When creating custom projects, you never know what kind of challenge the client will put in front of you – it’s exciting and a bit frightening at the same time. Each time you have to start with a blank canvas, the whole new set of knowledge and skills, and you’re just trying to build your way through the execution.
This time I was commissioned to make a type of a vending machine which gives a user a piece of printed medium. It had to be attractive, but yet simple in design. Since I had free hands, I decided to make a revolver type of storage system inside the main box, filled with 3 mm plexiglass plates with an UV printed text.
First we made a sketch to visualize the overall design of the machine, to make it more clear for the client.
After the initial sketches of the mechanism I devised, a CAD drawing was made in preparation for the further build. We didn’t have much time for testing, so I created not one, but two mechanisms, just in case one of them gets discarded for functionality reasons.
First the frame was welded.
Frame corner detail.
Test fitting of the plexiglass tubes, where I realized I need to cut them additional 3 cm because of the clearance issues.
Freshly machined sandwich plates countersink-ed for the nuts.
A fastening detail.
A rig for testing the mechanism weight under a fully loaded container.
Cover plates laser-cut and test fitted.
After drilling all the holes, everything was sent to powder coating.
The first assembly after powder coating.
Here you can see the whole machine.
On the back and on the top I decided to make service lids with the thumb bolts.
At the printing office, waiting for the stickers to be applied, and breathing down their necks 😀
I have tried with a couple of mechanism options, this particular one was meant to have a pull handle on the side of the machine.
While waiting for the stainless steel pull plate to be laser cut, I have made an exact model from PVC for testing which worked quite well.
New pull plate installed, but there was a problem with the rotating the drum at fully loaded pressure, so some alteration of top plate was in order.
And when I say some alterations, I mean a brand new redesigned stainless steel plate was made.
A placement detail. The operation of the container drum is simple, when you deplete one container, you just rotate it in either direction, until you get the full one in the place and you are good to go.
The text was UV printed on plexiglass and then laser-cut, however, we still had to peal the protective covering. It created an extra traction when the machine was operated, so it needed to be removed.
An example of a printed plexiglass coin.
All done and ready for the shipment.
Pull knob detail.
For easier transportation the bottom and the top half of the box can be separated, and quickly connected with those snap latches. Also, there are location pins installed, so it can’t just slide out of place even if the latches are not fastened.
A detail of the back lid.
One of the four wheels with integrated lock brakes.
And now it’s time to say something about the project itself. This machine was specifically made for the Museum of Reality. It’s the first of its kind in the world, the brainchild of Švicarska advertising agency and UNICEF Croatia. It is held third year in a row in the Museum of Illusions in Zagreb, offering visitors a unique and interactive experience, translating illusions into harsh reality and making a strong statement about the children rights. This particular machine is called The Lottery of Life, and when you pull the handle, it spills out one of the many real life stories, so you can see what your life could be like if you were born elsewhere.
“A reminder of the fact that we are born into life with different chances of gaining life opportunities.”
The exhibition has lasted for three days, and we would love to show everything in this post, but it’s really about the experience.
And the machine worked just fine, so we were relieved
Big thanks to Švicarska agency and UNICEF Croatia, for opportunity to be a part of this project!