New Making Projects

The “Bandfest” Project

Bandfest bands are an exciting departure from paper tickets for the Edinburgh Festivals. These souvenir bands have been developed to be used both as the ticket to any specific event and as a means of gaining public reviews of each show.

After a talk by Joshua Ryan-Saha’s visiting to give our class information on the Edinburgh Festivals to be deeply intriguing I got to thinking about how I might develop a souvenir for this project. When he mentioned that one thing they found almost impossible was gaining reviews from the public; I knew this had to be my project’s focus.

I began brain-storming measurable festival data, thinking about how I might be able to gain reviews when they previously had been unable to do so, while also being able to create something that could be a souvenir.

Ideally, I wanted to create an object which generated the review data while also being the customer’s ticket and souvenir.

Before beginning my research I asked myself these questions:

How can a ticket be a souvenir?

What form would best suit a ticket & souvenir hybrid in a traditional craft & digital fabrication blended product?

How can a ticket generate data?

How can a ticket generate a review?

Can I keep the design environmentally friendly?


How can a ticket be a souvenir?

Many people keep their ticket stubs and pin them up on their walls or paste them into scrapbooks. I would consider this to be a self-generated souvenir of an event. I liked the idea of the ticket itself being the souvenir and wanted to stick to this within my project. 

What form would best suit a ticket & souvenir hybrid in a traditional craft & digital fabrication blended product?

I looked into digital tickets but decided that I wanted a physical souvenir so e-tickets weren’t the direction I wanted to go in. I began looking into collectables and crazes. When I was in high school (in the 90’s) gummies were all the rage. We used to wear hundreds of thin silicone bracelets and collect interesting coloured ones. These days gummies are still around but more often worn are much flatter and usually stamped or embossed version. These bands are usually momentos of donating to charity, running a race, a rally/special cause etc… and are both highly collectable and easily distinguished from other arm-wear.

I also briefly looked into the slap band craze but decided I wanted something that once on, would stay on. Plus through repeated use, the slap band type product could warp which isn’t what I want for my product.

I had a few traditional choices here, bead-working, silver-working or leather-working. I decided to go with leather-working as it’s a material I have always wanted to have the opportunity to work with and leather would blend really nicely with digital fabrication processes of laser cutting and engraving, blending both the traditional crafting and digital manufacturing processes together.

How can a ticket generate data?

My first idea was having something on my wrist-band that was detachable and colour-coded and could be left at the venue. This could then be counted up — each colour meaning a different number of stars and therefore giving the event staff an accurate and legitimate set of public reviews in numerical form. The event-goer on the other hand would then have a space left in their wrist-band which showed how many stars they had rated the show, giving further value to the souvenir.

After thinking about this idea more I decided it wouldn’t be as good an idea as I would like because the pieces that could be popped out and left (5 of them) could perhaps dislodge themselves and be lost afterward or perhaps during the show meaning that the wearer would no longer have the ability to give an accurate review.

I did not want to try for a lengthy review at the venue as it would likely cause congestion of people coming in and out o the shows which would both make following shows late and most likely put people off of giving a review.

RFID tags

Each band will be fitted with an RFID tag allowing fastback entry into the booked event. The small square on the right side of the band is where this tag will go. It can simply be touched to a scanner in the same manner as you would tap a bank card to use contactless payments. This keeps the movement of people into an event more efficient and also allows for data capture of numbers without manually adding people in. These tags will also be scannable at special booths where festival goers upon leaving a venue can give their star rating and receive a custom star-charm upon receipt.


Having decided that the pop out pieces from the bands were not a good idea, I ruminated over how else to solve the problem. I  thought it might be quite nice if (in the same way that you would scan the RFID tag on the “Bandfest” band to enter the event) You could scan the band on a machine and select a number of stars to give your review, gaining a star-charm once submitting the review containing the number of stars you rated the show. This would again tie in the traditional craft of bead-working along with the leather laser cut stars and would further add value to the souvenir. 

