gave the casings a rich bombay mahogany stain. I finished it off with two coats of high gloss polyurithane.The white keys stay their natural color and only need 2 coats of high gloss polyurithane finish.
I modeled the sound ports out of a non-hardening wax-based modeling clay called plastaline. Then I spray painted them gold.
This photo depicts a cross section of the keyboard action. I used fabric for the hinge and red foam to spring the depressed keys back. The dark keys are stationary for this model.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Final Skateboard

Manufacturing Processes Class Assignment:
1. Make a skateboard using techniques learned in class.
Show All Skateboard Making PostsLaser engraving the face veneer:

Using the vacuum bag to glue the face veneer to the deck:
Finished deck with gold leaf and a satin polyurethane finish:

The rest of the classes skate boards:

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Design Thought Model Part II

See all Design Thought Model Posts

I continued work on my design thought model this weekend. I ordered some thiner 1/16" acrylic sheets that seemed to work better than the 1/8" stuff I was using before. While I was working on this project I realized that I probably could have done the entire thing so much easier on the vacuform. Oh well, good thing to keep in mind for next time. Instead of using the vacuform I have been cutting the plexi into small rectangles, heating them to 325 in the oven, and forming them to the mold with my hands. After I cover the entire mold in overlapping rectangles, I use the bandsaw to cut off the areas that overlap. This takes a long time and there are a few gaps where the pieces come together. I decided to just incorporate the gaps into my design and instead of gluing the pieces of plexi directly together, they will be connected with laser cut plexi brackets that I will paint to look like aged brass. That should also help with the mechanical steampunk look I'm going for.

I've also changed my original design that used marbles to represent ideas to use Sour Balls instead because every one likes candy and I found them at the convenience store near my dorm. They Sour Balls roll very nicely down the little test track that I build and I like that they are bright colors. I'm going to have to remember to bring a few packs with me when I present this because I've already eated about half of them.

On a final note, I ordered my steam engine kit that will power the rotating disk the releases the Sour Balls. I got it off ebay for $23 from Liney Machine. It includes the plans and all the stock metal needed to machine it out. The engine is very tiny. I chose it because it was cheap and I wanted a kit that would allow me to learn to machine metal on the metal lathe and mill. I'm really excited and I cant wait to try to build it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Cream & Sugar Set

Industrial Design Fundamentals Assignment:
1. Design a pair of cream and sugar containers.
2. Maintain a "family" resemblance.
3. Base the design off an aesthetic influence.

Visual Reference Board: Art Deco

I experimented with building my form to reflect various art deco patterns. I eventually settle on a design that uses art deco style hoops to allow the cream to nest on top of the sugar bowl.

I begin with a sold chunk of blue foam.I carve out 2 different models
I go with the second model because it has a slimmer foot print that would fit better on most tables. While building the second model I discovered that I could get smoother cuts with the band saw than the hot wire cutter so my second model also had better overall craft.I paint a thick coat of plaster, wait for it to dry, and sand for several hours.
I use the band saw to cut a shelf out of clear acrylic that mimics the design of my sugar set. I use a heating strip to bend it 90 degrees.I use the shelf to present my design during the class critique.
Final Prototype: