All posts by Talia Yat

This is how we did it – Creating our Christmas card

You might have seen our Christmas card from last year (2016). If not, have a quick geez of it here:

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Our 2016 Christmas e-card

Inspired by paper craft and our 2015 card, this time round we wanted to create something along the same lines but ten times better!

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Our 2015 Christmas e-card

 

Here’s how we did it

The first step we did was to illustrate the different layers of the card. Once there was an overall scene we were ready to start experimenting. We began by converting these layers to shapes that could be cut on the laser cutter, adding some extra tabs to be able to join the two ends together. This was then prototyped on some scrap cardboard.

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Our initial illustration

From this we were able to see which shapes were too delicate and needed to be made thicker for structural support. This was a good first prototype but having said that, we suggest cutting this on the material that you intend to use or something of a similar thickness. This will help to work out the distance between each ring, as the cardboard we used was way too thick between layers.

Our first prototype using scrap cardboard

Our first prototype using scrap cardboard

The length of each layer was probably the trickiest part to work out, and was based a lot on trial and error. This was because our original calculations were much too close together; when assembling the layers we found that the delicate tree branches got caught on other layers and made it hard to insert into each other. For the housing we used a bell jar and measured the base. We needed to also account for the inner ridge, where the glass cover would sit. From there it was a matter of working out the circumference of each layer, and the distance in which we wanted to bring each of the next layers in. Using our second prototype that was lasercut on the correct cardboard (thickness), we used temporary fixings (paperclips and tape) to adjust the sizes of each ring to how we wanted it to sit. We then measured the new circumference accordingly.

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Once we had the new lengths of each part, we adjusted our design in Illustrator with the new dimensions. This was then lasercut and carefully popped out of the cardboard. Depending how delicate your design is, we found that using a pin and running it along the cuts of the smaller parts worked well without tearing or bending the cardboard. Once all the parts were ready, we glued them together, and then assembled them in place on the base. For some finishing touches we added some lights and created a little Season’s Greetings message to be cut and etched on clear acrylic. The text of the acrylic sign was spray painted white to add more contrast (this can be easily done by keeping the backing paper on the acrylic after etching).

This card would make a great birthday, anniversary or wedding gift, with the layers being any design you wish. You could use other materials such as patterned paper, polypropylene etc. You could also house this in a jar or no housing at all! If you can’t make it to The Edge to use the laser cutter, you could also recreate something similar hand cutting it using a craft knife. And if you’re feeling particularly courageous you could also take it one step further and pimp out the card by creating a rotating base for the scene or even an inbuilt light to illuminate it and turn it into a glowing lamp. Let us know what you think and share your creations with us!

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APDL pop-up library at The Edge

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Design inspiration comes in all forms, so we’ve curated a selection of Asia Pacific Design Library (APDL) design books for your reading pleasure when you visit the Digital Media Lab at The Edge.

Browse from APDL’s pop-up library during December and January. There will also be information on how you borrow books at State Library of Queensland and become a fully-fledged card carrying member!

One of the many books on display is Prototyping and Modelmaking for Product Design (Portfolio Skills) by Bjarki Hallgrimsson. Building prototypes and models is an essential component of any design activity. This book provides a comprehensive modern prototyping approach which is part of making informed design decisions, and forms a strategic part of a successful designer’s toolkit.

Another book, for the fashion designers among us, is Fashion Print Design: From the Idea to the Final Fabric by Ángel Fernández and Daniela Santos Quartino. It is a beautiful guide to modern print design that will appeal to the serious designer. The collections provide a straightforward account of the development of the most influential print styles in high fashion around the world today.

Look for the pop-up library in the Digital Media Lab until 21 January 2017.


A living hinge?

Have you ever heard of the living hinge technique? I hadn’t either when I first started interning at The Edge.


During my time at The Edge, my task was to produce a product that could easily be made into a workshop. So, after plenty of research I found this amazing technique, and the product designer in me started going crazy with possibilities.

After weeks of hard work and failures, my patterns and technique started to work – eventually leading to a useable product.

What is the Living Hinge Technique?
The living hinge technique is the cutting of a designed pattern into a flat material to make it bend. I made my pattern using Adobe Illustrator and then imported it into Corel Draw for cutting plywood on the laser cutter. I loved using and experimenting with this technique, because it meant that I could use the laser cutter to transform 2D cuts into 3D objects and products.

What I made using the Living Hinge.
I ended up using my knowledge of this technique to manufacture a wooden laptop bag and wrist watch. Both of these products are generally made from soft bendable materials, and I definitely saw the challenge in the project. I later went on to make some jewellery out of plywood, which acted as a contrast for metals. I’m currently at the stage of developing my laptop bag for commercial sales.

The best thing about this technique is that it has endless possibilities for you to experiment with. I’ve barely even scraped the surface. Now it is for you to go out and experiment! I know that without the support of the team at The Edge my products would be nowhere. They nurtured and guided my ideas into plausible products and since finishing my internship my ideas have grown and grown and the skills they gave me make these ideas possible.