Can I keep the design environmentally friendly?

This question is one I feel every designer should take great care over. I had decided that I would try for leather as the material is warm and ages beautifully. It both cuts cleanly and engraves beautifully so it was the ideal material for my purposes. However, it should be noted that the product could be made from Pleather/PU Leather to lower the carbon footprint. I made the Bandfest bands out of real leather as I prefer the material to work with and could not get a hold of high enough grade vegan leather within the 6 weeks of this project so couldn’t do a comparison.

In the original design I meant for each festival to have a different colour of band. This still could be done but thought would have to go into the extra carbon impact of these extra processes.

Making the “Bandfest”bands

After creating the paternities in AutoCAD and converting to dxf format, the bands were laser engraved and cut. The leather took quite nicely even when I had problems with the file due to a clash during transfer. I would have preferred the engraving to have been a little brighter on some of the bands, but other than that I was pleased with how they turned out.

I tried a couple of different joining methods for the bands including two twisted cords and a Celtic plait in an attempt to make the closing attachments more decorative. However, I didn’t like how stiff the band became. I wanted it to remain soft and flexible. Another concern was that many sizes would need to be made to fit many wrist sizes which most likely wouldn’t fit well for a lot of people. Because of this I opted for an adjustable double sliding knot closure. This means that the band will fit a far wider variety of wrist sizes.

All in all I am quite pleased with the look and feel of my project. I think it could be a legitimate option for something like the Edinburgh Festivals which would generate the data they desire and also simultaneously be a collectable souvenir for the festival-goer.

New Making


When I researched the Fringe festival website I came across this particular map. It shows the majority of the 317 venues used by the fringe in 2019. When I first saw it I was shocked by how busy and clustered this map is. On the map, it is clearly shown that the majority of the venues are situated in the centre of the city. From my previous Fringe experience, I found the central area streets very hectic and difficult to navigate. So, I began to brainstorm how to combat this – how people can appreciate and get around this city in the easiest way possible. Fringe Festival is also well known to produce large amounts of waste, especially plastic and paper, so I tried to incorporate this problem in my design also.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival venues map

And my solution is this – a reusable water bottle. However, this isn’t just a regular bottle. It has the same functions, holding liquids and cutting down plastic wastage, but it will also GPS track the user who bought it.

This is a customizable bottle, fitted out with a scratch-map which the user can personalize as they wish, marking the places they’ve visited or paths they want to take. However, this goes hand-in-hand with an app- EdiRoute. This app contains maps, fitted with specific routes to take tourists on easy-to-follow, interesting walks around the majority of the city, even including less popular with tourists areas.

After researching GPS uses, and more specifically GPS art, I created maps of my own.

Mapping the venues of 2019 and predicting future venues (schools, art centres, museums etc.) I began to make my own simple GPS art of iconic Scottish symbols, linking many venues and tourist hot-spots together, or having them nearby a route. This way, tourists can explore the whole city and still enjoy the Fringe festival. They will be able to get a free drink with the bottle, if they wish, at every venue. And also, at the end of their trip, they will have marked maps of areas of the city they’ve visited.

This will encourage people into the other areas of the city- Leith and Stockbridge for example- but in a fun interactive way! This will hopefully spread out the numbers of tourists, calming down areas of extreme business but also means they will see more of this amazing city, which should be celebrated.

In the app, the user will be able to pick their areas and venues they wish to visit by choosing one of the routes. It would provide a choice of shapes to walk and also the ‘difficulty’, which would be determined by the average number of steps it would take to walk, the average amount of time and It will also take into consideration the terrain of the area. This will make the app and city inclusive for everyone, ensuring that people who may not be able to walk for a long amount of time such as the disabled or people with young children, can still enjoy a walk and the achievement of finishing a ‘drawing’, whereas serious walkers, or perhaps even cyclists, can pick longer more difficult routes.

