Carbon fibre bowl 

The first of my new filaments I tested was the carbon fibre and I printed this on my home M3D printer.  It printed very easily and the support material was very easy to remove.  The finished material gave very fine lines and felt quite strong.  


I sanded down the top surface to see what the material would look like polished up.  I was really happy with the finish.  It gave a great shine.  

I decided that for this piece I would hand raise the other sections of the bowl using my 3D printed hammers.  ​

I used my laser sintered hammer initially to  planish the bowl.  Unfortunately this broke very soon in to the process.  The internal section looked very powdery due to the two part green process that Shapeways use.  I think this makes the metal much weaker.  I am going to try and reprint this on the direct steel sintering machine in Aberdeen and see if that makes any difference.  
 

I raised a smaller inside bowl to the piece in the same way.  However I had to use a regular planishing hammer to finish off both.  I must confess however that as the inside bowl was so small and fiddly I hand raised it to a certain point and then used the larger doming punch in the department to get the final shape.



I decided I liked the contrast of copper and black and oxidised the inside of the larger bowl and outside of the smaller.  I used a two part resin and mixed this in to the bowl.  I am regretting not testing this first as it seemed to react.  I am hoping that it will dry enough to sand back and make it look good but if this doesn’t work I will have to re-make it and test another type of resin. The other reason it may have reacted like this would be if there had been some moisture in the bowl before I added the resin.​


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Laser cut bowl

This morning I amended my laser cutting bowl file from my failed attempt yesterday. I moved out the slats and ran a few tests to make sure the sections slotted in tightly.
I decided not to use any glue when slotting in the sections as yesterday it had reacted with the plastic and left a messy white stain.  

It took a little tweaking to get all the parts to go in to the top and bottom sections, but the final piece holds together well.


I laser cut some rings the same size as the top of the bowl and glued them together using super glue to make a press mold. 




I cut a piece of copper just larger than the press mold and annealed it. 


I then placed the copper on the press mold with rubber above and pressed the copper. 
I didn’t want the copper to snap at the rim so I took it up to two bar and then re-annealed it.

I pressed again taking the pressure up to three bars.  

I then pierced out the edge of the copper bowl and filed it.

I used 280 grit wet and dry paper to put a mat finish on the copper using a circular motion. 

Instead of polishing to a high finish which would oxidise quickly anyway I decided to use platinol to blacken the copper.

I am pretty happy with the finished piece although I am not happy with some of the platinol and may re-apply this tomorrow.

Mixed material bowls

I have been spending the last few weeks designing various bowls that I can test materials with.  I plan to make all of the outside sections through direct processes such as laser cutting, syntering and 3D printing.  All the internal bowls I plan to make using traditional techniques only using modern technology to make the tooling.
Laser cutting ideas:

laserbowl1laserbowl2

Laser syntering in steel:

steelsteel2steel3

CNC milling ideas:

walnutbowl1walnutbowl2walnutbowl3walnutbowl4walnutbowl5

Egg cup

​​I got my egg cup back from the milling machine this week.  This time I cut it into walnut as the last one I made I wasn’t particularly happy with the wood.  It was too soft and didn’t have a nice finish after sanding.

I started by cutting out the two sections using my jewellery saw.  ​I first sawed into the frame and then cut each of the supports off one at a time.  I left a little material from the edge of the piece so as to make sure I didn’t cut into the part I needed.

I then sanded both the inside edges flat and glued together using wood glue.

 

 

I didn’t want to mark the wood by putting it in my large rusty vice so I decided to bind it with some copper wire.  I found this was better for keeping the edges aligned to each other.  When using the vice, I found the two sections more difficult to keep aligned.

img_4344

After leaving the glue to dry solid,  I filed down the excess supports using a large steel file.  The smaller sections which was harder to file I used a small flat needle file.  The wood was much nicer to work in than the previous one I used.  The walnut felt much stronger and I could feel the difference in quality and way it worked instantly.

After filing off the supports I sanded the piece all over through different ascending sandpapers.

After sanding I put a layer of Danish oil on the wood and rubbed it back afte Continue reading Egg cup

Raising Hammer

Last week my handle for the raising hammer I made in Hungary was CNC milled in birch wood.  It had taken quite a lot of time because previously it had been milled in oak.  When I spoke to the wood technician he said that the grain of the wood was at an angle and that this would split when used.  It brought up a very interesting conversation about the need for craftsmen and traditional crafts skills in the field of modern technologies.  Not all items made using modern technologies will work or be better than something handcrafted but that it is the knowledge of both that are needed to apply ideas.

  
I glued the handle together in the workshop with wood glue and clamped together for around an hour.

 When the handle was taken off the milling machine it had supports on the sides, I cut these off with a saw.  I then filed and sanded the handle and fixed the hammer head in using epoxy resin.

  
I am now using Danish oil on the handle every day for the next week.  I still have to drill a hole through both the handle and the head to fix a rod through.

  

Crochet Update

Over the last few weeks I have been making a lot of the textiles for the house.   I spent a day a few weeks ago learning some new patterns and experimenting.

  

After trying about 4-5 new designs I decided I would start to make a curtain for the container windows.  I went with a very neutral cream colour as I want the main features to be both the view from the windows and the interior.

  

I have also started making some cushion covers for the living room.  I have decided to go with green and cream as a colour theme to reflect the surrounding forest area.  I have run with the pleated pattern idea as it is a fairly simple yet effective design.

After crocheting half of one of the covers my crochet needle snapped.  I have been using this since November so it wasn’t a bad life span for a piece of 3D printed plastic.  I am currently in the process of printing off another one which will take an hour to print.  This is much quicker and cheaper than getting the bus to town or ordering one online.

