This tutorial is for exploring and learning how to construct a flat-pack laser cut and waterjet version of the caulk-gun injection molding hand-crank. This instructable is based on a prototype designed for the Resilient Modular Systems, PBC Modular Brick Unit. Resilient Modular Systems is a Public Benefits Corp, and leader in innovative sustainable modular components for the building industry in emerging markets.
Designed by - Wendy W Fok | Founder
Resilient Modular Systems, PBC
Step 1: Sketch Your Concept or Build a Sketch Model
Hand-sketching is a large part of my design process. Much of the process of making this CAD model was based on trying to find the best solution of constructing a hand-cranked version of the home-made DIY injection mold machine, less the heater and temperature control. Therefore, a lot of the exploration is to look into ways to best manipulate a simple machine that could be flat-packed and flat-cut was looked as an option for the design.
Step B: One could first model the design of the caulko-injecto in any 3D CAD software, where then the files can then be exported for and prepared into a Ai or DXF file. This particular form is designed in McNeel's Rhinoceros 3D (this could also be easily designed in Autodesk Fusion - an open source and free program) and then exported into a Ai file, to be imported into the Adobe Illustrator to make the laser cut model, and into OMAX Layout for Waterjetting the metal pieces. The font that is used was our RMS logo text proprietary to Resilient Modular Systems.
Step 2: Making Joint Studies
Before the general form of the injection build was made, many smaller iterative studies were made just in the study of joint systems. Most of the inspiration came through eastern joint techniques, and Japanese joinery studies. The best book that I have discovered is, "the Complete Japanese Joinery" by Hideo Sato. Available at Amazon.
Step 3: Laser Cutting Studies
Various flat-pack versions were made through iterative studies first with 3.3mm wood, and then with 3.3 mm acrylic panels. The process was both fun and explorative.
Step 4: Cutting Metal Dowels
To construct the variable injecting plate surface, make sure that the metal cutting clamps are latched onto place. This is to ensure your safety of cutting, but also to ensure that the round dowels are secured to cut.
Step 5: Constructing the Prototype
Before scaling up and using the waterjet to construct in the OMAX 2-Axis waterjet in metal. A few iterative studies were made. This shows the process of assembling the various 3.3mm wood versions.
Step 6: All the Pieces
After making five versions of the wood and acrylic versions, the final version was then decidedly made with a combination of two materials, both for aesthetic value but also for the ease of use between the various versions.
Step 7: Assembly
The assembly of the various injection plates were made both with wood and 3.3mm acrylic to play with the aesthetics of the piece. This is to test out the various materials before constructing the final version in metal.
Step 8: Construction
Once all the decisions were made, and the pieces fitted together. Another version was made for the finalization of the constructable version. This version was a combination of the two wood and acrylic materials. The wood in the scaled up version represents the metal.
Step 9: Finishing
the finished prototype was both useful and also a great study on seeing whether the fitting of the angles made sense for the final version. Before proceeding to the final metal cut, it was important to discover the iterative process of designing and prototyping the general creative direction of the piece. This ensured that the various fittings would work if the design was scaled up.
Step 10: Photoshoot
Understanding the various opportunities of the iterative process allowed the exploration of the materials, but also a better understanding of fit. Due to the utilitarian nature of the piece, this install of the construction was both bold and utilitarian. Therefore, the next steps will continue to showcase the metal OMAX waterjet version, scaled up to a real size-prototype.