I finished this side project a few months ago and I'm just now uploading the photos. We needed some shelving in our new apartment and I didn't want to buy anything, and anything that we found was crap. So a quick trip to Home Depot and 1 week later I made these shelves from baltic birch plywood, pine boards, and 1/4" steel rod. Using a metal bending jig I bent steel rod which holds the shelves in place. The hardest part of the whole project was drilling the holes and trying to line everything up.
A few weeks ago I stumbled upon this old Danish chair at an antique shop. I was looking for scandinavian furniture and I found a cool old chair that was in decent condition for $15. I took it home and started doing some research on it to see where it was designed and made. As it turns out the chair was designed and manufactured in Denmark. The stamp on the bottom of the chair read J.L. Møller and I found it is called the Model 78 chair. These chairs retail for roughly $700-1200 new! So after learning I found a valuable chair I gently stripped the wood and cut off the old upholstery with the idea of re-rushing the chair with some danish paper cord. There's a lot of forums out there on how to reweave this particular chair with an authentic Danish pattern and you can buy a spool of paper cord for ten bucks on amazon. I made some "L" nails from some heavy duty electrical staples I bought from home depot and cut them in half (I learned later that you can buy them from upholstery shops...). Since the chair did not come with the nails it was kind of tricky hammering them in place without damaging the chair, so I had to drill guide holes for each nail which ended up saving me a lot of time. After some research I learned that there's a specific number of nails needed on each side of the seat and I can't remember what I did now, but I was able to figure it out based on pictures of other blogs. So after I had all my materials ready I sealed the wood with some natural furniture wax, and the redness of the teak wood really popped after the first coat. All in all I applied about 3-4 coats of wax and it looks pretty nice. After finishing the coating, I started on the weaving of the chair and it took me about 3 hours to get it done. Now I have a really nice looking Danish chair that is worth a lot more than the $25 I spent to restore it.
Click here to visit the website that showed me how to finish the weaving pattern.
The last couple weeks of my internship in Germany were spent working on a 1:20 scale model of an industrial room-sized cnc machine for a company named Elha. I did not design the product, but was in charge of building the showcase model and getting it shipped out for a design show. It was a painstaking project but it was very rewarding after completion. This was an unusual model in some respects because each block was constructed out of wood rather than foam core. It was spray painted in a make shift booth out in the parking lot. I had to wait in between gusts of wind to complete each coat. One of the owners of the firm pulled me aside and looked me in the eye and told me not to get any paint dust on his new Morgan, so I have never been more careful with a spray paint can! For the linework I used .5mm tape, and then vinyl stickers for the windows. The base is black mdf, so the entire model weighed close to 40 pounds. In hindsight I would probably not do a model from wood again, I could have cut the time in half. But there is something nice about the weight and density of the model, although a little impractical for the purposes of a model but it was a fun exercise. To see images of the actual designs click here.
Since I moved to Paris about about 4 months ago, I haven't had access to a Wacom Cintiq or tablet of some kind to use. I have been wanting to keep up on my hand skills and get some renderings done that I've been putting off. I have been wanting a tablet that I can take with me on my daily commutes for sketching. When I was living in Germany, I tried out the new iPad pro and pencil. I almost bought an iPad Air a year ago when Adobe came out with their Ink & Slide kit, it looked to be almost worth the price. But after trying out a friends setup for a little bit I was left wanting and cramped. So I was really amped to see what iPad pro could do and how it compared to a Wacom. It has an amazing feel to it, and I think Wacom is in trouble. They have been the industry leader for so long and finally Apple is a contender. Fast forward a few months and I finally caved and had my sister bring one over on her trip to visit me. I downloaded every sketching app that was recommended, So I have 7 sketching apps and I have been trying them all. My favorite so far is ProCreate, it costs a mere $6. I'm not gonna go through all the pro's and con's of the device, there's a lot of content out there already on the subject but I will say it goes head to head with a Cintiq and holds its own. Its super light, and its portable! The sensitivity of the pencil is exactly what I was hoping for. I was a little bit intimidated by the thing for about a week because of the learning curve of all the apps. But after working with it for a week, it fits perfectly into my workflow and I don't even need it to run adobe creative suite. There is an app called Duet Display that allows me use the iPad as a second display with a regular lightning cable. So I even have a dual display now and it works flawlessly. I have been able to get caught up on renderings as well as sketch for two hours everyday on my commutes on the train. It may be pricey but its still $1000 less than a cintiq and it doesn't require a mess of cables that need to be drug around. Another app worth mentioning is Astropad. It allows you to connect the iPad to your mac and you can use it as a second display to sketch in photoshop and illustrator. I bought it and used it for a week but decided its not necessary for my needs and got a refund ($20).
Recently I have been looking for an easier way to create paper craft models. I think everybody has seen papercraft deerhead models on the internet, and I wanted to try to make one for myself. I found etsy stores and people who sell the cutouts and assembly instructions but I want to know how they were putting their paper cutouts together, and if they had any software for the job. So after digging around I discovered a software called Pepakura. Sure enough after downloading the free version of their pack and trying it out, its really easy to use works quite well. It is already changing the way that I think about modelling/prototyping. So, how does it work? Basically you just need to build a low poly model in any 3D modelling software, or just cop a free 3D model of something from websites like pinshape.com or turbosquid.com. So once you have your low poly model, export it to one of the few acceptable formats, upload it in Pepakura and it will create the files for you to print out and fold. Pepakura will "unfold" your model for you and you can then lay out the size of the paper and modify the folds by clicking and dragging the model and then you just have to print it out!
Sidenote: Low poly means a polygon mesh in 3D computer graphics that has a relatively small number of polygons. Low poly meshes occur in real time applications (e.g. games) and contrast high poly meshes in animated movies and special effects of the same era.
Click here to visit pepakura's site.