 After about 20mins use the hook I printed in low quality broke.  I was able to see viably the strands of plastic poking out of the break like frayed string.  I then re-printed the hook in high quality which took 2 hours 20mins to print.

House Plans

Over the last few months I have been working towards finding and securing a plot of land for my house.  I have been speaking with the Falkland Estate about the possibility of building the house on a site next to a barn on an old farm.  The plot is beautiful, it is on a slope surrounded by forest.  There is a waterfall nearby and a stunning mountain.


I have been playing around with designs of the shipping containers for about six months.  Last weekend my father came up to visit and he drew up the architectural plans for submission to planning permission. 13934865_1032574576859824_7981702341651075440_n13935134_1032574573526491_6797781841656022523_n14068247_1032574580193157_8645730282390902197_n

 

I am really happy with the design.  It is exactly as I had imagined it.  My father also came up with some good ideas for the arrangement of stairs and other things that I wouldn’t have the experience to design.front

 

The house consists of a porch area on the ground floor.  The kitchen is in the centre of the building.  To the right is a jewellery workshop separated from the house by a wall.  To the left of the kitchen is an open plan living area.GF

Upstairs consists of a bedroom and small shower room. Outside will also be a roof garden.

TF

I plan to clad the building in recycled pallet crates and I hope to reclaim or recycle most of the materials for the build. I am now waiting for approval from both the Falkland estate and then planning permission from Fife Council.location

 

 

Glass Hammer

So after casting for two days on top of 36 degree heat and a few palinkas  I decided it would be a good idea to try and make a glass hammer.  I thought the Irony was quite funny and after sitting around the campfire with more palinka the Hungarians also thought it was a good idea.

So the next day bright and early I got up and went to see Laci bácsi’s son Peter Borkovics who is an amazing glass designer.He helped me put together two molds to cast the glass hammers in.


Firstly, we made a clay mold around half of the hammer and smoothed it off.We then mixed a composite of plaster and sand with water.


This was then spooned onto the top of the hammer making sure not to spill it over the edges.This was left to dry for twenty minutes before we turned it over.


We soft soaped the surface and then added the same sand/plaster mixture to the other side.Because this side of the mold needed to be flat Peter pushed on a piece of glass before it had dried.

We made two of these molds and they were left to dry over night.
The following day Peter put the molds in the kiln for 24 hours.  Unfortunately the temperature was too low and he repeated the process the next day.

The following day he took the kilns up to 2000 degrees.  This was a little too high and the glass melted through the mold.

Although the process didn’t work, Peter has kept the good mold and is going to post me the hammer when he has made one that has worked.  I can’t wait to see the results.

Seahorse Hammer

So right now I am in Mátranovák, Hungary.  I have spent the last few days sand casting hammers in brass.  The first one I tried was the seahorse claw hammer.

I made the sand casting mold in the usual way.  First I compacted the sand into the bottom part of the mold.  After scraping the sand flat I roughly carved out a space for the 3D printed hammer.

I compacted the sand flat around the centre line of the print and then coated in talc.

  

I added the top part of the mold and compacted the sand with a mallet.  After reaching over the top line I scraped back the top so it was flat.

I then opened the mold and took out the 3D printed plastic hammer and the tube I used for the pour hole.

I placed the mold back together and clamped the edges.

I then took the mold to the local blacksmith Laci bácsi, who helped me cast the piece in Brass.

He first smashed up lots of pieces of coal into small pieces for the furnace.

He then lit the furnace with some small pieces of wood and then added the coal.

  
The mold was left close to the furnace to heat a little and was turned after ten minutes to heat the other side.

  
The metal was left to heat for around 20 minutes before it was liquid enough to pour.​

​After around five minutes after the pour the metal was solid enough to open the mold.

  

Laci bácsi and myself were both very happy with the result.

  

The hammer was quenched in water and I am now left with the task of finishing off the piece.

  
  
 

Algorithms

For the last week I have been trying to get my head around design algorithms.  I always thought the products from the effects are great and that the endless design opportunities are really exciting. 

For the last thirteen years of using rhino I have always worked in a design led way.  I nearly always begin with a sketchbook and pen.  I decided I wanted to make at least one piece for my shipping container house whereby I have an initial idea and let the computer work out the details of the design.   After spending a few weeks making a cushion cover for my jewellery making stool I decided to recreate the current stool design I have using CAD.  I am currently using a Pakistani rushty stool which I love for size weight and use.  I am planning on taking this basic shape and running algorithms on it to determine my final stool design for the shipping container house.  This is all quite easy to write however I have soon came to realise that this is going to take a little more time to get to grips with than I had originally thought.

 

I began the week looking at software called Dreamcatcher by Autodesk.  I have seen many articles on the internet of how this program has been developed to be able to let a designer run variations on their model to come up with the best design solution.

https://autodeskresearch.com/projects/dreamcatcher

 I really wanted to use this software to develop my idea however after talking to Autodesk the software is not yet available.

I then decided to check out Grasshopper which is a plug in for Rhino.  This is where my mind was blown and I became stuck in the computer for the last five days.  I thought I knew most things about Rhino until I downloaded Grasshopper!  I have discovered that I need to learn an entirely different language.  I would compare Grasshopper to designing through being a virtual electrician.  The commands are very similar to Rhino, however they are wired together in an order almost like coding.  The program allows you to change a design multiple times without rebuilding it every time as you would have to do n Rhino.

After day 3 of teaching myself from youtube video’s I hadn’t got very far in terms of designs, however I had seen a change in my way of thinking and the coding began making more sense. rhinoshot2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhg5WAV0lss

 

By the end of the week I have managed to get a little further, however I definitely need more practice and my design is still not what I am looking for!stool2