For my project I wanted to create something that would be useful in my everyday life while still conforming to my personal style. I didn’t just want some more clutter that I would eventually throw away. I wanted something that would show who I am and what my interests are.
As an engineer I have always been fascinated by the industrial revolution and the machinery that came with it. It was a golden age for innovation and birthed what would one day become the steampunk aesthetic. I have always like the raw look of dirty steel and industrial chic design unburdened by the prefab mainstream.
I am very much a minimalist at heart and therefore didn’t want to create something that wouldn’t serve a purpose in my everyday life. That’s when I came up with the idea that it had to do something with wine. I am very passionate about the fermented grape mixture. However I often find myself cluttered with lots of bottles everywhere. My solution to this was to design a wine rack that could organize them.
My first attempt at this failed in that the welding ‘coupons’ were not wide enough to accommodate the number of bottles i had initially set out to hold (left figure). I will still most likely use this since it does hold three bottles but wasn’t very intriguing to the eye.
After this failed prototype; I went back to the drawing board. I was still determined to use this industrial aesthetic as it relates to wine and stumbled across these. I was instantly fascinated with them.
Although the caption suggests this is some sort of illusion. I assure you it is pure physics! Which is probably what I love about it. As long as the bottles center of gravity stays above the support of the holder it will not topple over.
In my quest to source material for this project I remember all the fun we had on our component design projects and the different cool gears and sprockets we had used. I thought these would bring something mechanically raw to my piece and the hole in the middle was the perfect size for a wine bottle stem.
I enjoyed using my skills as a welder knowing that would be part of the conversational piece this would become. It was quite tricky to setup because I had to get the angle of the weld just right. Also the thinness of the teeth of the sprocket was a challenge. If I used to much wattage on the weld it would burn right through and break off.
All in all I am really pleased with how this project turned out. I think I stayed true to my minimalist roots with the clean lines and use of only one sprocket. And it works!