Welcome to my design blog for my class, Materials, which focuses on the practical skills of working with a variety of materials.
Project 3: Concrete Vessel
Objective: 
Using a form, fabricate a freestanding concrete vessel that can hold water. thoroughly document your design, fabrication  and final piece.
Planning: 
Construction: 
Final Forms: 
Project 2: Plastic Gondola 
Objective: 
Using the knowledge, tools and techniques we have gained in this module, use the plastics listed below to create a gondola car that can carry 3 eggs along a 20 foot, diagonal wire track at high speed. 
Main benchmarks:
The eggs travel the full length of the wire.
The eggs must either all survive, or all be destroyed. No half measures.
Use at least 3 different sources for the plastic in your gondola.
Only the plastics specified may be used- this includes the material you join your gondola together with (i.e. no tapes, glues, etc)
Thorough documentation of the design, construction and final product posted to Canvas by the due date. Include the types of plastics used in your documentation.
Planning:
I want to make my gondola out of a large tube that is then filled with plastic poly bags that I will melt to create an inner shell.  I will use a plastic grocery bag as a speed parachute.  To protect my eggs, I will have a hatch in my large tube that can be packed with the eggs and unmelted bags for padding.  At the front of my gondola I will find some type of bottle and cut it so that it can compress to absorb impact. 
Construction:
I have tried many times to reorder these pictures, but each time I do the grid gets destroyed and my website glitches.  In these images, I have my materials, plastic colorox container (PETE), polybags from where I work at lululemon (LDPE), and a lime juice bottle (HDPE).  For my main body, I stuffed it with LDPE and melted it with a heat gun to create a shell within the main container.  To create my front impact absorber, I cut up a lime juice bottle and then welded it to the Clorox container with a heat gun and polybags as my glue.  I almost melted my lime juice container with heat that was too high while welding the two together.  I then punctured holes at the back of my container where fed through a plastic bag that will act as my parachute.  I used a polybag cut into string as a way to tie down the main hatch where I will place eggs and stuff grocery bags for padding.  
Update: All the eggs survived, and the front of the capsule acted successfully as an impact absorber. 
Project 1: Wooden Geometry 
Objective:
Using the knowledge, tools and techniques we have gained in this module, turn a raw hardwood segment into a convex polyhedron (Links to an external site.). The object should be no larger than 12"x12"x12", but should have at least 2 sides that are ~6" or larger. 
Planning:
To start the project, I begin to explore different shapes and how the edges of those shapes might be joined together.  Immediately I was drawn to shapes that were hollow and utilized miter cut joinery.  I found the hexagon and octagon shapes to be most attractive and wanted to do some type of honeycomb structure.  Realizing I would not have enough wood for this, I settled for choosing a hexagon or octagon.  To make this decision, I mapped out how I would cut my piece of wood for each.  My pieces of wood were 12", and I decided six 2" wide pieces would be easier to work with than 8 1.5' pieces.  Also, with an octagon I would have to cut precisely to a half degree for the miter joint.  With the hexagon, the miter cut would be at 30 degrees which would be easier for my level of accuracy. 

Prototype and Practice:
So that I would not waste one of my pieces of nice hardwood, I used a piece of pine board to practice my miter cuts and joinery.  This was a good thing because I initially made a wrong cut on the first piece.  I used a chop saw to cut my two inch wide pieces of wood from the 12" plank.  I then cut at a 30 degree angle on the chop saw on each piece.  When cutting the second 30 degree angle on the first piece, I cut it in the opposite direction I was supposed to.  For this reason, my prototype pieces are smaller than the final product because I had to cut down each piece even more to account for my mistake.  Overall the pieces fit together decently, but I knew I'd have to be slightly more precise for the final product. 




Final Piece:
For the final product, I used a 12" piece of poplar wood. Like I did above, I measured and cut the board into six 2" pieces. From there, I cut a 30 degree angle on the end of each piece and made sure the opposite cut on the same piece was -30 degrees. I then glued the pieces together and placed some screws (as seen in the top of the middle picture below) to add some support for my piece. I tried to sand down the tops of the screws in areas where I thought their protrusion was overexposed. My cuts were slightly off, and it can be seen at the top connection point in the second and third images below. I believe that if I did this project every day for a month, the result would be more accurate over time. There are some intricacies to cutting wood, and simply put, sometimes the wood does not want to work for you. Instead you will work for it. To finish off my piece, I sanded it down with 80 to 120 to 220 grit sand paper until I thought my fingerprints were also sanded off. The grain was smooth and the linseed oil I applied to the wood gave it a nice finish that made the grain look nice with the shape. In reality, I love everything in the color black so I felt the need to spray paint it a matte black. I actually think I like the look of the finished grain better than the painted version.  
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