Wednesday, April 15, 2015

My Digitally Fabricated World

Issue 14- Not Just for Models...
By: Don Olsen

Welcome back everyone. This week I decided to share some other projects I have been fabricating over the course of the semester. Having worked with the laser cutters over the last three years I feel like I have sufficiently had fun building and designing things beyond just models for classes. This semester as part of two separate classes I have had the opportunity to build a few furniture pieces. The first of the two is a chair for my furniture design class. I wanted to keep the concept of the chair in line with the work I have been doing with my thesis and demonstrate the not only capabilities of my thesis concept, but explores it's reaches beyond a construction assembly. As you can see in figure 1 the chair, similar in assembly type, clearly demonstrates the theme of my thesis. Friction fit connection tabs that create  a series of planar surfaces. In many ways this was similar to small columns in a building, however the connections between the structural members varied in a number of ways. To help add stability to each of the members I added small cross members internally. These additional pieces help add rigidity and strength to each of the pieces separately. When it came to the seat back and bottom I wasn't exactly sure how to approach each surface. I had wanted to keep with the theme, but didn't think a hollow box supporting weight was a very good idea. I eventually settled on laminating three pieces of plywood together to make up both the seat and back rest. I added the notching at the edges more to keep a similar look with the rest of the chair and I think that it served its intended purpose well. Overall the chair was a good experience. The second piece is a Chinese room divider. I decided to build this for our graduate history course. I developed an idea based on a number of examples online. As you can see in figure 2, overall it came out pretty nice. This was built at 1/2 scale and is intended to stand at 5'-6" tall. Each panel is laser cut then hinged together.  The design is based on simple geometry similar to the original Chinese designs. Both of these pieces are examples of other ways to utilize what digital fabrication offers us.  Till next time keep fabricating. 

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