Week three has seen major developments for my major project. The Project has now been split into two defined areas- the colander and the holey water vessel. These two areas have now become separate from each other and have different paths to follow.
I continue to generate ideas for the colander, aiming to reduce the actual amount of water that is needed for the processes involved with the colander, as well as catching its own water for re-use. This week I ventured to a sheet metal manufacturer to have a mock up completed of some initial ideas. Before visiting the sheet metal manufacturers I completed several CAD models in solidworks roughing out the shape and overall dimensions of the external surface of the colander. I decided to get the outside shape made for several reasons- I wanted to get an overall feel for the object, its size and weight when completed in metal. I also wanted to experiment with the inside workings of the colander, and complete many solutions. Had I had the complete colander made, I would not be able to change and ‘tweak’ the workings.
I was fairly impressed with the response I received and after visiting a Somerville sheet metal factory on Thursday and I was able to pick up the model the very next day (and at a very reasonable price). The mock up was completed from 1.7mm galvanised sheet, a material commonly used to complete watering cans and like.
The model I now have is a nice representation of the work I have completed over the last 3 weeks. The overall size feels slightly too large, however I am sure it will change and evolve over the next few weeks. Because of the limitations of sheet metal work, the manufacturer was only able to produce the colander with straight sides, where previously my CAD models showed bulging and rounded sides. I like the straight sides better in hindsight, they are clean and simple. The model brings up the issue of holding the colander, and I may need to look into handles or such as the idea progresses- potentially the colander could be fairly heavy when full of water and items for washing.
During week 3 I also explored alternative ideas for the colander. I produced a quick model of a two sided colander- one with holes and the other without. Where in my initial ideas the 50/50 hole approach existed within one body, here the holes and non are separated into 2 separate bowls/areas. The two sides of the colander are joined in the middle via a hinge which allows them to flip over and form one enclosed vessel. I created this idea from a plastic doughnut container. I demonstrated on film how the process worked. First, the objects were placed in the side with no holes. A small amount of water is added and used to wash the contents (by hand). Once sufficiently washed, the contents are flipped over into the opposite container with holes and the water drains away. Here it was easy to drain the water away- by flipping the sides to form one enclosed form, I could shake the entire colander to effectively remove excess water. The colander could then be placed on the kitchen bench with the non-holey side down, with not excess water spilling onto the bench as it does with a regular colander. Whilst this test worked, I felt that the outcome was not as simple as others I had previously proposed. The outcome I am aiming for is simple, elegant and functional, and does so with no moving parts, electronics etc. This example relies on a hinge, which is something I generally want to avoid.
From here I need to add the inside workings to the colander and conduct tests. Next week I hope to have achieved my first completely working prototype, and a strong direction in design including form and function.
The Holey water project has also advanced this week. This project is based around a vessel that captures water when waiting for the hot water to come through. One finger sits within the vessel to feel the water temperature. I see this project heading in many branches based almost entirely on materials choices.
In red I have highlighted the process of designing the standard Holey design. As I am applying this design to many materials and process, I will develop standards that must be present throughout all outcomes. These standards will be based around proposing a new grip for the human hand when holding a vessel one handed, with potential weight, and whilst testing temperature. Although the form may change due to demands from certain materials and process, the grip and function will stay constant. I plan to take measurements based on hands and come up with a set of average measurements covering all ages/shapes/sizes.
In blue I have highlighted the 3 major materials and process groups I am going to approach with my design. I have begun establishing contacts within each area and will endeavour to consult these contacts in terms of individual design requirements based on materials specifications. Plastics see the object become potentially mass manufactured, produced at little cost in large quantities. Mass manufactured items can often sell at the low end of the market. Ceramics sees the object being produced in medium batch size by hand, meaning that the outcomes will all differ slightly. The outcomes will be more desirable as a kitchen gadget, and bought from kitchen ware shops. These items will be desirable both on a practical level and for reasons of appearance. Blown Glass objects are produced by hand and are created as one offs. Whilst they may be based around the same idea, they will all be unique. Because of the precious nature of glass, these objects would sell at the higher end of the market, being desirable as art works rather than practical items.
Plastics- I have established a contacts with the company ‘CL’ who deal with plastic injection moulding. Charles Land is the Managing director at CL and has considerable knowledge and contacts within the area. I am soon to have a tour of the factory.
Glass- I am fortunate enough to have a close relationship with glass artist Leisa Wharington who has had over 25 years experience in glass blowing. I have begun discussion with Leisa about creating the holey forms, and she has many suggestions and ideas on processes and outcomes.
In green and branching from plastics is the idea of a holey water attachment. Here I want to explore developing a version of the holey water that fits universally to most household cups. These could be potentially produced from plastic and once again mass manufacturable.
For next week I hope to define the grip standards via taking measurements and investigating ergonomics and Anthropometrics