For this weeks project we have to copy an everyday object in silicone and add a little twist to it (including a GoGoBoard with some sort of response system). Though it seems a little ambitions my hope is to create a wristband from silicone that looks like a yarn friendship bracelet and can hold a piece of ChapStick. Its that time of year again when winter takes over and lush lips rapidly becomes an afterthought. My goal is to make something this week that is both functional and engaging. I want to carry my projects forward into uses and I hope this week ccan set me down the right path...
The first goal is to vacuum form a bracelet. I've hacked the design a little bit and included a battery at the end so that the shape can fit a ChapStick tube. My goal is to then have the stick be the center and both ends of silicone can stretch around it.
Playing with mold as another option, I'm starting to think that the current shape wont hold while being vacuumed. It is a pretty flimsy object, and though the tape is holding it down, I think the power of the vacuum might compress it and ruin the design. As seen below, I tried to shape mold in a similar fashion, and epicccccly failed so I guess this design will have to do.
Simultaneously, I'm coding the back-end of the GoGoBoard so that it can have the right responses. As of now, the plan is to have a light sensor inside one of the flaps of the band that can recognize if it has a stick in it (blocking the light) or if it is open. If the stick is in, my goal is then to light the bracelet with a series of LED's that will be placed throughout the band.
The vacuum form turned out okay, but it wasn't exactly what I wanted. As expected the shape was too flimsy and bent during the forming. Because of this the form will be a little twisted, but it should still work and get the job done. Again, this is my first forming experience and so I guess this is one of those times where you just continue pushing forward and let failures turn into lessons.
After mixing in the silicone and waiting 24 hours, I came out with the below design. Its extremely hackey, but I think it might just work. The next step in the process is to carve out the hole for the ChapStick so we'll see what happens...
Yup. Called it. While carving out the center and putting in the ChapStick tube, the silicone ripped and the design is pretty much ended. It was a great learning experience, but it seems like I'll have to throw in the white towl for this one and go to the next design. With one day left, I'm trying to think on my feet and I think it might be a good idea to just throw together a smart coster. The shape of a coster is pretty simple and I could easily throw in some LED's to make it look cool.
After vacuum forming the shape and center (so that there is a hole for cups) I started my search around the lab for the last scraps of silicone mold. So far there are only two types left and a little bit of coloring so I think I'm going to go with a two-toned design. This will work, because it seems as though one of the silicones will mold a little stronger than the other, so I can have that be the base and have a more flimsy top that can stretch around the can.
Checking out the pictures you can see the design that finally came out. I really like it and the functionality is simple: put a can on top, the light sensor decreases, LED's light up throughout the base. For me there are only two major downsides: 1) you can't really see the LED's because the silicone I used is very dark and 2) the base is not deep enough and should be pushed down further. Yes, I know this is a terrible idea, but I think I'm going to try to hack out more of the center so that the can will go deeper. O gosh. Here we go...
Annnnnd, it seems like once again I've ruined my design because of hacking. as seen below, my attempts to use the cutters in the lab have been a complete failure. Now there are scaps of silicone everywhere and the torn bits have made the design look terrible. I cut two of the wires for LED's in the process, so there is now one lone light on the bottom portion of the coster.
This was definitely another one of those learning experiences. As last week, this was my first time using these tools so I hope to continue to improve over the weeks to come. My design works and is functional, but over the next months my hope is to increase my ability to make things that are aesthetically pleasing. We'll see how far I come, but anything will be better than this..
Self Grade: A for effort?