Furthermore, the GPS will be able to turn on/off at any point whenever the user wants- through the app- meaning they can leave and return to shapes whenever they wish, do multiple at different points and, of course, control the tracking of the data.

After their walk has been completed, or perhaps they have made their own shape- another option they have on the app- they will be able to share it on social media- further enhancing their own sense of achievement but also further advertising the Fringe Festival. There is also a possibility of turning it into a competition. For example, the first person to complete a route would be given a free ticket to an even. Or have a competition for best own route designs which visitors would submit through social media to enter.

In conclusion, this water bottle along with the app will: cut down on plastic waste, create a personal, memorable souvenir for tourists, create interesting, inclusive walks around the entire city which will spread the number of tourists and encourage them to less-explored areas and finally, advertise this amazing festival to friends and family.

New Making Projects

Data Driven Imagery

This collection of souvenirs revolves around an image that has its hierarchy determined by the quality of each individuals experience represented through sound data. The image will use visual cues to activate the user’s memory as well as acting as promotional material for the festival.

It’s very easy to slap on a star review without really thinking. A more accurate way of evaluating a comedian’s performance is how much they can get the audience to laugh. Laughter can be quantified relatively easily through decibel levels. The decibel level will be affected by both the quantity and intensity of laughter which correlates relatively accurately to enjoyment levels and quality of the show. If more people are laughing more frequently than the average decibel level will be far higher than only a few people laughing occasionally. This will be represented on your personal experience image.

As the audience arrives to each venue and has their ticket scanned, they are automatically checked into the event and will have the audio recording data added to their online profile. The data is collected by recording the audience and converting the audio file into numerical data (decibel levels). The data is moderated to account for the audience size and is then used to scale the respective shows graphics proportionally. At the end of the festival you will receive an email with a visual representation of your experience. You are given an opportunity to have your image printed onto a range of products including posters, post cards, drink bottles, and phone cases. Giving people an option to choose a souvenir that they actually want will greatly reduce the wastage that is inevitably created from using the one ‘size fits all’ approach to souvenirs. This system also allows people to look at their data, remember their experience, and share it with others without needing to manufacture an unwanted artefact.

Being able to collect and analyse data instantly means that these ‘real reviews’ can be displayed around Edinburgh and help guide people to see things they otherwise might not have. It also encourages healthy competition between the performers and has the potential to create better atmospheres in venues.

This process brings the word of mouth to the digital age, which is great news for up and coming performers. Although a performer may initially have small crowds it rewards them for making people laugh and may in tern help them get the respect they deserve.

New Making Projects

Making Mementos With Modern Methods

Over summer I spent the majority of my time working as a bartender and found it to be one the most enjoyable and fulfilling experiences that I’ve had in all of the time that I’ve spent in Edinburgh over the last three and a half years. I made some great friends, shared countless amazing experiences and learned valuable skills across 10 weeks; once it came to an end and I left The Voodoo Rooms, I wanted something to take away with me as a way of remembering my time spent there. After my last shift I took an empty bottle of Buffalo Trace Bourbon (the collective favourite shot of the staff) and a bottle of Peroni (my regular after work staff drink) signed by everyone that was on shift that day. At the time that seemed like a fitting couple of items to take away with me but, whilst both items hold sentimental value, I figured these are things that I could have just bought from anywhere and that, after a while, they would just become bottles I had picked up along my way through working life.

It struck me that if I could take the things that reminded me most of a certain period of my life and turned them into something with purpose, then maybe their sentimental value would possess more longevity. As it stood, the things I’d taken away with me were essentially just items to be stored away, hoarded as such; I wanted them to be things I could genuinely treasure that I would feel necessary to take with me wherever I go from here. I wanted to essentially see if I could replace some of my everyday household items with creations that held sentimental value.

It was at this point that I realised this was something I had already done somewhat in my own home. I’d begun using my favourite bottle of wine as a vase for flowers and bottle of gin as a lamp (using a USB cork light).

