Safezone – the design process & production
The 19 final award objects are the result of a research project on the subject of lasering and hand-forming AlMg3 sheet alloy and anodising it with the addition of colour dyes.
Expressing a concept in form and material
The idea of combining industrial machine-powered processes with hand-based craftsmanship and sensitivity felt always very promising to me. I explored this approach to small series production with the Barstool 01 project before in a similar way. Here I wanted to enjoy the repetition and technical precision of laser-cutting while bringing in free-form hand sculpting to reach the final form. Thin AlMg3 alloy of 1 mm with a parametric perforation is the ideal material here. It allows for both processes to play out and finishes it off with this perfectly smooth and resistant anodised finish in the right colours. The form only has one role: it follows the initial “safezone“ concept.
Perforation search for the 2D-to-3D transition
Solid facets respond better to folding
A generated voronoi structure optimised for bending using material density simulation and testing
The bottom extensions get cast into black acrylic cement that forms the weighted base for a good balance of the resulting object.
The most annoying property of the electro-chemical anodising process is that it picks up absolutely fine details of the metal surface and emphasizes them. Even a fingerprint can ruin the part. The surface of the metal gets bead-blasted and chemically cleaned before it can be processed in the oxiding bath. Each component is packaged carefully for any logistics between the steps. With our partners we were able to optimise this process so that the final metal parts carry an identical finish quality to Apple’s unibody products.
Colours & bases
Giving an anodised metal its colour is a tricky process that aligns timing and amounts of ingredients and is difficult to repeat exactly. Some colours are easier done than others. The gold and bronze achieved here are actually the same color only in different intensities and different settings. The silver finish is one of the easiest as it has no tone in it. The search for the right colours took a considerable amount of test samples.
The oxide layer on top of the metal is so hard it cracks under bending so all forming steps have to be done before the anodizing takes place.
Only real material samples allow the search to arrive at a consistent result.
The acrylic cement bases are cast using 3D-printed fixtures.
The base weight was tested for the right feel in the hand when the award is accepted on stage. The design works well for a one-handed grip as well.
Products & Objects
Czech Insurance Broker Association
Creative direction, design, ideation, product development, 2D & 3D modelling, material technologies, prototyping
Chabera Studio in collaboration with technological companies and craftsmen, produced in Czechia
2020 – 2021