Jaclyn Berry

wk14: Composites

I'll make some... bowls?

In all honesty, this week's assignment was a bit of struggle, what with all the final projects happening at the same time. So a few of us in the architecture studio go together and made a group effort for the composites week.

I modeled some simple bowls in Rhino.

Zach set up the mastercam file (check out that scalloped toolpath!).

Zach and I milled out the molds on the shopbot. Turns out the settings might have been a little wrong because it took a really long time. I found out a bit more about mastercam when I tried helping Soma set up a file the next day.

Darle and Kyle gesso-ed the foam mold and glued down plastic wrap as mold release. Daniel unrolled the mold surfaces for better fitting pieces. But when it came down to it, Justin recommended we just try to squish the fabric into mold to start.

At this point we had to break our massive mold into smaller pieces.

I layed up two of the bowl molds. One with natural fiber fabric and one with fiberglass. The fiber fabric was much easier but used a ton of resin-epoxy. The fiberglass weave was easy to work with, but the veil was very difficult. I ended up just placing the veil on top and hoping the vacuum would suck it into place.

The epoxy was still a bit tacky after 3 hours, so I let it cure for a total of 5 hours before peeling off the breather.

Zach and I peeled off the breather and trimmed excess composite. I was a bit dumb and only wore one glove while de-molding the fiberglass so I got a bunch of fiberglass flakes on my hand. Zach used the band saw to trim the natural fiber composite and I trimmed the fiberglass with scissors.

Not perfect, but certainly a learning experience. I might try a positive mold instead of a negative mold next time.

Special thanks to Justin and Jenn for the extensive help this week!

How to Make (Almost) Everything | Fall 2017