Research and useful links:
https://www.epiloglaser.com.au/resources/sample-club/living-hinge-laser-cutting.htm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSlRusl7UPc
https://www.thingiverse.com/tag:living_hinge

Stay in contact:


#MADETODAY – When your mailbox is on its last legs…

By Talia Yat, Maker and Creator

When my mailbox door fell off its hinges for the hundredth time, I knew it was time for an upgrade, but not just any upgrade would do. Being a huge lover of the canine variety, I simply needed a dog mailbox in my life – one that would stand out from all the other dull mailboxes, greeting the postman every day, serving as protector of my mail and reigning top dog in our street.

The finished product, modeled with Thor (left) and Zeus (right).

The finished product, modeled with Thor (left) and Zeus (right).

 

Creating the elements
I decided to create the dog from acrylic pieces and my Dad’s old steel mailbox (which I spray painted black). In Adobe Illustrator (if you don’t have this at home, you can use it for free in The Edge’s DML), I designed simple silhouette shapes of the dog head, ears, tail, and feet. I added little tabs to each of the parts, and created platforms with slots for the parts to sit in. Also, sketching up the size of the mailbox, helped with designing the parts to scale.

Parts ready for cutting on the laser cutter

Parts ready for cutting on the laser cutter

 

Parts ready for cutting on the laser cutter

Parts ready for cutting on the laser cutter

Once I had the vector shapes, it was time to start cutting them on the Laser Cutter. I’ve completed the Laser Cutter induction, but it also helped getting some tips from Mick and Phil when it was time to transfer the Illustrator file to the Laser Cutter software. Also, etching features in (like the paws) allowed me to peel back parts of the backing paper to create a ‘stencil’ where I could then spray paint and peel back. The facial features and nose were painted on by hand.

Backing paper forming stencils for spray painting

Backing paper forming stencils for spray painting

 

Backing paper removed to reveal feet detail

Backing paper removed to reveal feet detail

Assembling the parts
I pre-drilled two holes in the top of the mailbox and added an acrylic platform strip so I could put bolts and washers in the top to create more strength, as it would have to adhere to the roundness of the mailbox arch. It was then time to start assembling the parts and gluing them together. I scored both sides of the acrylic to create more bondage points for the glue to seep in and make it stronger. The ears were glued to the head, and the number to the mailbox. While I waited for the glue to set, I prepared the rest of the parts.

Scored parts for better adhesion

Scored parts for better adhesion

 

Scored parts for better adhesion

Scored parts for better adhesion

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Zeus helping out

Zeus helping out

The leg platform strips were applied to the bottom of the mailbox, and the feet were glued into the slots, wiping away excess glue as it oozed out.

I left it upside down until it dried out, and then flipped it over to apply the head and tail in the same process. Once dry, my doggy mailbox was ready to take outside for its first outing.

Thor sniffing out the competition

Thor sniffing out the competition

 

Zeus checking out the new mailbox

Zeus checking out the new mailbox

For more cute pics, follow Thor and Zeus on Instagram @sausagedogsthorandzeus


Analogue Digital – Work Smart, Hustle Hard

This year I had the opportunity to attend the Analogue Digital Creative Conference. Being a seasoned AD participant I knew to expect awesome things, and boy did Matt and the team deliver.

The presenter line-up this year was stellar. It included a variety of international and local creatives. Many of which I was not familiar with, ranging from agencies, print magazines, illustrators and street artists. I was especially keen to hear the talented local visual identifiers – Rick and Emily from Frank & Mimi and multidisciplinary artist, Joel Birch.

This year’s format was a little different from previous years. With master classes being run during the morning, and the conference kicking off from midday. The venue at the Brisbane Powerhouse also set a great atmosphere for the event, allowing participants to check out the IRL Digital Festival.

Madsteez was a highlight for the day. His energy and personality lit up the stage. He spoke about becoming an art director for Rusty by 19, and then deciding to quit to follow his passion for street art. His tips were ‘Ween luck meets opportunity, put yourselves out there. Don’t be a puddy cat.’

Frank & Mimi talked about the ‘Wabi Sabi’ of creating for a crust, which is an aesthetic that is ‘imperfect, impermanent and incomplete’. They talked about how it affected their work, and how we can try to incorporate it into more of our everyday practice.

One of the presentations that particularly resonated with me was, Matt Faulk whose journey involved teaching himself design, which led to freelancing and eventually growing into an agency called Basic. He also had tips for having a successful career in the creative field including; think big, wing it, fail and learn, collaborate, be positive, be strategic, be inspired and don’t forget to be human!

Other highlights from the two days included Spencer Harrison, Greg Beer from VNA Magazine, Joel Birch and Dale Bigeni.

All up it was an awesome event and very motivating. Analogue Digital always has such a great selection of presenters from all different backgrounds and industries. It gives a lot of insight into what others are doing, and the crossovers into different fields. I encourage anyone in the creative field, be it design, photography, illustration, film, web or anything in between to check out one of these conferences. They’re highly inspiring and also leave you hungry for more!