It’s not uncommon to have to change parts of an objects design moving from concept to manufacture. However I felt the aesthetics of the faceplate in the way it was shaped and the material it was to be made from should be exact. This brings me back to the quote of “Obsession takes time”. Being the focal point of this object, I was completely unwilling to budge on this aspect – it has to be exactly what I have in my head.
The faceplate is designed to be made from sheet aluminium and machined to a finish – this echo’s the design of many of the objects that you might find on a desktop these days – but also has echo’s of watch design.
The machining of which would require either a CNC machine or a time served technician who knew his stuff. The university has both but due to internal politics the CNC was made unavailable to myself. I got a quotation from a 3rd party that priced the material and machining at £138; and rich I am not. Luckily I was later told there were a full workshop of metal working technicians, so off I went to consult with them.
It’s always cool to work with other disciplines – As a designer you can work with people from any number of backgrounds and having the tools and understanding to speak the same language is always important. In this case I produced a quick engineering drawing of the fascia and took it with me to see the workshop manager. A few minutes later he had authorised the job and asked for more detailed drawings. Amazing.
With the drawings submitted I dropped in halfway through the week to check on the progress (truth be told I was real excited). And I was presented with this:
Later that day I received an email saying it was done and I could come pick it up the next day. Excited wasn’t even the name – Christmas came early.
This was the result of the labours of the workshop