This week each student is required to create two product concepts and present them in class. Both groups of students went through a critique session on all designs discussing technicalities, logistics, and possibilities pertaining the material, machining capabilities, and personal concerns. Based on everyone's feedback there will be 16 prototypes created from the ideas presented, of these 16 designs, one will become the product we produce and sell.
We have begun testing the capabilities of the Plyboo to help understand it's properties and how to best utilize the material for our designs. We conducted multiple laser engraving tests and had great successes! Plyboo laser cuts and engraves very cleanly. We also placed multiple Plyboo blocks in OSU's College of Forestry conditioning rooms to study the material's durability under different moisture and temperature conditions.
We also tested the machining capabilities of the Plyboo on our CNC router. Both OSU and UO have 3 axis CNC routers, so we created a few CAD files to test for proper speeds, feeds, and router bits. We created a living hinge file and successfully cut a very bendable hinge out of the 1/4" Amber Plyboo. A living hinge is essentially a continuous joint. For a better mental image, visualize a door connected to a wall by a metal hinge, but instead of the metal hinge picture the door attached to the wall by a single piece of wood material that has the flexibility to open & close, THAT is a living hinge. It's something that none of us have mastered, so we're all highly motivated to experiment with this feature!