The Making Of: Peter Donders Carbon Fiber Bench

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Be sure to check out our carbon fiber store, where our specialty is in lifestlyle products.

Back in March Allison wrote about a creation by Belgian designer Peter Donders called the C-Bench and the C-Stone.  Not only are these now available for sale in our store (C-Bench here, C-Stone here), but we’ve gotten Peter to put together a behind-the-scenes compilation of exactly how the C-Bench is made.  This article will give you a behind the scenes look at what it takes to make one of these benches.  Before getting into the beginning steps, lets quick look at the final product:

Final product

3D Modeling The Bench

The first step to creating the bench was to create a virtual model of it in 3D.  Peter used Rhino3D for the modeling software, along with the use of the T-Splines plug-in:

Peter Donders C-Bench carbon fiber bench 3D wireframe

After learning from the guys that he works with about the geodesic path (The shortest path between two points) they needed to use to wind the fiber, Peter started to experiment in Rhino using a plug-in called Grasshopper and was able to find a solution.

Peter Donders C-Bench carbon fiber bench 3D wireframe

Peter Donders C-Bench carbon fiber bench 3D wireframe

The next step was do some final 3D renders in MODO 401 to get a good idea of the final design:

Peter Donders C-Bench carbon fiber bench 3D render

Peter Donders C-Bench carbon fiber bench 3D render

As you can see, the renders came out very close to the actual product.  Now it was time to take the 3D rendering and make it a real product.

Making A Test Version

The first step was to create an EPS mold out of foam, Peter created a 1:1 size as well as a 1:3 size for testing.  The larger 1:1 mold was created using 20 different pieces so that it could be reused after winding.

Peter Donders C-Bench carbon fiber bench foam mold

Here we can see six pieces of 24k carbon fiber tow being fed through the machine:

6x 24k carbon fiber tow

Here we can see the 1:3 version of the bench being wound and completed:

Peter Donders C-Bench done in a mini 1:3 version

Peter Donders C-Bench done in a mini 1:3 version

Making the Final Product

Now that the small scale model is complete, it’s time to work on the big guy.  We can see the first path being created here:

Peter Donders C-Bench carbon fiber bench being wound

Here is the bench all woven up, a total of 350 meters of carbon fiber was used:

Peter Donders C-Bench carbon fiber bench final with foam

Peter Donders C-Bench carbon fiber bench final with foam

The foam is then removed and we can see a finished product.  You can see that the bench is extremely strong, although giving off an “airy” look:

Peter Donders C-Bench carbon fiber bench

Peter Donders C-Bench carbon fiber bench

Now you’ve seen what it takes to make one of these gorgeous sculptures and you want one of the 20 (10 in each of the two shapes) limited edition pieces?  Head on over to the product pages for the C-Bench here, or the C-Stone here.

Be sure to check out our carbon fiber store, where our specialty is in lifestlyle products.
  • Really impressive stuff….. i hope this guy has some good insurance though, cause there is going to be some bad-ass cases of severe carbon splinters…ouch!