PDP, Reflecting on my Technical Research Report

Over the course of two summer placements I was able to gather a lot of research about press form manufacturing, working for a company called Gestamp. This led me to the conclusion that writing about this process would allow for plenty of research to be undertaken to fully understand what this process holds and how it stands in industry today.  The focus on sustainability was a key factor, as I am fully aware of the increase in the need for recycling and how big companies ensure that their processes are sustainable, both environmentally and economically.

My time in industry showed me that press forming is still a widely used practice and that there are many applications that use press forming to create both small scale and large scale products. As the company uses their machinery to press form car body parts, I was able to learn that the majority of the materials used in the process are used to create the parts with only 30% of the raw materials were wasted. This waste however, adds to the economic sustainability of the process as its then sold onto scrap merchants who recycle the waste and the money from this is then given back to original producer of the raw material to allow for purchasing and manufacturing of new materials.

B vs P

Figure 1 (Blanking Vs Punching)

When initially writing my technical report, focusing on the technology was vital to get across exactly how press forming works, including the different processes presses go through to produce a variety products. This included the basic operation presses perform through punching and blanking and the different types of press, including Hydraulic, Mechanical and Servo that all use different types of driving motion to form the metal sheets into the desired shape. Punching and blanking shown in figure 1 and the types of presses shown in figures 2 respectively.

Figure 2 (Gupta and Prateek, n.d.) (Tyagi, 2012) (Aida-global.com, 2008)

As further research showed just focusing on the technology was not appropriate as the materials used in this process were vital to understand exactly how the process works and why it is still viable in today industries.

From this, time was spent understanding the different types of metal that were used in mass producing parts from press forming. It was clear to me that steel and aluminum were the main materials used in press forming, this is shown by the research undertaken, showing how these types of metals can produce high strength products with low weights, that when certain forces applied to the sheet metal can be deformed into a variety of desire shapes. The basics of which can be shown in figure 3 below, showing how metals are deformed due to the amount of strain applied.

Figure 3 (Suradi, 2017) (a) (Necking Diagram) (b)

The process of writing my technical report has so far taught me about correct writing skills, being able to interpret the information I was gathering from books, articles and research documents I was reading.

It was from this point that I started to consider the sustainable aspects of other manufacturing processes and how the use of press forming, which is a sustainable process, can replace other un-sustainable processes. I quickly realised that producing anything from plastic can create a non-recyclable product and even with today’s technology, we are still not recycling enough waste as we could. This led me to finding the need for a new design, simply design out plastics.

This idea of designing out plastics is something that I will be considering for future design project. It was intriguing to see how much man-kind wastes and the problems this causes. If all it takes is to consider different materials and the way we use products, it is a shame that we don’t do more as society to provide the most sustainable future we can.

After understanding that a massive 42% of all ‘bulky waste’ was furniture (Thersa.org, 2015), it was clear to me that, even with the amount of chairs out there that could replace plastic, there is still not a design that can be quickly manufactured, completely recycled, and easy to produce in large quantities, replacing the need for the mass production of plastic chairs.


Figure 4 (Concept Design)

For me, this project became increasingly interesting as it moved from the technology of press forming, to the understanding of a new design, to the design itself. At this point, when coming up with the concepts for the design, I was able to use the research and knowledge I had gained to understand what features the design would need and how it would be manufactured. Shown in figure 4.

The final design (figure 5) came about as a combination of: the evaluation of each concept, further research into the comfort and stack-ability of a chair and the addition of a feature to both strengthen and reduce the weight of the overall design.

Final Chair collageFigure 5 (Final Chair Concept)

As shown here I was able to develop and come up with a new design for a press formed chair. This has taught me how to correctly design for press form manufacturing, including the features than can be added to the design, and the overall form that can be achieved. I believe that with more development the aesthetic and the weight of the chair can be improved for better use.

Throughout this project, research was done to find the relevant information using all manner of documentation including: books, articles, web references, imagery and primary sources. This enabled me to put together a coherent report about the process of press forming and the sustainable aspect is involves.

Upon reflection, I have enjoyed learning about the process of press forming and how it still plays a significant role in today’s society. The implications of having such a sustainable process has allowed me to appreciate to different style of manufacturing and how every day plastic objects can and should be turned into re-usable, renewable products that have a minimal effect on the environment. Being able to design a new product around press forming was a significant process to help me further my knowledge on the subject and produce a new design that would suit a wide variety of people. If I were to re-visit this, I would aim to undergo more research into the process of renewable energies, giving more focus on the other manufacturing processes that are fully sustainable.

