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21/ MAKING...a mess


This week I began to make a 1:3 scaled prototype to represent my design concept.


I started on the lathe lathe and worked with yellow foam to form the shape of the top of the buoy. Previously I had made a form that was too 'pointy' and was pushing the vacuum former to its limits when moulding plastic to the shape. (The results from this can be seen in blog post '19/ Prototyping'.


My goal this time round was to create the form visualised in the bottom left hand corner! A flatter shape, with less of a point that still retained height, therefore allowing it to sit higher in the water and be seen from further.


Once finished I attempted to form the shape using the vacuum former and 3mm clear acrylic to create another shape for modelling and visualising the design. Specifically so that the top element of the buoy could be transparent and allow interior components to be seen from the exterior of the buoy. (Presentation purposes only - I wouldn't be planning on having the final product transparent)


However the vacuum former had other ideas of course and threw a strop with the material resulting in wasted plastic and no formed shape!


Forward thinking, I hollowed out the shape incase this would happen so I would at least have a form I could use to insert components into the buoy. Final form below:


A step closer to a representative model of the buoy but what's next?


Modelling the internal components I keep talking about! This week I am going to experiment with CAD models for the low-fi generator that will sit within the buoy. 3D printing these is going to give the best results and allow the magnet to rotate smoothly through its path and thus generate enough electricity to power the light within the buoy!


Keep an eye out for some progress on my model in the next few days!

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