Wallpaper is not everyone’s cup of tea. So in response to a client’s interest in developing 3D wall paneling, PROJECTiONE of Muncie, Ind., set out to invent a system of ornamental tiles. The result is Bitmaps, a modular solution achieved through the use of vacuum-form technology and a reusable mold.
Jurors enthused over the surface’s “decorative power,” derived from a pattern of carefully controlled dots (either raised, flat, or imprinted in the surface). The design team prototyped the system using bubble wrap, then refined the idea with a High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) mold. Positive, negative, and flat plugs were milled and inserted manually into the mold, which forms the dimpled panels in .06-inch-thick white polystyrene. Surfacing and milling were performed on a three-axis CNC router, and oriented strand board backing provides needed rigidity. “The joinery is quite beautiful, very sophisticated and adept,” juror Frank Barkow said.
In this application, Bitmaps was used on a bathroom ceiling and walls. Integral lighting and ventilation controls function via capacitance sensing (placing one’s hand in front of the proper dimple is akin to flipping a switch). Jurors complimented the accessory console that houses a magazine rack, toilet paper dispenser, and iPhone holder.