Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fun with Dibond and Plexiglas

For our exhibit "Mediterranean Treasures" we had the challenge of displaying many small objects that required specific lighting for them to be meaningful to the visitor - coins, small sculptures and examples of cuneiform writing.

We decided that we could re-purpose our biggest cases for our smallest items.  We would do this by producing a large piece of case furniture (affectionately called a "doghouse")to raise the deck level.  Above this arrangement we would integrate an LED lighting system that was up to the task. (None of the objects in these cases are "friable," so light damage was not a concern.)




We decided to use a material called "Dibond" - a sheet of polyethylene sandwiched between 2 sheets of 0.012" powder-coated aluminum.  It is lighter and more rigid than acrylic sheet, and comparable in cost.  The most intriguing aspect of this material is how it can be easily bent by V grooving along the desired brake line.  The sheets cut easily with an 1/ 8" up-cut bit at 18K RPM.  The finished unit is held together with a few strips of 3M VHB tape.


Shopbot,material

We also used ivory colored acrylic sheet to great effect in this exhibit.  This case furniture was created using a simple egg-crate design, which is reminiscent of the region's columnar architecture.  When the exhibit is over, these disassemble to store flat.



In the case of this urn for storing cremains, we used a solvent based cement to joint the panels.  During the assebly process we placed 200 lbs. of lead bricks on the platform.  I am sure it would have taken more.

2 comments:

Worden said...

Beeeeeautiful, man. elegant. nice job.

George Talpo said...

Good demonstration of the folding abilities of dibond, really amazing stuff. It's even less expensive nowadays which is always nice.