This week, we continued on our prototype for the tiles fixture.
LED Base Making
Based on the feedback we got from last week’s class, we redesigned the base structure by enlarging the size of the tile while decreasing the perimeter of the LED square, so that the light source is less exposed.
Pushbutton Holdings on Base
We re-calibrated the size & depth of the button holdings to support the expected weight of the concrete tile.
Concrete Tile Making
Wooden molds were made to hold and shape the concrete tile.
Wood Anchors and Safety Thread of Concrete Tiles
We put wood anchors in the corners of the tile, so that the tile can be fixed onto the base with these anchors going into the holdings. A safety thread was also embedded into the concrete tile to prevent it from falling off.
The holding base (or the “wall”) was painted to provide stronger and better diffusion of the LED lights.
Dried Tile with Safety Thread Installed on the Base
Once the tile was fully tried, we took it out and installed it onto the base with its safety thread hooked up to a fixed screw at the back of the base.
Testing of the First Tile
Illumination test were run for the tile to verify the intensity and color of the LED light source.
Multiple Tiles (Failed)
We tried to make more tiles using the same procedure. However, all of the four tiles we made after the first tile broke apart when we attempted to take them out of the mold.
Our guess was that since the wooden molds had been used for at least once, the mold had soaked plenty of water during the curing of multiple tiles, and became somewhat mixed with the concrete. This had created unevenly distributed pressure when we were taking the tiles off, and it eventually broken them, no matter how light and careful we tried.
At this point, making 9 tiles for the following week seemed impossible.
Remake of Broken Tile
While there was an option to go with just one tile, we discussed if there was possibility to do something with the broken ones. Thanks to Adrian, we realized that we could recreate a different style of concrete tiles by putting their broken pieces together, and let light shine through it.
We picked one tile that seemed repairable and glued it together. We then used the flashlight on our phones to see if light could go through the cracks. And it did!
So, we further sanded the internal edges of the pieces (to create more room for the light), and Arnab helped us by using epoxy to fill all the cracks and put the pieces back together.
Reborn of Tiles & Final Work
The epoxy worked really well, and we managed to control the lighting of both the normal tile and the cracked tile in a uniform manner.