Aestus (Vase) by Oliver David Krieg
2018 - 2019, Golden A' Furniture, Decorative Items and Homeware Design Award Winner
Although I have been engaged with wood and digital technologies for almost ten years in academia, I have always been fascinated by the relationship between the scientific, almost purely mathematical approach of robotic fabrication, and the aesthetics of the material that is directly affected by this process. In my opinion, the tension between the digital and physical - the method and the result - is most prevalent in wood and I just recently set out to explore these potentials.
Aestus is a series of stratified wooden vases exploring a new synthesis of traditional materials and modern technology. Carved from hundreds of layers of wood by an industrial robot, the vases capture the fluidity of the machine's movements in the depth of the wooden texture. Aestus is both a story of material exploration and of technical prowess. Each of the four vases is an expression of the aesthetics of a modern manufacturing process, as well as a statement for contemporary wood design.
Design Challenges
Pushing the limits of 3D milling, in both tool path design and tooling complexity, requires a digital simulation tool in order to explore the design space of the industrial robot. As the width of the grooves varies depending on the milling feed direction in relation to the tool's rotation, both virtual and physical prototypes were required to control both the design and the machine. Ultimately, the most challenging part was to develop a product that can be produced efficiently and with a consistent quality.
Production Technology
Each piece is re-constituted from layers of beech plywood before being formed by the bespoke kinematics of a 7-axis industrial robot, milling grooves into the material. Each vase in the series is functional and highly durable. A brushed stainless steel inset marks the lip of the vase and serves as a durable water repository, which ends at the bottom of the vase as a setback platform. A wax finish serves as a natural protection to the wood.
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