A replica of a common background prop in the Star Trek series created for my brother as a gift.
A break from my usual design format, this board was created over a month for my brothers Christmas present after he took an interest in the prop seen often throughout multiple series of Star Trek.
The board first appeared as a plot device on the original series in the 1960’s but generated fan interest amongst fans, later appearing mostly as background set decoration. Toy boards were sold but are exceedingly rare today, as a result I undertook the task of researching what documentation I could find and designing aspects of the construction and ergonomics.
The frame was originally going to be made of tubular steel, forged in my high school’s workshops into the desired curve. After bending the first tube, this proved too time-consuming and so a wooden frame was jig-sawed. The base was cut to resemble Starfleet insignia imagery.
The boards are laser cut polymethacrylate sheets with ‘white’ squares represented by a rastering effect. The small 2 x 2 boards are mounted on tubular aluminium as they are intended to move. The unit assembles with no screws, slotting into place.
This was a fun project even if the design was somewhat prescript, I feel it gave an appreciation of craft-based design at a time when I was focusing on engineering methods and hypothetical design.
If I were to do this project again or make more as part of a series I would like to change the way the mini boards attach given that they are not as robust as I would like, relying on adhesives and also, I would have liked to pursue the metal frame beyond the minor forging I was able to do.