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M3/

Fabrication

Derek Huynh & India McKenzie Virtual Environments Sem 2, 2013


M3/ design intent

Derek Huynh & India McKenzie

In responding to the brief our design acknowledges the boundaries of personal space and aims to highlight, by preventing, reclusive body postures and reactions to an invasion of personal space. The cage-like structure maintains a constant position regardless of the social context and the presence of the object makes the wearer conscious of their body language and creating positive body language as this forms the passive interface of interpersonal relationships. The concentration of the skin geometry is related to the network of associations that occur as we absorb the world around us. The higher density areas along the spine are intended to highlight this column as the central element and functions as the backbone of the design concept both literally and figuratively.


M3/ review

Derek Huynh & India McKenzie

Organic Design Concept

Anthropometric Precedent Study Skin geometry Precdeent Study Geometric Design Concept


M3/ review

As we moved into module three, it was essential that we critically assessed what we had created in Module Two in order to be sure that we both understood our direction and design intent moving forward. Whilst we had developed a clear direction for our design, our prototype was relatively unsuccessful in that it didn’t accurately represent our design aesthetic and purpose. The concept of the exo-skeleton and the permeability of the two elements meant that the prototype lacked precision and the wire was simply not rigid enough, even when reinforced, to maintain its position. The rigidity of the body frame is the essence of our perception of personal space and therefore, we endevoured to explore different materiality that would give us the structural stability we required. What we gained from this prototype was an excellent sense of scale and we used this prototype to inform the measurements of our next. The critique of our model was also directed towards the looseness of the skin and we concluded that it didn’t accurately replicate the skin of the kite that spanned across the thin dowels and was secured at each point. Moving forward, we were to explore with more materiality to find a skin material that spanned across the bone structure and created a tensile strength that is present in the kite.

Derek Huynh & India McKenzie


M3/ precedent

Derek Huynh & India McKenzie

APTEK Bar by Dopludo Collective We gained inspiration for our bone system material from this innovative flat-pack restaurant design that uses a sectioning method to create simple, sturdy and creative furniture. Further investigation was done into the digital fabrication of this and the production videos (as seen here) provided insight into the sequence and structure that was so important in ensuring the furniture was solid and reliable. We admired the clean aesthetic achieved by the plywood (birch) and endevoured to experiment with this in our materiality. Iwamoto, L 2009, Digital fabrications: architectural and material techniques, Princeton Architectural Press, New York, Selected Extracts


M3/ measurements

Derek Huynh & India McKenzie

When transitioning into a wood sectioning design we first began to sketch up a design that used a 25mm balsa wood square rod. These were selected due to their lightweight, ease of use and ready available dimensions. We used our prototype from M2 to base our measurements off. This was then transferred into illustrator where we created an orthogonal drawing of the structure. We inserted an image of the wearer and scaled according to the length of the ear to achieve an accurate representation of scale. This allowed us to make minor adjustments to ensure the bone structure would hug the shape of the spine.

BACK FRONT


M3/ oblique angle joinery

Derek Huynh & India McKenzie

Our experiments with joinery focused on three main styles as outlined below. In order to combine each section of the bone system, we required a sturdy joint system that could be used throughout the entire bone structure. Due to the extensive use of oblique angles in our design, our research focused on the oblique junctions pictured on the right.

Oblique Bridle Joint

We also experimented with mortise and tenon joints as the fusion of the two created a secure joint as well as achieving an appealing aesthetic. We did small-scale experiments with variations fo these joints as pictured, below right. Given that we were creating these joints by hand, the margin of error was exacerbated and the joints lacked the precision needed to ensure they would not simply slip out. We then adopted the practice of using balsa dowels to add further stability to the joint.

Mortise & Tenon

Oblique Joinery


M3/ mini prototype

Derek Huynh & India McKenzie

As part of our experimental phase, we used a thinner balsa wood dowel to create a mini prototype that explored the joining of oblique angles. Although glue was used here to secure the joints we also added drawing board pins to secure each section together. Whilst this was effective both functionally and aesthetically on a small-scale, the effect is likely to be lost when scaled up to life size. We used the pins in two different ways here: to secure and to facilitate movement. The image on the right shows the use of a bracing plate either side of the joint to secure the two pieces together laterally. Conversely the image on the left shows the use of pins, without glue, in a pin joint on the ribs that would allow for the wearer to adjust the ribs to mould around the body. The use of a pin joint here is likely to be considered as we move towards a life-size prototpe.


M3/ detail prototype

Derek Huynh & India McKenzie

In protyping the helmet detail of the design using the corner halving joint and the balsa dowels, the brittleness of the material proved quite difficult to fabricate with. The lack of precision experienced when created the joints by hand meant that the overall structure would hold its position when pulled outwards but collapsed inwards on itself when pressure was applied. This means that the structure would buckle under the tensile pressure created by laying the skin over the outside of the structure. Time to go back to the drawing board...


M3/ skin experiments

Derek Huynh & India McKenzie

Inspired by our small experiment with movment from M2, we revisited the use of sticky tape lengths that spanned between the bones intermittently. This created a permeable, weaving type pattern that allowed for a high degree of variability and flexibility. Whilst the concept appealed to us, the effect was not as striking as we had hoped and therefore we continued to extend our research into more sophisticated, precised skin structures.

