Experimenting with components to control the shape and bend of hinges whilst still allowing the design to be fully adjustable and easy to manipulate.
The use of string or rope can allow for many other components to become involved in a design for an object. Rope or string can be manipulated the most and also threaded through the hinge design as well as simply through certain parts to really limit the movement. String allows for a pulley system to be involved which means the hinge design can be controlled using cleats, ties and weights.
Elastic bands are also a successful way to control the hinges but only in one direction unless a frame is used to increase support of the hinge.
I have been experimenting with the spacing of the cuts of the hinges and the pattern they can create. The top image is of a cross pattern which has limited flexibility but is not as successful as the more simple rectangular and square cut designs.
The second image is an experimentation in spacing of one of the original hinge designs. It is apparent that it is not the simply the size of the cut that affects the flexibility, it is more about the negative space in relation to the amount of material that is left around it.
There is also the possibility to cut more rounded shapes to create hinges, but I prefer the look of the straight line and the way they work with light and shadow.
I have been researching methods of making wood bend, and have come across the concept of living hinges. Many open source options are available on sites such as Obrary (http://obrary.com/products/living-hinge-patterns?variant=798259727) which are quite successful, but I have chosen to design my own patterns to see what light patterns I can create whilst maintaining the characteristics of being a workable and bendable material.
These are my three most successful “hinges,” there are other trials that did not bend or broke under stress. (Looking that the top image) The hinge on top one is my favourite, perhaps because it is more intricate. It also bends a little bit more than the one below. The design below is not as pleasing to the eye as there is a lot of material still left, although it is more sturdy than the first. The bottom design is the most bendy, but is unable to hold its own form, which could become a problem with some design concepts. It is, however, fun to play with and the perfect stress release because of the pattern created through play. I feel that this would be better applied to the creation of jewellery or small objects to form a game.
I have many more ideas planned, but with the constraints of using the laser cutter (which is in high demand) I am working slower than I would like to be at the moment.