Unbelievable but it happened!I spoke to John yesterday:)I explained the concept behind little land and spoke to him about the problems related to wood and lasercutting. He said that there's a possibility of any wood breaking, not just the finger jointed rubber wood. He said that plywood might be a good option at this point.
About laser cutting,he said it is the best option as the CNC tools are a minimum of 3mm thick which wouldn't cut details like laser cutting. I also spoke to someone else who does laser cutting in Malleshwaram. They said they charge between Rs.8-12 depending on the material. They can only cut a few types of wood and only upto 3mm. So im going to stick with the other one(Vinayaka Laser cutters). Today, I visited some wood shops and they all said its very hard to cut any wood to 4 mm, so plywood(both sides same) or vineer(they suggested the one with teak wood laminate on one side,plain plywood on the other) might be good. I visited alot of places looking for the ideal 4mm waterproof commercial plywood. None of them seemed to have it, they all said it was very rarely used, it started at 6mm. But they did say i could find it, and it would cost anywhere between Rs.25-35/sq ft depending on the type, which would be a little more than Rs.1000 for the available size!UGH!
By the end of this 'spree', i narrowed down to 3 options:
1. Plywood - (if 4mm is available and it a smaller size than 8*4!)or cheap looking plywood(not water proof) which will be much cheaper(around Rs.350) for the entire board.
2. Vineer - I can get any finish i want on one side(oak,teak,etc) and plain plywood on the other side. This might be an expensive option, unless i go to a whole lota wood places and ask them each for the same sample..collect enough for my toy.
3. MDF - not a very good option as the edges will definately fray while continuous sliding,fixing,removing from the grooves of the base and its certainly not waterproof BUT this is easily available and cheaper and might make a good prototype.
I have been a part of a year long full-time interactive toy design lab run by Finnish toy designer Anders Sandel at Srishti. I am really fascinated by how children use toys to tell stories. I decided to design toys that allow children to engage in storytelling by creating landscapes for their toys. Little Land is my current project that explores this idea. It makes use of a simple grid and wooden pieces that slide into the grid. This blog gives an insight into my ideas, thoughts and process.