Years of designing with sheet metal immerses you in the properties of the material and the process that are used in manufacturing them. Sheet metal behaves a lot like origami where you fold paper to achieve unbelievable objects. I was inspired to make simple innovative objects by folding sheet metal with bare hands. Its like “metal origami”.
The primary idea was to inspire people to challenge the myth that sheetmetal is a rigid ,hard material and is unfit to work with using bare hands like paper craft or origami. Secondly, I wanted to offer everyone a chance to “buy and build” their own product, rather than “buy and use”.
These two goals were achieved by this innovative stationary organiser. With this unique design, one can fold the flattened piece of metal into an awesome stationary organiser with ease.
The first metallic trial was done using CNC turret punch machines. Note the circular perforations on the edges (below). These were supposed to weaken the material and make it suitable for bending with hands. However it wasn’t bending at all, and we had to finally use the bending machine to get the bend. We learnt that this weakness was not sufficient to enable bending by hand.
Another learning was understanding the limitation of the current process – CNC turret punch, which leaves nibble marks and has inability to make the desired sizes of slots . The next trials were done on metal laser cutting machines.
After noticing that that the laser cut samples were still offering a great deal of stiffness, we decide to further weaken it by removing more bridges between slots (see modified edge on the white sample above). This was done using a simple hack-saw blade. The result was adequate and good. We got the modified sample tested with few kids and found it OK to go forward. The black sample (above) was the final trial, which stabilised into the final design.
Samples in white powder coating.
Colour trials. Also notice different edge details from multiple trials.
Value by Design
Going beyond “metal origami”, we thought that we need to improve the value to the product by enhancing the utility of the product over a large period of time. The best opportunity in a stationary organiser which normally sits right in front of your desk is a calendar. We made a perpetual calendar which can be used year on year as long as it lasts.
Added to this, the graphics looked modern and “young at heart”. It offers a new colour combination every day you flip the dates and inspires you to begin your day.
After lots of experiments , the product is finally ready to be rolled out.
Instructions on how to fold them were also experimented and finalised to go inside the package.
The final product is flat packed and available in two colours, black and white.
Package Contents :
- Laser cut and powder coated flat sheet-metal blanks. (Pencil tray, Visiting card tray, “Post it” tray and a perpetual calendar tray)
- Instruction set on how to hand fold and develop the items
- Set of perpetual calendar cards.
Design : Shanavas M S
Design Engineering Support : Ajay Kumar
Blog posted by – firstname.lastname@example.org (26July2016)