From here I decided to pursue the idea of more artistic and abstract ornamentation; using 3D scanning and printing as the delivery method. My thought behind this was that the more I could make my mementos look like a household item the more personal, or private, value they would hold. I took a couple of other bottles and mementos I had obtained over the past couple of years and took them to UCreate workshop to see what results they drew from the 3D scanning equipment they have; specifically intrigued by the effects reflective surfaces would have on the scan results.

As I somewhat expected, the scans on glass returned the most interesting results. The scans were somewhat distorted and, whilst they resembled the objects they represented, there were clear disparities between said scans and reality. From here I headed to MeshMixer to see if I could distort the scans into something that I could take to the 3D scanners and produce something of use to me.

One of the things I really liked that came out of the scans that weren’t a part of the original items was the texture that the distortion produced and I thought, once printed they would make for really interesting pieces, regardless of what they were eventually used for.

I worked briefly with foil on my original items to see how well that worked as a reflective and decorative material, as I wanted to keep the element of reflectivity that they held in my 3D printed models. Unfortunately said models are yet to be produced so a finished article is yet to be available.

New Making

Celebrating New Acts

The problem that I wanted to address was the difficulty that new acts have getting acknowledged and to get recognized coming to the Fringe. With increasing costs for venues, for travel and accommodation, it seems less and less appealing for the up-and-coming star to take the risk. Yet I was inspired, as I assume we all are, by the ideal that the festival represents, as written on the festival’s website: “every year up-and-coming artists flock to Edinburgh to try out new material, hoping to follow in the footsteps of household names who got their big break here (Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson, John Cleese and Rowan Atkinson, to name just a few)”. How do we celebrate this ideal through design and data visualization?

These were the first few sketches. The similarity and contrast between the sizes of the orbs create a sense of movement and therefore time, and as they merge they begin to represent not only their individuality but also their collective expression. We gather not only the multitude of the information but a unification; this event visualized here, this festival, is multi-facetted but as the language of form also articulates, it is one.

I was reminded of this statue made for an award ceremony by the Swedish graphic designer Henrik Nygren. This design has nothing to do with neither time nor location. I was instead drawn to the formal aspect of this piece. For one thing, it is beautifully simple, but also it shows how individual elements can come together in an almost architectural way to create a sense of rigidity. Notice how well one can sense its weight and grandiosity. Because of it being an award, I was reminded of how central design is to ceremony and to celebration. I came up with the idea of an “Award for Newcomers”.

By accident I discovered this negative space that you see to the left. What of all those acts you never did go to see? Inspired by that idea, by contrast and by negative space as per the language of form, I embedded the new acts, represented by the group of cylinders here in the middle, within a larger cylinder where its height is the total number of people that show up to the festival. The height of the group of new acts in the centre are then levelled at a relative height depending on how many came to their shows in relation to the total amount. As you can see, there are slight variations from to year to year. 

Again, the value and the data is very relative. As the pieces are organized next to each other one can discern how the festival changes and how the engagement of new acts might get better or worse. But as the pieces are singled out, say once a piece is given to a newcomer, they are only dependent on their own immediate space. The space to consider becomes that in-between the larger cylinder and the group of new acts in the midst of “reaching for the sky”. Once made in a transparent and elegant material like glass, they can point to their own contribution and say: “That’s me; look at what we accomplished and how central we really are to culture!”

I wanted to evoke a sort of narrative like David and Goliath, which I think nicely captures what we’re trying to achieve. Although importantly, it is not “we” versus “them” but rather an acknowledgement of what remains an enduring value of the festival and something that risks being forgotten in the face of economic challenges. Because this is a souvenir for the shows that everybody didn’t necessarily go to see, or for the actors who weren’t properly noticed, but who ultimately make up the very foundation of the festival. This is the ideal that I believe we need to celebrate. 

