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Spina Steam-Bent Lighting, 2019

Solo university project to produce a range of products utilising steam bending.

A collection of steam-bent lighting is created by patterning the same shape arm in different ways. Three pieces join together to create one arm, this arm is then either patterned around a central-axis vertically or horizontally.

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The idea started by exploring the material and process to understand what was possible. I wanted to focus on reducing process waste as much as possible as failure rates for some steam-bent products are as high as 80%. During the production of this light, I only experienced one break from over 80 arms produced, putting the failure rate for the project at just over 1%. Unlike other steam-bent products, the arms used do not require straight grain and can be made from smaller offcut pieces.

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Scale models helped to visualise and test combinations and light distribution as well as different jointing methods.
For the volume of arms required, I created bending jigs and holding jigs to speed up the process. The project was my first attempt at batch production from a craft perspective. It gave me a good insight into the expense associated with finishing processes, accounting for over 50% of the total manufacturing time and therefore, a costly process.

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