AURO Samples

This morning I received my sample products from AURO to test on my veneers and work out if they are suitable for use with my stands. In the package was a couple of different gloss paints, wood stains and a natural all purpose adhesive. I immediately used the adhesive to apply my bamboo veneer to the card to allow it to set, and then painted a coat of the blue gloss over one of the pop-outs to see how it looked, however if I am going to use the paints then I will need to use a primer as they did not apply as evenly as I would have liked when used on their own. Thankfully the kind people over at AURO have agreed to send me a couple of their primer choices!IMG_6734 IMG_6741 IMG_6736


Box Assembly

After testing many different layouts to work out the strongest structure which uses the least material and zero glue, I laser cut the outline. Once cut out, the inner details of the folds had to scalpelled out to allow for a neat and smooth fold so that each corner was even and strong with a good finish.2013-04-09 17.41.46 IMG_6720 IMG_6721 IMG_6722

Veneer Application

I decided to test the strength of my glue by applying one of the veneer samples to the card that I’m using. I suspected that it would take a bit longer to set than industrial strength glues so I applied a thin layer, placed the veneer on top and left it overnight underneath a heavy block of chipboard to make sure it was evenly pressed. I was delighted when I discovered the results today as the bond was strong from edge to edge, I think that having a such a large surface area helped a lot, and I can now move forward with testing different styles on the stand without worrying about compromising its recyclability! 2013-04-11 14.46.04 2013-04-11 14.46.20

Natural Adhesives

In order to apply the veneers I need to use a compostable adhesive, so that 100% of the product can be recycled. I decided to try making my own glue from household ingredients; flour, sugar, water and vinegar. Mixing these together I worked out the right consistency then heated in a saucepan until it turned into a paste. The vinegar acts as a natural preservative so that if kept refrigerated, the glue can last up to 6 months. 2013-04-10 15.19.01 2013-04-10 15.24.46 2013-04-10 15.29.16


I have been looking at ways to improve the aesthetics of the stand without compromising the all natural, recyclable qualities of it. One of my favourite options at the moment is to use veneers. I got in touch with a number of different companies who sell eco-friendly wood products, one of which is Mundy Veneers. They sent me some samples to choose from and test on some prototype stands. IMG_6728 IMG_6729

Complete Moulds

After setting the new recipe three weeks ago, today was the big day I removed them from the moulds! The new consistency of the materials meant that the mycelium was able to grow all throughout reaching every corner, leaving each edge with a clean white wall and forming a very strong structure to protect the laptop. In other words, it worked perfectly! IMG_6702 IMG_6711 IMG_6716


I have have been working on some logo’s and branding for my project, with the aim of reflecting the minimalistic styling of my design. I began with the universal “on” symbol as my packaging deals only with electronic products. I decided to slightly edit and flip the shape to mimic a very simple illustration of a mushroom as this is one of the key elements of my project. After tearing my hair out and picking the brains of those working around me to find a name for my brand, I have settled on the name Zero, seeing as my theme is zero waste. I then merged the “on” and mushroom symbols together to create the “O” in Zero.branding

Developed Pop-Outs

After having some of my previous stands tested for a few weeks by some of the finest design minds in the land, (those of my fellow honours students) I have altered the style to allow for a more minimalistic appearance on the users desk. Raising the laptop up to allow papers/pens to neatly fit underneath and therefore create more space on the desk.2013-03-25 12.50.29 2013-03-25 12.50.39

The New Recipe

After the first couple of batches of foam were complete, I made some tweaks to the consistency of ingredients as well switching to a more aggressive strain of mycelium and a denser type of by-product in the form of wood chippings.  Now the recipe has been mixed and set into the mould, its only another short three weeks to discover the results…2013-03-25 18.10.23

The Uncasing

After waiting for the mycelium to grow throughout the wood shavings, I unscrewed the mould to find… mould! Thankfully this is what I was hoping for as the two materials had bonded together to create a spongey substrate. Unfortunately the first run didn’t come out perfectly as it didn’t quite spread to all corners, and removing it from the center block was a bit trickier than I had expected. I had to break the edges off to keep it in good form, so after baking it in the oven for a while to kill off the spores, hopefully there will be a good consistency! Even though this attempt wasn’t a full success, I learned a lot about the process and how to improve it for the next step, such as using finer sawdust to increase the density, lining the core with a slicker surface and reshaping the mould slightly to allow it come free more easily. 2013-03-25 12.05.28 2013-03-25 12.06.38 2013-03-25 12.14.13

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