Sunday, February 21, 2010

useful contacts

Here's some useful contacts for wood, acrylic sheets, bamboo craft, laser cutting and engraving.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

inspiration....sanna annukka

Im in complete awe of Sanna Annukka, Finnish-English illustrator and print maker.

paul rand says.....

without content there's no form..without form there's no content!

characters for an epic tale

For a while now i have been thinking of elements and characters that are essential in children's stories..and today in the library while flipping through a design magazine i (thankfully) stumbled upon this piece of beauty!So relevant to my subject and so wonderfully done!-'Characters for an epic' by Tom Gauld

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

pieces of little and there..

I've been iterating for the shapes of little land pieces and its been fun!Instead of drawing it out i decided to fold the paper into half and cut it out so that the process is more spontaneous and also the shapes proportionate!:)

bamboo craft:)

At Bamboo bazaar, i met a bamboo basket maker. I showed him my prototype and asked if he could make a box for it. He would charge Rs. 60(without a lid) and Rs. 80(with a lid) and it would take about 30 mins to make each. I also saw palm weaving and would be meeting with them when i start working on the packaging.

window shopping for wood

Today i went to SP road/Bamboo bazaar looking for wood suppliers because the ones in main city seemed to be expensive and only sold them in larger pieces like 8*4. Also i wanted to see what options were available at Bamboo bazaar. There were quite a few there. All willing to cut it into any size and have it ready in 1 day after the order is placed!I showed them a prototype of little land and asked them what wood would be best for it. They suggested Teak and Rubberwood. They didn't have any of the American hardwoods but what they had suggested seemed like good options. I got a couple of rates for the 2 types, but these were the lowest:

Rubber wood-Rs. 1000/cubic foot
(a small piece like 4*2 feet = Rs.100)
He said although it is finger jointed, i wouldn't have a problem cutting. It is treated.It is lighter and cheaper compared to teak.

Silver wood(untreated rubber wood)-Rs. 400/cubic foot

Teak-Rs. 1400/cubic foot
(a small piece like 4*2 feet = Rs.120)

Burma teak-Rs. 3000/cubic foot
This is higher quality, imported teak

At SP road i also found a few suppliers of colourful acrylic sheets(ya incase i suddenly ditch the sustainability/eco-friendly bit;)Acrylic sheets are available in several colors and start at 2mm thickness and go upto about 20-25 mm. The minimum size is 3*4 feet. It costs Rs. 70/sq ft.

thinking wood

Gautam had suggested i look at some of the American hardwoods. So i have cherry, maple, birch, teak, rubber wood and unlaminated plywood in mind.

Cherry - is close-grained hardwood and resists warping and shrinking. It reddens when exposed to sunlight. The wood has a fine uniform, straight-grain, satiny, smooth texture and red luster. Cherry machines easily, nails and glues well and when sanded and stained, it produces an excellent smooth finish. Moderately hard and heavy, strong, stiff, and moderately stable in service and has moderate decay resistance.

Birch - is a forest tree of graceful appearance, Straight grained and fine textured with creamy white to pale brown wood. Fairly heavy with moderate strength, stiffness, stability, and shock resistance properties. Works easily although wood tends to be woolly. Glues, stains, and finishes quite well.

Maple - is light and not very durable, and is used only in the cheaper kinds of furniture.
Generally straight, but sometimes curly grained with a relatively coarse texture With moderate shrinkage, maple machines well. Moderately heavy, hard, strong, and stiff with low bending strength, shock resistance and decay resistance. Medium movement in use. Resists denting fairly well. Sands and polishes quite well with minimal "fuzzing".

Teak - is a hard and moisture- resistant wood. It resists warping, cracking and decay.
Generally straight grained with a coarse, uneven texture, medium luster and an oily feel.
Moderately hard and heavy, with low stiffness and shock resistance, moderate bending strength, moderate steam bending, and excellent decay resistance and dimensional stability. Good acid resistance.Stains and finishes well although natural oils can cause adhesion difficulties.

Rubberwood - is pale cream to yellowish brown. The grain structure of Rubberwood is mostly straight. A cross-section of Rubberwood shows few concentric markings reminiscent of growth rings. These markings combined with the large vessels in structure give an attractive appearance with clear patterns on the longitudinal surface. Rubberwood is a moderately heavy timber.

Anyone know where i can find these in Bangalore?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

new new ideas

To remember:
The simpler the idea,the easier it is to get it out in the market.
Can it be produced easily and in larger numbers in terms of time and cost?

Some thoughts i had and feedback:
Yesterday i stepped on little land(unintentionally) when it was all set up, and the mountain hurt my foot!i hav a blood clot now >.<>

Some pieces can be made of coloured acrylic sheets-like white cloud:)

I can make sky and ground but what about underwater?

Try and have holes or other simple cutouts in the pieces which enables hanging/weaving.

Pieces can be sold in maybe packs of 5 which can be bought separately.

Bigger surface area-if not in the form of a table, why not divide the base into several pieces so that they canextend/construct/deconstruct their own base.can be fixed using hinges/sliding mechanism or other joineries.

Have some pieces with slits on them which would allow children to build vertically as well.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

packaging material

The sealed boxes of Lego are stored and shipped around the world - the process uses between 400,000 and 500,000 cardboard boxes per year!
I started thinking about eco-friendly material and also how can there be minimal usage of material since packaging,storage and shipping do consume alot of plastic, paper and other material.

plastic town

I did a comparative study of the original Lego bricks and a local imitation of it. Even though Lego is expensive, it has been extremely successful. During my initial research, i met wit a mother who bought a set of Lego all the way from Singapore due to distrust in Indian toys. The smallest set of Lego with very few pieces costs around Rs.500 whereas the local one cost about Rs.35. I studied the 2, for its differences, similarities, advantages and disadvantages. It was an interesting exercise.

studying Lego

I looked at a successful competitive toy-LEGO, a line of construction toys manufactured by the Lego Group, Denmark. This was to understand its mechanism and also the process of making plastic toys.