New Making Projects


MyTartan is a project which takes numbers and data gathered from the Edinburgh fringe festival and turns it into a memorable souvenir. As a local of Edinburgh, I see countless tourists from all over the world seeking to find a long forgotten relative or clan. They are all seeking to find some kind of belonging and affinity to this incredible city. I also understand the marvellous, creative nature of the festival and the attraction it is to all peoples from around the world. MyTartan is a memento which will have a lasting effect in peoples memories as they come and experience what Edinburgh (and Scotland) has to offer. I also want them to connect in a personal manner with the city and build up an emotional attachment.

Taking the grid coordinates for festival venues visited, numerical data (of the coordinates) becomes the input for CMYK colour codes. This is a great way of converting numerical data into something real and tangible. When choosing what colours should go where and how much there should be, it was best to let the data decide, therefore the addition of peoples experience helped to direct this. 

The pre-existing fringe app, users will be able to directly record their locational data (grid coordinates) within the “MyTartan” page. The user function is simple and easy to follow with only a couple of buttons to click. By clicking the ’ADD’ button, this will record the precise location of  where you have been. The rating tab is used to rate shows which you have seen based on an ‘out of five stars’ system.

Once the visitor has been to the venues they want and are ready to go back home, they will receive their own unique tartan, and a small swatch will be sent home too.

Small number of existing tartans in shop

Now there are a few possibilities of what can happen with their tartan while still in Edinburgh. Going into a local business with your tartan, it is possible to have an item of clothing made with their unique design. Places such as Balmoral Cashmere, The Tartan Weaving Mill Experience, and a whole host of kilt makers in the city, are viable options for products to be made.

Another possibility is for MyTartan and other local producers, such as Edinburgh Gin, to collaborate and print special, one off labels or bottles with your individual tartan on it. This will hopefully increase revenue and tourism within the city.

There is something really special, meaningful, and personal with MyTartan which will hopefully provide the best memories of Edinburgh and the fringe. To have your own tartan will also instil a sense of belonging and build an attachment with the city.

New Making

Embedding Festival Data With Digital Making

New Making

Data Driven Souvenir

What is a Souvenir?

A souvenir is a memento which is kept as a reminder of certain places, experiences or people. The owner usually has a strong emotional connection to the object and it allows the owner to cherish valuable memories long after it has happened.

I began this project by first conducting second hand research and mapping out relationships between stakeholders at the Edinburgh Festivals. This provided me with a holistic view on the festivals so that I could narrow down on my topic.

Souvenir Idea

From personal experience during the Edinburgh Fringe, I found it difficult to find reliable show reviews. Hence, I felt that through creating a souvenir which uses review data provided by visitors, It will not only make their experience more memorable, but also provide a larger sample of reviews for all audiences.

I then did research on personalised souvenirs. I came across this paper which explores the effects of the visitor’s experience by incorporated an interactive souvenir making activity at the end of the experience. This paper explained that by creating a personal and interactive souvenir, the visitors experience was made more memorable and cherished.

Therefore, I aimed to incorporate this research into my own project.

This souvenir requires the audience to interact with it and input their personal reviews to the shows which they have watched. The show ratings are then mapped to a geographical model of Edinburgh to create a unique souvenir. This creates distinct local ties with Edinbugh’s geographical features such as Arthur’s Seat and The Edinburgh Castle, and creates a bond between Edinburgh and the visitor’s personal experiences.

This flow chart demonstrates how the product could be integrated into a system which can make festivals more personal and memorable as well as helping improve Edinburgh Festivals with the gathered data.

To go along with the data collection, I created an app where the audience can input their data. The app will then generate a mockup of their model.

Making Process

I first 3D printed the data segment as well as the geographical height map. Next, I created a silicone mould of the 3D print. I then moved onto casting resin into the moulds and sanded the edges to create neat corners using increasingly high grit sand paper.

I then moved onto using the CNC routers to create the souvenir out of wood. The aim of this was to create a variety of textures and explore alternative digital manufacturing techniques.