This project has given me an insight into my future, from this I am considering a career in the manufacturing industry helping to develop new techniques to reduce waste and lower the environmental impact that the industry is still accountable for. It seems that the manufacturing industry primarily prioritises profit; I would like to change, through design, the industry, to better focus on sustainable practice in broadest sense. Not only working towards environmental sustainability but also ensuring the sustainment of a company and the industry. This will be done by critiquing the process that all products go through thus attempting to reduce waste, increase re-usability, and encourage recycling.


Thersa.org. (2015). Report: The Great Recovery – Rearranging the Furniture – RSA. [online] Available at: https://www.thersa.org/discover/publications-and-articles/reports/the-great-recovery-rearranging-the-furniture [Accessed 7 Dec. 2017].


[Figure 1] Blanking Vs Punching, Image Authors own.

[Figure 2] Gupta and Prateek (n.d). NC Hydraulic Press Brakes | Micro Hydro Technic. [online] Microhydrotechnic.net. Available at: http://www.microhydrotechnic.net/nc-hydraulic-press-brakes/ [Accessed 2 Nov. 2017].

&Tyagi, V. (2012). sheet metal working. [online] Slideshare.net. Available at: https://www.slideshare.net/vivcool1/sheet-metal [Accessed 1 Dec. 2017].

& Aida-global.com. (2008). Servo Press Technology, DSF Series, Direct Drive Servo Presses, from AIDA. [online] Available at: https://www.aida-global.com/direct-drive-servo-former/#1_1 [Accessed 1 Dec. 2017].

[Figure 3] (a) Suradi, E. (2017). Why does the stress-strain curve decrease?. [online] Engineering.stackexchange.com. Available at: https://engineering.stackexchange.com/questions/13583/why-does-the-stress-strain-curve-decrease [Accessed 4 Dec. 2017].

[Figure 3] (b) Necking Diagram, Image authors own

[Figure 4] Concept Design, Image authors own

[Figure 5] Final Chair Concept,  Image Authors own


Personal Progression – A Review of Constellation

During my time in constellation I have been fortunate enough to have thoroughly enjoyed the different topics I have been presented with. Even from the first session in Neo-Futurism I realised that constellation is there to teach us more than what we initially intended at university. What I mean by this, is the fact that it opens my mind to new ideas and new ways that I can incorporate what I have learned in constellation and put it into practice by using these ideas in my own designs. It initially taught me that branching out into different fields of study could help to broaden my horizons and search for new ways to channel my creativity.


One group of individuals we looked into were known as Archigram (Archigram poster above). They had big ideas that they thought would revolutionise the way we live and change the very ideas of civilization. In my previous post, I was asked what I thought a city was. My initial response was that a city is simply a large town where a cathedral stands; however this study in Neo-Futurism got me re-thinking this response, going deeper into what a city was and what it provides. A city has a large population, where the inhabitants all work towards a better life for themselves and those around them. A city provides: comfortable shelter, amenities, goods, jobs and schools for all the people of the city. This has taught me a valuable lesson that not all things should be thought of as the way you perceive them, but opening your ideals to a different way of thinking can provide you with a much rounded answer to the initial problem. This is something I can take forward into product design, to make sure I dive deeper into the research I am doing come up with a better solution for any brief I am given.
A few lectures later I was faced with the question, what do I think sustainable city is? For me this was excellent as we had been attempting to understand the different ways something can be sustainable. The idea is simply making something that would last a very long time. This would mean that a city would have to provide its own energy and resources to a population that would be growing almost every day. This was beneficial in my subject work as it got my researching into the different types of sustainability and how this would encourage my present and future designs to be more ‘long lasting’. (Image below “Sustainable City in Top Gear”)


Later on in these sessions we learned about Maggie’s cancer caring centres and how they were designed to provide a better space for the patients that lived there. Now this was fascinating to think that something can be designed to evoke certain emotions so that the user feels more comfortable when either using or being in the space provided. It was also very interesting that nature was the influential point used to design these types of buildings. This was something that I could do further research into when designing, to see if any aspect of nature could be used to improve my designs. From this I have also learned the different types of things that we as human beings have taken from nature already, to enhance our own way of living. This idea of Bio-Mimicry and Bio-Morphism, taking from nature and essentially replicating it form, function and purpose into our own works, has worked very effectively on this building below. (“TWA Flight Centre”) The building itself was designed to mimic the structure of wings, and show how nature has influenced man kind in the process of flight. This has further developed my skills as a designer to look for ways that nature has had an influence on previous designs and how it could enhance mine.


Moving on from Neo-futurism, I selected Sonic Arts as my second choice as I have an interest and long background in music. I believed that going on this course would help to understand more about sounds, music and how technology has advanced in the music industry. In the first session I was already very intrigued by the subject. A quote that our lecturer used was, “music is like water, you’re able to turn on a tap and music comes out”. I believe this was to symbolize the fact that technology has come so far that you can easily access music and sound. What I’ve taken from this is that, in creating my own designs, I could attempt to show the ideals of music through aesthetic design and incorporating the sounds themselves into the design.

