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Heat Shrunk Polystyrene Fruitbowl

By

George Wright
Heat Shrunk Polystyrene Fruitbowl

Project Type

Make-it-Yourself

Category

Homewares

Waste Materials

Polystyrene

Hits

2,378
Beautiful sculptural fruit bowls made from heat shrunk polystyrene.

Materials & Equipment List

Materials Required - Polystyrene, Clear set plastic glue and spray paint.Equipment Required - Oven, Bowl shaped mould,

Making Instructions (Login to see the full instructions)

Start with a large block of polystyrene. Cut the block either into equal cubes or just random non-uniform shapes depending on the effect you intend to go for.
This is roughly the number of blocks you will need to create the bowl but does depend entirely on the size that you cut the block and size of the bowl you intend to make.
Now put a baking tray with the pieces into a pre heated oven at roughly 200 degrees.Whilst in the oven all the air in the polystyrene is pulled out and the block shrinks. As it shrinks the block will deform up until the point when all the air is out and it will straighten back into its original shape but will be 1/4 of the size.
Warning Polystyrene gives off harmful chemicals when heated so please do so in a well-ventilated area and wear a mask.
Here you can see the pieces have come out of the oven 1/4 of the original size. They have also hardened.The density of the polystyrene will affect how the block deforms and how long it takes to shrink.
This shows how the blocks have shrunk in size compared to image 2.The blue and pink bowls in the following images are being used as moulds for the polystyrene bowl. Try and use a plastic mould that has some flexibility as this will help you with removal at a later stage.
The next step is to trial fit the pieces around the bowl mould deciding where you want them to go.
Then glue the pieces in place using strong plastic glue. Make sure it is clear drying glue otherwise the overall aesthetic of the bowl will be affected.
Here you can see how the differant shapes create a complexity to the bowl.
Leave to dry for 12-24hrs
Remove the bowl from the mould .
Alternatively you can use a plastic paint to apply a final finish to your bowl.Then place your fruit inside and enjoy.
The final polystyrene fruitbowl
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11-11-2012 22:01:16
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Author Info

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George Wright

Cleethorpes

United Kingdom

Graduate student from Product Design at the University of Lincoln. More examples of my work can be found at www.coroflot.com/george-wright or see my experience...

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