With every new product line there are challenges with what matching theoretic ideas, and the reality of the capabilities in matching those ideas. This week was not necessarily discouraging, but it was only a small progression in completing the crucial task of coming up with a final product.
There were more in-depth testings in the capabilities of the laser cutter, primarily focusing on what cut-out designs can be utilized from a 2D rendering. Instead of focusing on what was aesthetically pleasing in the graphic capabilities of the laser, we focused on creating a live hinge, which is cut rigid pieces designed to move and bend in its design. From what was cut with the laser this week, it appears that relying heavily on the laser cutter is not ideal. Heavy charring occurred with the amount of concentrated heat from the laser. The heat, combined with the bamboo’s natural reaction to high heat and air surrounding it gave a charcoaled result that was not able to be sanded off.
Some design schematics needed additional rework in ideation as well. For instance, to make a product that would typically be used outdoors or be exposed to moisture, would require a significant amount of sealant in order to protect the material from decay.
On the bright side, we began the the process of making the prototype! Each student is to make their own prototype out of the Plyboo material so we can see if it is possible to manufacture the concept, and if the processes seem well managed and efficient.. This process is crucial for how the rest of the term will go in making this product, but an entertaining challenge since our ideas are becoming a reality. By Friday, February 3rd, both student groups will be collectively voting on a prototype and allow the production to begin!
As of today, there are a handful of ideas and designs that are solid in terms of design and process, but we are waiting for the prototype to be completed. From wine racks, wallets, coat racks and travel cases, we are so close to having a final decision for the product launch!