Most Lego pieces have two basic components -- studs on top and tubes on the inside. A brick's studs are slightly bigger than the space between the tubes and the walls. When you press the bricks together, the studs push the walls out and the tubes in. The material is resilient and wants to hold its original shape, so the walls and tubes press back against the studs. Friction also plays a role, preventing the two bricks from sliding apart. This stud-and-tube coupling system uses an interference fit -- a firm, friction-based connection between two parts without the use of an additional fastener.

Making of Lego bricks:
  • Lego elements start out as plastic granules composed primarily of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS).
  • the engineers use the NX CAD/CAM/CAE PLM software suite to model the elements. The software allows the parts to be optimized by way of mold flow and stress analysis.
  • A highly automated injection molding process turns these granules into recognizable bricks. The making of a Lego brick requires very high temperatures and enormous pieces of equipment, so machines, rather than people, handle most of their creation.
  • The machines melt the granules at temperatures of up to 232 degrees C, inject the melted ABS into molds and apply between 25 and 150 tons of pressure.
  • Human inspectors check the output of the molds, to eliminate significant variations in color or thickness. Worn-out molds are encased in the foundations of buildings to prevent them from falling into competitors' hands.
  • After about seven seconds, the new Lego pieces cool and fall onto a conveyor. At the end of the conveyor, they fall into a bin.
  • When the bin fills, the molding machine signals a robot to pick it up and carry it to an assembly hall.
  • In the assembly hall, machines stamp designs onto bricks and assemble components that require multiple pieces, like minifigures, also called minifigs. The machines assemble the components by applying precise amounts of pressure to specific parts.
  • Lego factories recycle all but about 1 percent of their plastic waste from the manufacturing process every year. If the plastic can't be re-used in Lego bricks, it's processed and sold to industries that can make use of it.
  • Annual production of Lego bricks averages approximately 20 billion per year, or about 600 pieces per second.
  • The sealed boxes are stored and shipped around the world -- the process uses between 400,000 and 500,000 cardboard boxes per year.
(All information and images courtesy lego)

look what i found:laser cutter!

So!after calling a zillion places, i found someone who does laser cutting!Vinayaka Laser Works in Basaveswar Nagar does laser cutting and engraving on all sorts of material. They can cut any type of wood of a thickness within 5mm and they charge based on the time taken by the machine-Rs.10 per minute. I got a tiny sample made so i have an idea of how much it would cost me for my pieces. Since it had some intricate designs it took 2-2.5 minutes (Rs.25). Since i don't plan on having intricate designs on the toys except on the 'special' pieces it shouldnt be very yay!:)This would be a better option compared to CNC if one needs to cut intricate designs as this uses thin laser beams to cut whereas the CNC uses other cutting tools/drill which are not very intricate. I got a sample of the laser cutting and engraving on wood, and cutting on foam and acrylic sheet.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

more feedback

So my dreams and plans of making my final prototype out of rubber wood were shattered this afternoon after meeting with gautam and lavanya. Turns out rubber wood is finger jointed so it isn't appropriate for little land! They gave me options that were a hundred times better:) i should look at some of the 'American hardwoods' (maple,birch,cherry), Teak, Unlaminated plywood too. The pieces could be cut by hand machines as CNC might take longer and laser cutting might turn out to be expensive. Every CNC person i'v heard of is in Rajajinagar and only 2-3 mm wood can be lasercut!but i'm still on the hunt..sigh

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

edible little land!

Nikita baked and we personalized with yummylicious brown/white chocolate, colourful fruity icing, and silver balls..yay!^-^

little land in a box(packaging)

I had a few ideas for the packaging of little land:

1. Palm leaf boxes - Tender palm leaves are separated from the strips and joined together by winding a running strip over them which is then folded like a ribbon and fastened by a thin strip of leaf to connect the layers at intervals, thus yielding a uniform and rhythmic pattern with pleasant colours in fine texture .Palm leaf and stem weaving is a flourishing craft in southern Kerala with products being made both for the Indian and international markets these days.

2. Bamboo grass wrap - The intriguing nature of these packages is their simplicity, functionality, and beauty! characterized as packaging born out of necessity meant to preserve food and make it easily portable, made ofwhatever material found at hand in the rural areas of their origin.The leaves(bamboo grass) are used as they are, from the tip to the stalk. Only a single thread of straw ties up each piece.

3. Furoshiki - Furoshiki is the eco-friendly wrapping cloth.Japanese art of Furoshiki, which is an Origami-like means of carrying virtually anything with a simple square of thin cloth, is easy to do, and has been used by the Japanese for centuries. Furoshiki are, however, commonly used to wrap and transport lunch boxes and often double as a table mat for the lunch. It is reusable and multipurpose. Each year billions of plastic bags end up as litter; reusable bags, such as furoshiki can help reduce the impact to our environment. Its versatility allows you to wrap almost anything regardless of its shape or size.

storytelling U.U

i like receiving-------->feedback:)

Some feedback i got recently:
1.The space between the lines could increase(bigger cubes)allowing free movement
2.I could either look at laser cutting the shapes/pieces or cutting them on a CNC machine
3.Play area at different levels?
4.laser cutting inticate designs or minimalistic?
5.What if instead of the grooves i had wooden spike-like things so that there wouldn't be any fear of the cubes coming apart if cut too deep(eg:imagine the spikes on the hairbrush on a flat base)