What's your cup of tea?
Duration: August - September 2018
Collaborators: None
Media: Acrylic
The goal of this project was to create an accessory for a paper cup using sheet acrylic. To accomplish this, I had the opportunity to familiarize myself with new fabrication techniques such as laser cutting and heat forming.
Completed carrier using centripetal force to keep the contents from spilling
Ideation & Inspiration
I had the idea of creating a hanging cup carrier from devices I've seen in the past that accomplish a similar task. Additionally, I thought that the nuances of balancing such an item would be a great way to challenge my making skills. While the form itself is simple, I drew inspiration from products that I found beautiful—many of which utilize clean lines and respect the materiality by highlighting its attributes.
Initial sketches
Mood board (I don't own these pictures!)
Fabrication
Once I had an idea of the general form I wanted my cup carrier to take, I debated on a few different fabrication methods. While I initially considered using separate pieces of acrylic for both the cup base and arm, I decided to use a single piece in order to highlight the planar nature of the material. In order to balance the carrier, I had to be careful to take the weight of the acrylic on one side of the cup into account. Finally, I used a raised circle underneath the cup to keep it from sliding around in motion.
Carrier on its side
Detail shots of loop attachment (left) and base (right)
Fit of cup to carrier
Carrier in motion (yes there was water in the cup)
Reflection
Overall, I enjoyed getting to know a new material (laser cut acrylic) through the process of making my cup accessory. If I were to revisit this project in the future, I would like to experiment more with the aesthetics and how they provide physical affordances for users.
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