Week Something

Week ??? Banana? 


I’m afraid I have now lost track of the week numbers.  The only thing I am currently aware of is, that in exactly one week, I have to set up my level four exhibition.  I would love to eulogize about how calm I am as I have finished all my work, but this is not the case.  I am not finished.  I may need Red Bull.


Let’s backtrack a little.


These last few weeks (months, it feels a long time), have been spent alternating between the bottle for LIFE project (field), and the Foresight Headtorches project (subject).  In equal parts, I have been in the model shop all day trying to make the inner and outer cases for the headtorch, vacuum forming plastic bottles and laser cutting various components.


To the bottle.  After finally managing to get my bottle moulds cut on the CNC machine, after some dangerous trimming work – I still have all fingers in tack thankfully – I took it down to the vacuum form machine and sucked the life out that plastic.  More dangerous trimming later and my bottle halves were ready.


A lick (read, a lot) of glue, patience and elastic bands and the bottles were formed.  I have two tiny leaks to fix, but they hold water as well.  Now onto the laser etching.  Part of my original design was to etch the owners vital details onto the outside of the bottle in case it is lost.  To make this truly universal, I decided to use binary as the language.  Here’s the results:



With that done, the box complete and the inner packaging foam cut out – not sure if I mentioned this, but I laser cut some packaging foam to house the components inside the box…

I don’t know how to rotate this image 😦

… – I was in a good place.  The lids had come off the 3D printer, had been filled and are currently drying after their spray coat.  As per the CAD render, the standard lid is grey, (classy, universal), the baby lid is yellow, (bright, fun, easy for baby to see), and the sports drink lid blue, (classic sporty colour, like Lucozade Sport :)).  




I’ve made good progress into the poster designs for this project, focusing one on the abstract but eye catching image style and then the other on more formative and contextual side of things.  I’m also planning to modify my original presentation slides and print them into a book that will sit on the display, alongside the product.  I’m hoping that the name, bottle for LIFE, is descriptive enough by name to give the visitor an idea of what the project is about, and then the posters and book will complete the package.  I need to finish this stuff off and get to it to print ASAP.


Onto Foresight headtorches and the subject project.  The inner shells have been 3D printed, (a bit rough due to printer issues, grrr), and the outer CNC mould has been…urr….CNC’d.  

To the vacuum former!  Annoyingly, the mould for the bottom of the outer, clear casing broke when releasing it from the plastic, so that scuppered my plans to have several spares for practice work.  The top half of the body came out fairly well, creasing round the light pods cleanly, but the plastic did fold on the corners.  Trying the plastic cooler, hotter, dustier (not by choice), had no impact on the results; always a crease on the sides.  This is going to be hard to remove cleanly.




A bit of bandsaw work, some filing and sanding and the outer shell looks ok.  The inner case took some cleaning up, but I managed to salvage it without too much effort.  


Hold on to your sodlering iron, it’s electronics time!  I am super chuffed to see that each of the mulitple componets – TEG chip, solar cell, battery, microchip, bulbs, button, switch and wires – all fit inside the unit.  It’s tight, but I wanted to keep it as small and light as possible.  Much swearing, burnt fingers and a lot of hot glue (I think this may have doubled the weight of the unit), later and it’s all together.  It works as well.  Bonus.  There is a satisfying click from the button.  Yum.  The unit charges from the solar cell AND from the TEG chip.  Who would have thought, the science works!  A bit of filler and spray paint to tidy it up and then into the plastic shell.  It also fits.  Bonzer.


The finished article

I need to laser cut the soft head pad so it doesn’t irritate the skin and then stitch the headband together – with the help of Sarah Smith – and the unit is pretty much done.   


The digital work, still needs a lot of…work.  I have a striking poster design that really emphasises my colour theme – I’m going for white and black to represent the difference between light and darkness – so I’m hoping I can tidy that up soon.  I also need some context posters to ground the idea.  All of these are started, but have a lot of work to make them complete.


What is a mile off is the video.  It is so far off, it’s not started.  This needs to happen soon.  Very soon.  I need to finish the physical models today, and then the digital files tomorrow so they can be printed.  Then it’s video and presentation…and show set up.  On Friday.  This Friday.  As in, 2.5 days time.  Huh???? How did this come about so quick???  I need to stop blogging and crack on!



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