The souvenir was created in CAD and then processed with EASEL to allow the G-code data to be read by the CNC. The machine was calibrated and allowed to cut. After the pieces were cut, they were sanded and stained in order to protect it as well as bringing out the grain of the wood.

Final Product

Finally, I assembled the two haves with copper rods and completed the souvenirs.

New Making

Translating data into light

Solas is a paper lampshade made using recycled flyers from Edinburgh festivals. It portrays personal memorable experiences as abstract shapes and creates data driven light emissions.

Each festival in Edinburgh is very unique in its theme and spirit, however there is one issue that every festival has in common – waste. Fringe festival is constantly growing, attracting more tourists and performers each year, which leads to an increase in demand for one of the most efficient ways to promote shows – flyering. Flyering is creating an enormous amount of street litter and that is why I decided to design a product, which would encourage visitors to collect flyers in order to develop a personalised souvenir.

‘Dear Data’ by Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec, a collection of data driven postcards, contains series of very inspirational creative shapes and patterns, which represent simple sets of data. The methods of data collection and data processing portrayed in the book sparked the idea – how can I recreate a memory of a particular day with abstract shapes?

The first step would be to capture a variety of personal and public quantitative data. I would then assign the data to a specific abstract shape and use the numerical values to adjust its size and position. After generating multiple sets of shapes representing each day spent at the festival, I would use it as a unique personalised pattern on the souvenir.

Prior to making the data driven shapes I would need to collect personal data. After purchasing the toolkit the customer will be prompted to download a specialised application, which, given the importance of confidentiality when using personal data, will have a clear description of what the data will be used for as well as ask what kind of personal information the user wants to share. In addition, the UI would suggest that the more types of data the user chooses to share, the more detailed and sophisticated the final design would be.

I used Fusion 360 to process quantitative data and used the numerical values to adjust shapes and sizes of data driven patterns. The shapes are arranged in sets and positioned vertically on each side of the lampshade. Each set represents a weekday starting from Monday at the bottom and going up to Sunday at the top. For instance, the moon shape represents the amount of steps the user took each day, while the round shapes represent the amount of shows they have seen. The semi-star shapes represent the ratings. The more semi-stars appear around the show, the more enjoyable it was for the user.

In summary, this project encouraged me to combine handcrafting and digital fabrication as well as plan a complex user journey, involving many data collection and data processing steps. The ultimate goal of this souvenir is not only the aesthetic emission of light, but also the artistic expression of a memorable personal experience. This souvenir design can be compared to a tattoo, the meaning of which is visible only to its owner.

The Solas paper lampshade provides the user with a unique representation of a visual memento describing their journey. It reminds them of their trip to Edinburgh and also gives a pleasant feeling of an important contribution to a greener festival experience.

New Making Projects

Skin Crawling Device

Having never been to the Edinburgh Fringe festival myself, I was amazed to learn about the millions that flock to edinburgh each year. In 2018 2.7million tickets were sold at the Fringe alone. Despite being a successful attraction, bringing in lots of jobs and financial growth to Scotland, I couldn’t help but question the issues regarding this mass growth of the population. 

What stood out the most to me was the desruption to daily life. In a variety of news articles, Edinburgh Fringe is compared to a ‘theme park’, which highlights the extent of change Edinburgh endures, which the locals also have to endure. 

The idea of having to go about your day but being burdened with trying to avoid the crowds of people outside your front door almost made my skin crawl. I felt an overwhelming amount of sympathy for the locals.

I wanted to move away from the idea of creating a souvenir for the fringe and focus on creating a device specifically for the locals. I wanted to create a handheld device that locals would take with them they left the house. This device would act as a warning for when they are approaching an over populated area.

Using GPS, the closer the device gets to a crowd of people will determine how quickly the skin will ‘crawl’.

The idea of trying to replicate skin came from the initial idea of trying to mirror some sort of physical aspect of walking through the streets of Edinburgh during the fringe. ‘People’ as a whole are mirrored through this flesh like material.

