Category Archives: Rubber
Installation Process and Photos
The installation process, done on site, could not necessarily be planned for. We wanted to form a conal shape; to achieve this we made three sides of six triangles each, forming a pyramid with three tiers.
We first took the corners of a third tier and tied them to the staircase. The rest was figuring out how to achieve tension and form. We tied, untied and retied numerous times in order to tension the pieces. We were able to pull the top tier, stretching as much as we could, to one point so the form funnels down.
Problems that occurred with our previous connection pieces let us revise and form the latest and greatest. Our first problem that we were able to test right away was that the acrylic clips did not stay casted inside the rubber. Instead, they simply broke free of the mold. We determined that the way to fix this was to 1) make more holes for the rubber to cast through, 2) elongate the clip as a whole so it cast deeper into the structural rib, and 3) create small ribs to act as a grip. Theoretically, our modules would still be connected by the originally conceptualized middle piece and these new ribbed pieces.
In order to decrease casting time and preparation, but encourage variability, Team Rubber decided to create five variations of a similar mold by scaling the aperture. Here, we were able to achieve a plethora of modules because of the “stretching” ability of rubber. We definitely wanted to capitalize on such a flexible material. Because the blue foam was messy and unreliable, we cnc-ed from mdf ten molds, two of each of the five apertures. Using polyurethane and clear coating as a releasing agent, we were able to pull the forms out.
The initial connection was developed with two pieces of acrylic that snap together and hold in place. The corner clip (smaller piece) has its lower left side cast into the rubber panel to secure it. Then as three panels come together the arm of the corner clip slides into the hole of the center piece and snaps in place with a small hook feature.
After developing over 10 different clip designs we narrowed our actual cut files down to 4 center clips and 2 corner clips. We also added holes in the rubber connection end of the corner clips to help the rubber grip the acrylic.
With our selection we wanted to advantage of the elastic properties of rubber. We knew that none of the other materials could stretch so we wanted to highlight this feature. Our selection of a silicone rubber with an A Shore 10 hardness value was to get that elasticity we wanted.
We also needed to solve a critical problem in casting. Our casting times where 2-3 hours. We are attacking this problem with an accelerator that will speed up the casting process to 1 hour or less.
Project 3: Rubber Precedents
Project 3: Rubber Assembly
For Project Three we first started to look at different kinds of rubber – silicone, urethane, molding latex etc. Price and quality were two factors that were important to us. Urethane, as will be discussed in depth later, gives us the most versatility as a material. When looking at materials we wondered whether it’d be better to actually pour or brush on like Project Two. Our team was leaning more toward pouring.
We also brainstormed structure and how this would look. We figured we can control the structure in numerous ways. An advantage to rubber as we learned, was it’s flexibility and that Project Three will NOT be a planar thing. Instead, it can be moveable, and even be a continuous piece from ceiling to floor to wall. The shapes can be fluid as oppose to straight edges. Our structure can be wood, acrylic, or wire. We could actually embed the structure so it can be hidden, or expose it. We also wanted to explore having structure in only part of the assembly so that we have a diversity of strong to soft points.
Connecting the piece is another challenge. Strips, panels. sheets are all possibilities. Creating a module and diversifying it is something we are interested in. What if instead the connection points of these modules create a tensile structure instead of a ribbed one? We really want this piece to encourage participation – whether that be a mechanism that pushing and pulls on the rubber as people walk by or literal points of interest that users can pull or push.
Nina Idzerda, Emily Kirwan, Robert Nealan, and David Spittler
Starting off with a map of San Luis Obispo, we plotted specific landmarks and roadways. From there we manipulated and abstracted our points, creating surfaces. This surface was created and determined by the relationship (closeness) of each point to the main landmarked points (done so with Grasshopper). The main roadways determined our lines grid. Here we replicated and offset them, trying to see if, when casted, they can form some sort of structural support through their randomly varying intersections and density.. RhinoCam was then used to rapidly CNC molds out of high density foam insulation panels, which were subsequently coated with various release agents (petroleum, mold wax, liquid mold release, PAM cooking oil) in an attempt to isolate a preferred release-agent solution.
Using liquid latex, mold release and vaseline first, we painted the liquid latex over the foam forms in varying thicknesses. About four layers later, using a hair dryer to quickly dry each layer, we were able to successfully peel off the rubber. After seeing the color of the latex, for the next two molds we decided to dye the latex.
Our team was interested in rubber because of its flexibility and liquid base, so we chose fields that would test its viscosity, ability to be removed once fully cured, and structural properties (if any) once removed from the solid mold.