tub deconstruction

Here’s a pretty tub… how’d they make it?

I’m guessing die cast aluminum welded together, but the surface treatment made me wonder… Masked and painted prior to welding? Powder coating could scratch… annodizing for the blue maybe? Any ideas?

Casting such a huge/thin structure would be hard. If it is mass produced, it can be pressed from sheet metal and welded, if it is a one-off then can be hand beaten from sheet, like old sports cars/aeroplane.

Made on a silicon chip.

The immaculate (no visible technology) joining of the two color edge, completely flush, not sharp, perfectly mated, hard color line.

The fact the an image search on google only turns up the same images. I think it is a concept render.

Might be able to do it with pressure forming, hand beating also possible but difficult to imagine matching the upper and lower shells.

The core contradiction is that it is an environmental bathtub.

What??? But it’s recycled environmentally friendly aluminum!

I highly doubt who ever designed that tub has ever seen anything welded in their life, particularly aluminum. Love the dimensions, though. Adds so much authenticity to the design.

100% thats just a rendering.

Easy to not deal with manufacturing when you’re in Hypershot.

I’m in agreement with the comments regarding how CAD can lead designers to believe anything is possible… When clients fall in love with renderings not based in reality is when designers get into major trouble… The form’s nice, though…

However, the inner shell might be possible in deep drawn aluminum–but that would have to be one hell of a die… As for the outer shell, I’d probably be more comfortable with it being a casting for structural reasons, but the nominal wall would probably be thicker to facilitate better mold filling.

Also, while aluminum is a lovely idea from a recyclability standpoint, I’d wonder how well it would wear over time vs. stainless steel…


Oooo I just had an idea…
I’ve been waiting to pull this one out. How cool is that? You can form aluminum like a thermoform. I mean it’s not cheap but the possibilties are so sweet. Now if I could just find a client with the right product, and deep enough pockets…

Now THAT looks fun.


I’ve actually been to the Superform facility in the UK. It’s an astounding process.

Saw some Bentley fenders, subway car front fascias (the whole damn thing in one shot), jumbo jet wing parts with pretty wild compound curvature.

They did the AL body panels for Ross Lovegrove’s Muon speaker for KEF audio. They basically heat up a 5mm thick sheet of AL and then pull it down onto a CNC’d SOLID cast iron form. Sometimes 1 sided, sometimes they have an upper mold too.

Cool indeed, but you still can’t finish the two pieces individually and then weld them together.

True, you’d have to go for 100% polished AL.

btw the Muon is 2 halves welded and polished.

Yes you could certainly polish it.

In the mid 70’s we were using super-plastic zinc alloy to thermo-form/pressure-form low volume computer terminal housings – extraordinary detail and draw. The product went away because zinc was no longer bening produced in the US and it became even more costly than it already was. Then came its aluminum equivalent but at an even higher cost – and so it goes, needing deeper and deeper pockets.

So does pulled metal show witness lines like plastic? those feet would have some capture and need tool movement … but I guess blemishes there could be polished out too.


Reminds me of the dutch tub

that’s awesome you saw the factory. Looks it’s right up the road from Bristol in Worster - That’s one I’d like to check out too! What were you developing if you don’t mind me asking?

awesome you saw the factory - it looks it’s right up the road from Bristol in Worcester. That’s one I’d like to check out

Apart from the tricky mold required to do those feet, I don’t see why you couldn’t cast this. It would take a tremendous amount of polishing work to get that surface finish, and you might have to 5 axis machine the two mating surfaces to get them to join up that perfectly, but it doesn’t look impossible. The inner edge wouldn’t be that sharp, but you wouldn’t see it once the two halves are joined, so that detail is irrelevant. It’s not really fundamentally different from a cast iron clawfoot tub, other than being two pieces.

You’d need a good painter to paint it two colors, but again, not out of the realm of possibility. If you get a clawfoot tub refinished today, they just paint it with automotive paint.

I think the “superforming” is a trade name for hydroforming, which is a very promising technolgy and has started to be used in automotive widely.

The reason it is hard to cast is, it probably is very thin. Casting thin structures soundly is quite challenging.

Not the same.

Ignoring that needlessly sharp inner edge in the render, in real life this wouldn’t have to be any thinner than the 100 year old cast iron tub in my bathroom (~6mm / .250" wall) Not particularly challenging.