Hand tools and fabrication machines
At the 2018 UW-Makeathon, Formech Inc, a designer and manufacturer of thermoforming machinery, sought a mold that could be used in thermoforming demonstrations. The requirements were that the mold:
- Did not waste a lot of plastic
- Is aesthetically captivating in the thermoforming process
- Serves an alternative function
My idea with the design for this mold was to create a piece of abstract geometric wall art that could also be used in a variety of ways (ice cube tray, chocolate/food mold, light differ panel, acoustic panel, etc). I initially modeled the mold in Virtual Reality using Gravity Sketch on an Oculus Rift. This allowed me to easily plan out how I wanted the final product to look.
Due to the time constraints of the UW Makeathon, I couldn't 3D print out all the pieces of the mold so I decided to use my background in ceramic sculpture and access to a ceramic studio to sculpt the mold in clay which was then placed on a laser-cut MDF baseboard and thermoformed on the Formech 508DT Vacuum Forming Machine.