For my project, I have several specifications and constraints that I want to emphasize for the final product. In this page, I have chosen my top five constrains and specifications (in no specific order) to talk about.
For my specifications, I want:
1. Gentle Lighting
This was an important part of my project. I wanted to create something that was associated with emotions like comfort, safety, and calm. Something similar to a nightlight, rather than a club or concert. I want this piece to be something that I can take a moment to enjoy, and not something that becomes an eyesore or irritant. I wanted the piece to be emblematic of being inside a log cabin on a snowy mountain, and the safety, warmth, and comfort that come with that environment.
2. Cast shadows, geometric layers
This specification is mostly because I like the appearance of the geometry and layers of topographic maps. However, I feel like it also plays into the aesthetic that I am going for, and the time of day that I want to emphasize. Alpenglow only happens in the morning or the night time, with the first/last rays of sun being cast across cliffs and rocks at super low angles. With the mountain nightlife, the light emits from within the towns and valleys, lighting angles and shapes of the mountain with an appealing glow.
3. Hidden electronics
I want to ensure that all my electronics are hidden, because showing unsightly wires or battery packs will ruin the aesthetic and the scale that I am going for. I want to have a clean rendition inspired by the mountains, and some of my favorite aspects of them. I do not want to emphasize the electronics or manufacturing of the piece at all.
I want to make sure I capture the correct proportions of my subject. Since I am doing Copper Mountain, which holds a lot of meaning for me, I want to represent it well. I also don’t want to have any macro features (such as houses or ski lifts), because the total area of my piece is intended to be about 11×11 miles.
5. An alpenglow/mountain nightlife aesthetic
Finally, I want to emphasize my chosen aesthetic, which is an alpenglow/mountain nightlife aesthetic. This is important to me, because it inspired the whole project. I want to capture the beauty and emotion that each of these aesthetics has on me, and do them justice with my work.
Next, I also had 5 constraints to keep in mind for my project. For my constraints, I need to consider:
1. Size constraints
I need to consider the constraints of the laser cutter, since this is my main method of manufacturing. I must keep the size of the project within a 24″ x 32″ range, because this is what the laser cutter can take. This means that I am not able to make any super wide topographical maps, which I considered in the beginning phase after I was inspired by a work of the Grand Canyon.
2. Time constraints
I also need to consider time constraints. Since I only have a few weeks left of this project, I need to make sure that I can realistically finish it by the end. If I choose to make my project out of wood, the files that I need to laser cut will have to be updated, and split into 12 separate files (one for each layer). This will have to be completed by the Idea Forge, which will take a significant amount of time.
3. Material constraints
Similarly, I must consider material constraints. Since the laser cutter is only able to safely cut certain materials, I am limited to wood of specific dimensions, and acrylic of specific dimensions. This means that I will have to achieve the aesthetic I am going for with these textures and colors.
4. Cost constraints
I must consider the cost constraints. Since I am a full-time student, and since my laptop recently stopped working, I am working with a smaller budget than I would like. I will have to make this project work within a budget that I can afford– hopefully under around $50.
5. Stock constraints
Finally, I must consider material stock constraints. Since I want to achieve the specification of proportionality, I must choose a material whose thickness aligns with the number of layers that I am choosing for my map, and the peak altitude. This means that I must carefully choose the width of the surface area as a ratio with the thickness of each material layer (and balance that with the capabilities of the laser cutter).