The skin was designed to create levels of creepiness, data therefore is measured in terms of creepiness. The creepier and more grotesque the device becomes, the larger the crowd that approaches, the more put off or ‘grossed out’ the locals become and more aware that they should avoid the area in front of them.

Servo motors on the inside create the movement of the skin

Using Arduino I was able to program the servo motors to simply move up and down creating the pulling and releasing of the skin which then creates the allusion that the skin is crawling.

Using the skills I had learnt from the previous project in Meshmixer, I was able to manipulate and create a base for the device that mirrored that of organic matter. The lumps and bumps further mirror the clusters of overpopulated areas.

Skin trials:

I experimented with both latex and silicone and found that latex had the best physical properties that mirrored that of human skin. Using foundation I was able to replicate similar skin tones and create a more realistic interpretation.

New Making

My Festival Experience

The task of data-driven souvenirs is to use festival data to create a personalised souvenir. The main point I wanted to address with my project was unifying all of the festivals. Edinburgh has a rich festival culture and I wanted to highlight this with my souvenir. I therefore created a series of collectable products, with a separate product for each festival, each year. 

I originally worked on the idea of creating one singular souvenir that is added to each time the user attends a festival. The initial object would ‘grow’ as the user attended more and more festivals and events. The souvenir would be a dodecahedron shape with a different side of the product for each festival. I developed this idea and settled on creating a different version of the same product for each festival/year. A contributing factor to this decision was that souvenirs are consumer items and this motivates the user to purchase a new product every festival/year. I made sure to keep the ‘growing’ element of the original design.

The final product is an interactive kit where the user can record their best festival experience each festival/year. The kit contains a packaging box, the 3D object, an instruction book, time-capsule papers and a needle and thread. This is the Edinburgh Fringe Festival version of the product.

On the surface of the souvenir, the user records their best festival experience. This is recorded in the form of an abstract code. The code was created using Each letter of the alphabet was mapped onto a number, using a map of Edinburgh. The code generates a pattern for the type of event attended and the venue. These are layered and embroidered onto the fabric side of the product. 

So that the user can easily remember what their best experience was, the product also acts as a time-capsule. The kit comes with time-capsule papers, the user writes their best memories on these and places them inside the object. The object is then sealed with the lid. The object has the abstract representation of the users best experience on the outside and the written memories inside.

The item is designed to be tactile. This is why the representation of the user’s best experience is abstract, because the most important element is the texture. As this is meant to be a tactile object, it includes Braille of the festival and year.

As the souvenir is designed so that many can be collected, the design is edited for each festival. Below is the Edinburgh International Festival version of the product.

The different souvenirs click together using the fastenings on each side of the product. This means that over time the user creates their own ‘festival tree’. This means that the consumers souvenir ‘grows’ as they attend more events.

New Making

Intertwined Threads and Materials

During this course, my work was strongly inspired by weaving patterns and basketry making. By using colour threads and copper wire I was able explore original patterns for unique structures, which I then made using laser cutter, plasma cutter and 3D printer. 

I began my research process by looking at pottery and ceramics. I was fascinated by creative and unique forms that can be created with this craft. 3D ceramics by Oliver van Herpt were quite innovative, because his work is focused on the development of a new technique for 3D printing medium and large-sized ceramics. By changing the settings of the 3D printer, the textures, surfaces, shapes and sizes can be varied. 

I was interested in combining 3D printing and/or laser cutting with a traditional handcraft. This inspired me to create more intriguing shapes for pottery and ceramics. I then chose a form I thought was the most successful and 3D printed it. By using Meshmixer I created a ‘fake glitch’ in order to then sew up the ‘glitched’ part of the model. That first attempt of sewing up a space within the object encouraged me to test weaving on 3D printed pieces.

