Best Projects of 2022
This year has been full of new processes and exciting collaborations. Let’s have a look back on the most interesting builds of 2022.
Puppet Theatre for Hyde Park Picture House and Alex Allsuch Boardman
We are massive fans of the iconic historical cinema, Hyde Park Picture House. This puppet theatre, designed by Alex Allsuch Boardman and cut by us, is an educational tool designed to engage children interested in theatre and cinema. It had to be a straightforward design that was easy to assemble and dismantle for storage, sturdy enough to stand on its own. Boardman’s design featured a variety of accents and patterns that required different tools to create. Thankfully, our CNC features an auto tool changer: instead of pausing the machine to change the tooling by hand, the auto tool changer does it in seconds, saving a lot of time.
This project was perfect for the Run CNC and a wonderful collaboration to be involved in.
Living With Machines Interactive Installation for Leeds City Museum
Run CNC, Vinyl Ritchie
Designed to engage children visiting the exhibition, this 2.1m tall piece featured an interactive mechanism that was visible through child-sized peep holes. Turn the cogs and see how that makes the boat sail, the train drive and the smoke rise.
This project required us to research the mathematics of machinery. Not only did the mechanism have to be perfect to ensure the machine worked, it had to look great on the inside. We created iterations of prototypes to test various mechanisms and ensure the whole piece ran smoothly.
Read more about this project on our blog
Bookends for Do Books
"Working with Duke Makes was a breeze. They took my basic idea and made it amazing! First class help and support from design to execution." Tim Frenneaux, Do Books
These bookends were a Design & Create project, meaning we worked alongside the client from conception to prototyping to outcome. Do Books came to us with a seedling idea - a bookend as a reward for people who contributed to their kickstarter campaign. After discussing ideas with the client we produced designs that they loved and manufactured high quality outcomes. They may look like simple bookends but we honed and refined until we and Do Books felt they were perfect, down to the feel, finish and weight.
B-Corp Certification sign for Engage Interactive
Mother Frickin Laser, Plastic recycling station
To celebrate achieving their B-Corp Certification, Engage Interactive asked us to create a plaque in line with their ethos. Their certification means the company meets the highest standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability, so the only fitting material for a sign to celebrate this was 100% recycled plastic that was shredded, pressed and lasercut in our studio.
The specific plastic came from a previous project of ours that, when they’d finished using it, was returned to our studio where we could repurpose it. The new plastic recycling station has provided sustainable plastic for projects such as this, and united us with Off Cut Studio through use of their heat press.
Run CNC, Mother Frickin Laser, Vinyl Ritchie, Electrical work
The biggest window in our workshop needed some branding, so we saw an opportunity to build something that utilised as many of our tools as possible.
The Duke Makes Lightbox (if you can call it a box) was designed to shine in our front facing window to signpost our whereabouts and celebrate what we can do. We used the Run CNC, Mother Frickin Laser and Vinyl Ritchie to create the separate elements, integrated some electrical work from our technician, and constructed the final piece to hang sturdily on display. We couldn’t be happier with the outcome - it’s a great example of pulling together our expertise, tools and creativity.
Mural for Olly Fathers
For this large scale mural, artist Olly Fathers came to us for our expertise. Usually, Olly works on a smaller scale using wood veneers, so for this outdoor installation we were able to advise him on which wood to use (marine grade plywood suited the conditions best) and source Olly-approved paints, wood stains and varnishes. Naturally, the pieces were cut on the CNC Router and assembled by hand.
A great bit of this project is that the final mural stands on Crown Point Road, a stone’s throw from our studio.
Clay, Filament and Food 3D Printers
Our biggest in-house project this year was a journey into parametric design. If anyone has been following our work this year, they know that we have loved making the most of our filament, food and clay 3D printers. It turns out the best way to make something that only a machine like the 3D printer could make is to ask another machine to design it.
Designing parametrically allows complex, customisable forms to be created that would be impossible to achieve manually. The design is created via an algorithm that can be adjusted and manipulated in a way that is much quicker than standard design, without the need to redraw the entire model.
Using the 3D printer we created lampshades using translucent filament, and ceramic vases and tankards, as well as an array of pots and prototypes. Read more about this process on our blog
The past year has been brimming with projects we’ve loved. Be part of our favourite 2023 projects! Get in touch with your ideas and let us take it from there
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A chance to experience what Duke Makes does, chat to us and and see our research first hand
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