Thursday, 4 February 2010

Stage 2- PLAY...Card Fan

As part of my research I went into places where money was used every day e.g. shops, casino to observe how people handle money and how they use it in different scenarios. The casino was interesting from  a spending perspective because no actual notes or coins were used, but chips and cards instead.  The way that the pack of cards fanned out to show all the cards at once made me think about the ways in which we display our credit/ debit cards. 

Below:  Shows a clip on the corner of the cards which securely hold them in place and allow you to fan them out to see which card you want.

Stage 2- PLAY... Dual Purpose Wallet

Throughout my research in the play stage I found a strong theme of magic when it comes to money e.g. concealing, disappearing, altering.  I came across a money flip concept that allows you to place a note on one side and when flipped across (like a page in a book) the note is held in place. When flipped the opposite way the note appears to jump sides.

Below is this concept integrated inside a prototype hand sewn using foam, ribbon, card and plastic.

As further development, I decided to consciously use my current purse to see how easy the design was to use.  I found that getting my cards out of the fabric panels proved to be difficult and so I thought of a way to get them out quicker and more efficiently.  

Below:  Ribbon sewn inside the fabric panels (looped inside) allows the card to removed when pulled.  To put the card back in the slot, you simply push it back down.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Stage 2- PLAY...Magnetic Purse

After making the coin counting purse i wanted to find a non electronic way of organising change within a purse.  I realised after some time that copper coins are attracted to magnets whereas all the other coins are not.  The concept prototype below shows this ideas built into a dolly purse, with magnets in the base. 

The purse itself was made using the traditional clasp mechanism and packaging foam as it was easy to cut and work with quickly for mocking up a prototype.

I used 4 small strong batteries and superglued them onto thin lego blocks to avoid them attracting each other, then covered them in another layer of thin foam.  As shown below the coppers gather at the bottom of the purse along with the other change....

.......until the purse is emptied, the coppers remain in the bottom allowing the other change to be removed easily.

Like the other wallets and purses, i decided to do a material exploration on this concept too.

I liked the idea of opening the purse using a hinged mechanism but wanted to find out if any other materials could have similar properties with the idea of opening and closing.
For the aesthetic side of the purse, the idea of having wood seemed to be a nice twist on a traditional look.

To bend the plywood I used various methods including soaking, steaming and laminating.

Below: 2 pieces of plywood glued along the full length, bent round a pipe and clamped together

Below: shows different thicknesses and lengths of plywood soaking in a bath of boiling water, some with extra weights to hold them down.

Below: 2 pieces (different lengths) of plywood held together using wood glue and clamps at the ends.  Created to leave a gap in the bottom for the magnets when fully set in the desired shape after being held in the vice.

Below:  The finished shape after glueing and held in the vice

Because of the natural springy quality that plywood has, this meant no hinge was required.  A catch or clasp had to hold the plywood shape together when the purse was closed.  I tried using a strap/ button fastening....

After speaking to my tutor, he suggested that i look into using sprung steel as it has similar springy/ bendy properties as plywood.  I was informed by the workshop and the sculpture department that they do not use sprung steel as it is too hard to work with and that normal steel could work just as well.

Below:  The first prototype made using spot welded steel, finished with leather.

Below: The steel used was too thick therefore restricted the spring quality of the material, resulting in the right aesthetic qualities, but lacking practicality of opening and closing the purse

Below:  The 1mm thick steel was bent and spot welded to created the frame.  The inside bend is there to create a slot where the magnets would sit, and the top frame has a slot in which the fabric can be slotted inside and attached. 

The steel used did not have the bending properties that the plywood did so i decided to attach a hinge on the bottom so the purse would be easier to open and close.

(1) The base of the purse frame was marked out and secured in the vice

(2) Using the angle grinder, the frame is cut in half

(4)  The image below shows the piece after it is cut...

(5)  The sharp edges are then smoothed using the belt sander

(6)  The hinge used had to be made of steel so that it could be welded on to the frame, however the only hinge available had a brass coating

(7)  The brass hinge is then cut to the correct size

(8) To remove the brass coating on the hinge it is clamped and sanded until the steel shows (this helps with the welding process later)

(9) The hinge was then spot welded to the bottom curve of the frame so the purse is easier to open and close

Stage 2- PLAY...Note Holder

For the play stage I wanted to explore the different mediums of money so I looked into notes, cards and coins.  This idea was based on a money clip but would make it easier for the user to take out 1 note at a time instead of unclipping all the notes when they wanted to spend.

The initial prototypes were made to test the sizes of the notes and a way of securing them safely so they wouldn't fall out.  The images below are made from thin black foam, hand stitched round the edges, using a metal clip found on hangers.

After using foam I decided to experiment with different materials that could be bent.  I used a range of plastics in different thicknesses shown below.

For a quick experiment I tried steaming plywood testing its bending limitations.

After exploring the properties of plastic and wood, I decided to try and bend metal, this way the clip could be incorporated into the rest of the holder as one piece.

The Process:

(1) Started by heating the copper using a blow torch to soften it, then it was cooled with water.  
As a result of heating the copper, it left it blackened so it had to be placed in a bath of acid pickle (roughly the same acidity as vinegar) which removed the residue.

(2) The clip section was marked out then the copper sheet drilled in the top corner of the marking with a thin drill bit. 

(3) The marking for the clip shape was cut using a wire hacksaw by hand, then bent to the desired shape using pliers. 

(4) To bend the copper sheet it was place on a steel bed and bent by hand using a mallet.

(5) The final stage was to polish up the copper which was done using the buffer (like a roll of fine sand paper and water, similar to the rollers in a car wash!) 

Stage 2- PLAY...Coin Counting Purse

After looking through my top 20 ideas a theme of finance related actions such as spending, saving and using money emerged.  The bank balance purse was the starting point for my project...

I went on the hunt for a coin counting machine but found that they we either too expensive or too big to fit inside a purse.  Toy money banks seemed to be the best option and so i bought a Rocket Money Bank from the Science Museum range.  The mechanism worked when a coin was put in, the value would be recognised, display it on the screen and set off the rocket triggering the sound and motor.  I only needed the display and so disconnected the motor and speaker.

(Removed speaker and motor mechanism)

As a result of the motor and the speakers being removed, the unit required less power therefore  2 AA batteries were used instead of the original 4 AA batteries and the 2 unwanted wires were removed from the casing.

The money bank itself was fairly bulky so all of the plastic casing was stripped down and removed until just the circuit and screen was left.


To detect what coin is inserted there was a sliding strip that was set on a curve, so depending on the size of the coin the slider would move further along the curve.

Because  the speaker or motor were no longer required, it meant new wires had to be soldered on to the circuit so that the display would change and go back to the start on a loop every time a new coin was inserted. 

(Small yellow and red wires soldered on the bottom left of the circuit)

The circuit and screen were then attached inside an old purse, and the batteries were connected together long ways instead of side by side because of limited space.

Finally the the screen display and circuit were sewn inside the purse and the batteries connected.