You may or may not have gathered from the name of my blog that I study PDE. However it is more likely that you have absolutely no idea what that is, but hey, let me enlighten you!

PDE stands for Product Design Engineering, which is pretty much a mixture of Mechanical Engineering and Product Design.

The pyramids in the picture are the result of my most recent project, ‘Retail Therapy’. We were tasked with designing something to sell in the Art School shop and then making 10 versions of it for the shop to stock.

This project was different to those we usually get due to the fact that we weren’t given a problem and were instead given completely free reign! We could essentially make anything, out of anything as long as we thought someone might buy it in the end.

I went down the route of choosing a material first and then seeing what could be done with it. I went for resin and it turned out very little can be done with it, it is suitable for little more than knick-knacks and table clutter!

After weeks of experimenting with it I ended up with a paperweight. It allowed me to showcase the best of what resin has to to offer without poisoning anyone #victory

Resin is the material of nightmares. It’s difficult to set, difficult to get clear and shiny since it takes on the exact surface it’s cast into. It’s pricey to find a resin that sets in a reasonable amount of time, is clear and doesn’t release toxic fumes for weeks.

Second to the resin nightmare was the silicone nightmare. What all the videos, blogs and date sheets fail to tell you when you’re thinking about using it to make moulds is how quickly they deteriorate. After 2 castings my moulds had lost the shine on their inner surface meaning that my resin castings then came out cloudy. Creating the  moulds in the first place was also tricky, a piece of dust on my glass master and the resulting mould was unusable, if the master moved during pouring I’d end up with holes, warped sides walls that were simply too thin to be of use.

The part of the project I was most pleased with was actually the packaging and not the paperweight, maybe I should take that as a sign…

Was it great design? Absolutely not. A success? Yes. For me it was a success being able to make something for the shop that sold despite how difficult it was to manipulate the materials.

 

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