Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Real Curves

I'm a big fan of curves and real curves are definitely better. I've been making some round sections for a new box and I just knew that living hinge curves weren't going to cut it this time. The living hinge is a straight line approximation of a curve, lots of little flat sections that only look like a curve from a distance. This time I wanted something smooth and continuous so I took some flexible 0.8mm ply, gave it a little bend to see if it could do the radius I wanted and then set about holding it in place.

The sheet is glued onto 7 spars of 12mm thick ply (2x6mm ply), many clamps were used to keep it all in the right place while drying. The result is is one continuous piece of ply with the perfect curve at the top. It was all a bit of a learning experience and mostly I learnt that the framework I was gluing too should have had cross ways spars to hold these spars apart in the right position but it's good enough for now. What the curve is actually for will probably follow at some point this weekend.

There is another way to make a similar curve. You could cut hundreds of those spars and glue them all together to make one long continuous curved section. This is actually much strong than the 0.8mm ply but it really doesn't look as good. This type of curved panel reminds me a lot of FDM 3D printing, it takes hours to make sure all the layers are stuck together properly and what you end up with is slightly ribbed piece of rubbish. This is now destined for my burning pile, it was good of me to go to all that effort, just to show you what not to do. :)