We received a request to create a big, big, shining moon that would leave a lasting impression on our customers.
The installation location is wrapped in a mural like the inside of a spaceship. In addition to that, dismantling work was underway at the time of the request, and I was asked to make it the largest size that can be entered through the window on the second floor.
We had experienced in small size transparent FRP molding, but this size was just overwhelming.
At the beginning, we thought about adjusting the number of layers of glass fiber to express the mottled condition with the color like the actual moon, and from there we started making samples. After that, we gradually increased the size of the main body and repeated various trials and errors in painting and expressing craters.
The most difficult process was how to perform integral molding. The surface can be made clean by molding using an existing sphere mold, but when hemispheres are joined together, joint marks will inevitably appear. How do you overcome it? Also, how do you reflect the actual moon pattern on the surface? That was a big challenge for us.
The answer I came up with was a texture map of the moon published by NASA.
Then, it is printed and divided into a shape similar to that when cutting a watermelon, a balloon sphere with a moon pattern printed is made as a base model for balloon painting, and a transparent FRP is molded on the outer surface. Then, paint the surface so that it traces the pattern that can be seen through. Finally, we hypothesized that by pulling out the balloon from the hole for fixing the lighting at the top, it would be possible to express a pattern and mottled condition closer to the actual data, and made a small balloon for trial production.At the actual finishing stage, we recreated the data to make it better. As for the finish of the painting, I tried to make it as thin as possible and have no uneven painting by putting the lighting inside and putting it in a state where it is actually used.
At the final stage, we had our clients come to our company and make adjustments in front of them, and as a result, we were able to make our clients very satisfied.