This blog will allow you to follow my creative journey

  • Kim Burke


Updated: May 12

Over the course of the past three weeks Coronavirus hit the UK and it has became a bit of a crazy time! Last week we were told that DJCAD would be closing in one weeks time! With no further information, no idea if we would still be expected to produce work or if we would have any facilities to work with, I leaped into modelling and tried to produce as much as I could. Sadly we only got until Wednesday and we were notified that DJCAD would be closing the next day and were instructed to collect all of our belongings from the studios. To be honest, its really depressing. Sad that our four years at art school had to end this way and rubbish that it was hitting us right at the time that were were showcasing our work in Degree show, graduating and attending new designers in London. Oh... and tying to find a job!

Model Making components:

Jumping head first into the week, I began by making inner components fo the buoy. After prototyping other mechanisms previously, which can be seen in blog .... and 20, I particularly wanted to prototype a 360 degree track for the magnet to follow inside the buoy.

Making the shell of the buoy:

After previously completing the top shape of the buoy on the lathe, I moved onto producing a model of the base of the buoy. See previous blog post to discover how I lathed this shape!

After previously completing the top shape of the buoy on the lathe, I moved onto producing a model of the base of the buoy. The fastest and most efficient way toileting do so, was to 3D print it! With little changing regarding the base of the buoy, I made a simple model of a semi circle with a hole for rope attachment.

For this model I chose to use TPC Flex, a white rubber flexible material to see if it would achieve similar material properties to that of a Polyethelene buoy.

Overall the results of this pint were good, bar some print errors.

Analysing the model, I would want to reprint the base of the buoy and alter the thickness of the walls to approx 5mm for stability, rather than the current 2mm. I would also like to point the rope attachment in black marine grade PVC, on the same print. This would follow current buoy specifications, adding strength to the maximum hold weight of the buoy, necessary for long strings of creels that fishermen like Mario use.

A bit more detail on buoy specifications can be seen here... and here!

Modelling the light!

Yesterday I created a mould on the lathe and vacuum formed 3mm Acrylic to create a transparent dome to emit the light from the top of the buoy. (Dome on far right). After forming, I hand sanded and then sandblasted the clear dome to create a frosted effect for the light to emit from.

The shape featured in the centre image reflects my consideration of a fixture for the LEDS to attach to, to emit 360 degrees and upwards. Upwards being important for vessels sitting higher in the water that are looking down on buoys and 360 degrees remaining important for other water users that are closer to sea level.

What still needs to be achieved?

- Establishing an attachment for the dome to the shell of the buoy.

A graphic collaboration of all components can be seen below:


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