controlled surface deformation (with magnets)

by daniela

Last year, I experimented with embedding small spherical magnets in an elastic fabric in order to simulate a controlled surface deformation:

With this assignment, I wanted to recreate a similar effect by embedding the magnets in silicone.

First I made a mold by laser cutting plexi and stacking it to get the inverse of what I wanted in the silicone:

Next, I cast silicone into that mold. Once cured, I removed the piece and inserted small spherical magnets into the pockets left behind by the mold.

I then used another plexi mold (without the raised points) to cast another thin layer of silicone on top of the piece embedded with the magnets and trap the magnets within the silicone.

Finally, I made a plexi frame to suspend the silicone/magnet piece vertically, allowing me to deform the surface freely from either side with an external magnet.

In action:

Another experiment with casting silicone:

I made the previous silicone piece by casting into the diamond pleated structure from last week (folded in mylar instead of paper):