In the sessions that followed we learned about spaces that are designed, purely to enhance the experience of listening to the music that was being played in the space. This got me very interested as I could incorporate this idea into my own works. Furthermore this provided a link to a previous statement that space be designed to evoke emotion in the user. This has helped to understand that music can be used to do the same thing and by combining the two, you can create and ambient space with influential music to embody the emotions you want the user to experience. I have also taken ideas form this to enhance my ideas of minimal design, being able to design a space by taking out as much as possible so that there is only one focal point to that space, For instance this image below (What is minimalism), that is purely white expect for the central flower that is being used a the central focus point. This has enhance my knowledge greatly on the field of minimalism and music so I hope to further this by completing as much research as possible into these fields.


A very important part of constellation was finding out how to write an academic paper. My lecturer gave me great tips, including the use of third person writing instead of first to make the paper seem more formal. This has benefited me greatly, especially as I am now writing my essay about minimalism. I will be intrigued to see how much better this paper will be written in comparison with my previous work.

Image Bibliography

  • “Sustainable City In Top Gear”. Emirates 24|7. N.p., 2014. Web. 3 May 2016.
  • “TWA Flight Center – A Dictionary Of Modern Architecture”. uchicago.edu. N.p., 2015. Web. 3 May 2016.
  • Becker, Joshua. “What Is Minimalism?”. Becoming Minimalst. N.p., 2011. Web. 26 Apr. 2016.
  • “Archigram Archival Project [Reference]”. CreativeApplications.Net. N.p., 2016. Web. 3 May 2016.

Sonic Arts 8

The final session of this rather intriguing topic. During this session we purely spoke about essay wiring, including conversations with Alexandros about the questions we had chosen. I quickly learned the direction I should take and I have already started researching into the connection between minimal sound and minimal design.

Now that I have finished sonic arts, i look forward to researching all about my essay question and taking all the things i have learned here to apply them to my own designs.

Minimal Sound, Minimal Design 

Web reference: (http://sonicphonics.tumblr.com/)

Sonic Arts 7

In this session we spent some time honoring the recently deceased Beetles producer Sir George Martin. From this I learned all about the ins and out producing music and the different jobs involved. The point i took form this was to make great connections with lots of different people. To go beyond our normal practice and look for inspiration from alternate disciplines.

Sir George Martin

For the rest of session we were given information about how to write our essays. What I’ve learned from this is:

  • An essay should be written in third person.
  • A good break down, using small paragraphs, helps with the reading of the essay.
  • Include, correctly referenced pictures.
  • Always give context to any quotes you are using.
  • Stay away from putting titles on paragraphs.
  • Decide your opinion of the question asked and stick to it.
  • Stick to the question at hand, try not to go off on a tangent.
  • Always stick to relevant research, and find out what has happened in your topic and what is happening now

Sonic Arts 6

Today we looked at Phillip Glass and his (in my opinion) bizarre music films. When say bizarre I mean strange  yet thought provoking as i was able to see the connection between between the music and the imagery in the film. From this was able to see that its not always the product you show, but the way you present it.

We also did a small exercise to see what sounds annoyed us and what sounds we wanted to hear more of. The annoying sounds included things like: Static, scratching, droning; and the better sounds are things like: waves, calm winds, crackling fires. I can see from this list that the more natural sounds are the ones that we want more of. These sounds would be perfect to use with a presentation. This would make a customer feel more relaxed and thus more inclined to purchase the item.

Again left with another quote, this time from R.Shaffer. “A good tourist inspects the whole environment critically and aesthetically. he never merely sight sees, he hears, smells, tastes and touches. This I was most inspired by as it shows people don’t just see things, they use all of their senses to gather their own opinions.


I have placed this picture of a ‘beautiful environment’ to show my interpretation of having an environment you can fully immerse yourself into.

Web Reference: (http://bradwhitt.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/)

Sonic Arts 5

This week we looked the definition of minimalism in music; something that I simple, monotone and easy to follow.This kind of style is what I will be researching into for my essay and from this I have already learned that minimalism shares the same values in all disciplines. The simple form and the easy to follow structures is what i believe makes minimalism, minimal.

Below is an image that could spark a connection between minimal sound and minimal design.yr1qegc8j0f1enws84uo

Web reference: (http://lifehacker.com/give-yourself-room-to-work-with-these-minimal-wallpaper-1602443975)

Sonic Arts 4

This week was mainly looking at different academic writings to do with sonic arts and what we ca learn from them. I was left with a quote from Alexandros ‘To fill a 2500 essay, you need to read and connect with vast research’. From this i have further understood the need for lots or research to be done before you even consider writing an essay.