Introduction: Bending Furniture Collection
Team: Yawen Hui, Yuqing Nie, Yinuo Wang, Timothy Wai
Instructors: Kyle Steinfeld, Simon Schleicher, Jonathan Bachrach, Luis Jaggy
Step 1: Overview
The main goal of the project is to examine various bending and fabrication techniques of flatbed materials leading up to a full scale product encountering the human scale. The implementation of our design process accumulated to the generation of a furniture collection unified by the same fabrication and design logic.
Step 2: Investigation
The primary study of our investigation centers around the concept of Reciprocal Structures. Reciprocal structure is defined as a self supporting structure with individual pieces forming closed circuits. Such circuits could be repeated, and are also well defined by their unitary logic that doesn’t segregate the material of the form and the material of the structure.
Step 3: Case Studies
Our initial case studies of Plydomes have led us to explore how bending properties of flatbed materials and the variation of fabrication parameters could both be used to generate different forms. These varying three dimensional forms are held by together by the scalable method of screws and bolts, applicable to a variety of material thicknesses.
Step 4: Methods
Step 5: Materialization
1/8th HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) sheets were used for the larger pieces of furniture (table, stools), while 1/32nd polyethylene sheets were used for the smaller pieces of furniture (fruit bowls, lamp shades, vases). The material properties were examined and simulated mostly through physical models and tests, while preliminary digital studies utilizing bending tools were also integrated to anticipate and design future work.
The Zund blade cutter was the primary fabrication tool in the formation of the polyethylene pieces, while the acrylic table tops were outsourced to third party fabrication tools from Tap Plastics.
Step 6: Realization
A large portion of the experimentation was conditioned through repeated physical studies, examined through varying the different parameters of the individual unit. These parameters include dimensions, material thickness, and the form of the defining slit. Smaller physical studies became the template for producing final, full scale models.
Step 7: Future Work
In the future, more emphasis would be placed on fine tuning the connection details of the furniture pieces to better anticipate and integrate the project with existing design conditions. Further exploration could be placed in digital simulations for determining subsequent cuts in producing “flat” conditions. In addition, the anticipation of secondary tension elements would better inform the location of required holes fabricated on the material.