Inspired by the geometric formations of our precedent study of Federation Square, we used foil and calico fabric as the skin that supported the lightweight, secondary bone structure. This additional element linked back to our concept of an exo-skeleton in that the skin was both supporting and being supported by the bones and vice versa in a symbiotic relationship between the two elements of the system.

They say some of the greatest discoveries occur by accident and this was one of them. These experiments show how layering and duplicating lines can create a stunning effect in an ostenible contradiction of randomness and sophistication. Pictured above are 3 different string-like materials and the one we were most impressed with was the cotton thread that created thin, clean lines and left a bold impression. This was to be explored further.


M3/ FURTHER RESEARCH

Derek Huynh & India McKenzie

We adapted our cotton thread skin prototype to our balsa wood protype by adding notches that would secure the thread in a logical sequence that created a rule of geometry that mimiced the Federation Square ideal we had expressed earlier. The concentration of threads through key arterial channel also reflected our interest in the web of information we had explored earlier in M2. We extended our research to the ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 2012. The pavillion is entirely robotically fabricated from carbon and glass fibre composites and creates its thin protective outer layer by weaving and layering the thin strings in a comprehensive pattern. We intend to emulate this robotic formation of pattern in our final design. This most accurately represents our design intention and encapsulates a number of our precedent studies and inspiration.

http://www.itke.uni-stuttgart.de/entwicklung. php?lang=en&id=30#projekt_bilder http://vimeo.com/58354752


M3/ DIGITAL FABRICATION

Two-dimensional fabrication makes use of a high-pressure beam in this case, a laser cutting device. It is ideal for a job such as the fabrication of the bone system as it is can accurately erode desired sections off a material quickly when thin, such as 3mm. For our project we used this method of subtractive digital fabrication as it was appropriate to the scale, materiality and aesthetic. However, this method of fabrication causes burns to the immediate surrounds of the cutting lines and can hinder the aesthetic effect of any design. Selecting black coloured material, such as the choice of black perspex, can avoid this problem. When using the fabrication technology, we had to select a material that would be stiff enough to hold its shape and resist the tension created by the skin system. We experimented with three differerent materials (cardboard, plywood and perspex, and each exhibited varying levels of stiffness and resistance which altered the structure. The use of a notching system also proved problematic at times when the laser cutting process uses heat to make its incisions into the material and thus, it is common for the cut edges to expand slightly. We required our five rib pieces to notch into the spine and create a tight, secure joint however, in prototyping our design we discovered that the process lacked the degree of precision we required to secure the intersection through notching. For this reason, we decided to include black plastic wedge pieces and quick-dry perspex glue to ensure that the bone structure was stable. Iwamoto, L 2009, Digital fabrications: architectural and material techniques, Princeton Architectural Press, New York, Selected Extracts

Derek Huynh & India McKenzie


M3/PROTOTYPE

Derek Huynh & India McKenzie

Prototype 1: Cardboard Whilst we predicted that this material would not be stiff enough to maintain the intended shape, we used our first prototype to gain a better understanding of the fab lab process and as a trial to test out the measurements. We made minor adjustments to the length of the arm sections and widened the ribs.


M3/Prototype

Prototype 2: 1.5mm plywood Due to technical errors in the fab lab, this prototype was unsuccessful. Despite requesting a 3mm plywood, our design was fabricated out of 1.5mm ply which meant that our 3mm sectioning notches were twice as large as they needed to be. As a result, the spine and ribs were flimsy and deflected drastically. Whilst we had the intention of using plywood for our final design, we took this opportunity to revise our design aesthetic and opted instead for a more sleek and sophisticated material for our final fabrication attempt.

Derek Huynh & India McKenzie


M3/ AMENDMENTS

Derek Huynh & India McKenzie

After our first full-scale prototyping experience, we made minor amendments to the design that including tapering of the rib and helmet pieces. The key areas of the design, such as the spine have been extended slightly whilst the edges of the ribs have been reduced slightly to reflect the distribution of strength in the structure. Where the ribs intersect with the spine is the thickest part of the structure whilst the ribs and helmet pieces taper off to create a more visually appealing look. Our experience with attaching the cotton thread skin to the notches lead us to change the rectangular thread catch notches into a trapezium shape that creates a grooved edge for the threads to slide into it. This allowed us to create more elaborate patterns as the angled notches provided a more secure holding position and permitted for more expressive and comprehensive patterns to be achieved.


M3/ FINAL FABRICATION

We opted for a black perspex in our final design as it was most suited to our design structure and the subtractive fabrication process. Whilst our initial concept involved the organic forms of wood, we opted for black perspex as it had a sophisticated reflective finish and the symbolism of black as a hidden colour reflected the conceptual aspect of the invisble second skin. The fabrication technique also meant that the precision achieved with perspex was slightly greater than with timber due to the fact that we found the wood to expand and contract in the heat and this may have compromised the structural integrity of the intersection of the spine and ribs.

Derek Huynh & India McKenzie


M3/

Derek Huynh & India McKenzie


M3/

Derek Huynh & India McKenzie


M3/

Derek Huynh & India McKenzie


M3/


M3/


M3/

Fabrication

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