Introduction: Making the O Bench/table
The O Bench/table is a limited edition furniture, it can be used either as a bench or a table. It is available in white or black laquer, and silver, champange or copper metallic colors. In this instructable I show a little bit of my design process, as well as the fabrication stages involved with this piece, the whole process required a lot of experimentation and constant trial and error, all its development was done using basic tooling and it was entirely hand-made.
Step 1: The Concept
It all started with the concept. For this design, I wanted to create a seamless and continuous looking structure. I started playing with pieces of paper, rolling and unrolling until I came up with a partial form that I liked. I decided to invert this shape on the opposite side and came up with an asymmetrical but balanced form.
Step 2: 3d Model
The concept was then 3d modeled and further defined in 3d Max.
Step 3: Fabrication, From Concept to Reality
Now is about turning this concept into a reality. The first challenge for developing the initial prototype, was to develop a structure that could ultimately be covered with fiberglass and shaped into the desired form. For the initial structure of the prototype, I decided to develop a metallic structure, the main reasons being the low cost, ease to manipulate the material and its structural qualities.
Step 4: Metal Structure and Fiberglassing
First a rough layout of the shape was drawn on the metal sheet with chalk, it then was cut with pliers. To achieve the desired proportions the top and bottom of the metal "skin" where cut separately.
A thin metal profile was added to the edges and to the middle of the skin, to give support. At this stage the structure is self supportive, but not strong enough to support the weight of a person. This will be achieved with the fiberglass and resin on the next stage.
The metallic structure was then covered with 4 layers of fiberglass on top, and 14 layers on on the bottom, in total around 16 pounds of fiberglass where used together with 6 gallons of resin. On the first prototype, pieces of plywood, where also strategically placed trough the piece to achieve a varying thickness and reduce the use of the fiberglass material. The pieces has a thickness of 1.5 cm on its widest and 0.5 cm on its thinnest. to better understand the shape, it looks like an airplane wing if cut transversely.
Step 6: Sculpting the Details
With the fiberglass and resin cover concluded it was time for the final detailing of the design. This was also done manually with car putty, special attention was placed on the edges where slight curves initiate and get softly lost on the rest of the design. It was a very dedicated but highly enjoyable process.
Step 7: Painting and Finishing.
with the sculpting and carving stage phase done, the table/bench was now ready for the finishing part. A first layer of premiere was applied, plastic supports where included in the bottom to avoid the painting from scratching.
Fiberglass molds where later taken from the outer side of the piece, the inner side was remodeled further polishing the gentle curves and reducing some sharp edges left by metallic structure in the initial prototype. The pieces are now reproduce using these molds, fiberglass is the main material used.
The design won the ICFF Studio competition in 2012, and has since received a lot of press. it is available as a limited edition on silver, copper, champagne metallic finishes or in white or black lacquer.