As I continued my exploration of pottery and ceramics, I realised that processes such as creating molds and slip casting would be very time consuming. Which is why I decided to change my making approach. I looked into weaving and basketry patterns as well as Hybrid Basketry by Amit Zoran in which the designer uses 3D printed structures to explore new ways of advancing this traditional hand craft practice. 

I came up with many ideas and sketches of frames that I would weave around with colour threads and copper wire. I wanted to make my designs practical and also encouraging me to experiment with new ways of weaving a flexible form. For instance, the spiky ends of the frame would be used to hook on the thread, while holes would help with holding the wire in place and preventing it from sliding from side to side.

I chose the forms that I thought would balance freedom of exploration and practicality well and used Fusion 360 to create construction frames for my weaving designs.

My first results of 3D prints weren’t successful, but after adjusting some of the printing properties I manufactured all of my CAD designs in approximately 7 hours. I came to conclusion, that this way of producing parts is too time consuming and decided to try some of the alternative machinery. 

I used laser cutter as well as plasma cutter, both of which worked nicely with my designs. I had to simplify some of the CAD files for the plasma cutter, but in the end I was pleased with the results.

Most of the weaving with copper was done by hand without any pliers, which was challenging. I learned that the hooks do ensure an easier weaving process and leave a lot of room for creative pattern exploration. In comparison to acrylic and 3D printed frames I found it more satisfying to work with plasma cut mild steel ones. The final object ended up having a more pleasing overall feeling in the hand because of the extra weight. It was also very flexible and resilient. On the other hand the acrylic parts were easier to manipulate and bend, while the 3D printed part with the hooks was too fragile to stretch or rotate.

Testing flexibility
Final design
New Making Projects

Experiments with concrete and 3D printing

How can I challenge the material properties of an old media? In this case, how can I take an ancient material like concrete – used extensively by the Romans – and test the boundaries of what is conceivably possible? Initial thoughts drove me to where I have seen concrete used before, particularly in building construction and the use of rebar to create reinforced concrete. The way in which steel and concrete support each other and cancel the others weakness shows why it is important for there to be amalgamations of material. Concrete has a relatively low tensile strength, but when joined with steel – which has excellent ductility – the concrete structure then has the tensile strength of steel within.

With this in mind, I considered how it could be possible to take concrete, and create forms which shouldn’t really be made with it. How could I take a particular aspect of one material and combine it with another so they are both supportive and dependant on each other? 3D printing ‘skeletons’ (or frames) is a great way to generate quick, complex and delicate forms. On the other hand, concrete is used in its masses as tough, strong, building blocks to establish towers which loom over cities. When combined we get objects which are fragile yet stiff, convoluted yet solid. The idea seems paradoxical yet interesting.

I made some test pieces which would give an indication of how both concrete and 3D printed skeletons would combine. I printed out a simple sheet of PLA with 5mm² holes in a grid pattern. Having holes makes the form much quicker to print. Dipping the PLA in fine aggregate concrete for different times – 3 seconds, 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 10 seconds with mixing – had changed adhering effects on the plastic, although not much of a difference. In each case, the holes were filled and ‘fleshed’ out, but the smoothest and best result came from mixing. I printed a Meshmixer version of the Stanford bunny which also had a lattice effect, but with holes around 10mm². This time, the gaps were too large for concrete to fill, resulting in only the frame being coated.

The first fully closed form to be made was a simple cylindrical cup shape. As with before, I used Meshmixer to lower the resolution and turn the solid piece to a mesh-like frame before 3D printing. Adhering concrete filled all the holes and gave it a solid, complete skin.

To test the boundaries, I created a helix form in fusion and then used meshmixer to turn the stl into a frame, then printed it. This form was a challenge as it consisted of compound curves and overhangs – neither of which are commonly possible with only concrete. Using gloves, I mixed the concrete by hand, then spread it over the 3D printed frame, resulting in a complex form made from concrete.

I’m not sure what the real life practicalities of this method of making is, but initial findings show the concept works and so can be pushed even further.