SnP CAD Design
Tea-Taper production
Napkin Rings, CAD Design

Metal (noun) - a type of chemical element that is malleable and ductile, usually solid, has a characteristic luster, and is a good conductor of electricity and heat, e.g. aluminum or copper.

Source: Encarta Dictionary-English (North America)

The Process:

Metal, particularly billet aluminum, is 15Kv Design's signature and Vince Alcouloumre's material of choice. Bound by a drive for precision, Vince sculpts each object in the Volta Series by using computer and machine age state of the art technologies. Each candle holder, napkin ring and coaster expresses the perfect balance of design, engineering and artistic sensibility.

For the Volta Series, Vince begins the creative process by choosing an object that he uses daily, a salt shaker for example, and rethinks its physical properties to discover what can be done to make it more artful, functional, and long lasting via its expression in aluminum.

Obsessed with the details of proportion and geometry, Vince uses 3D CAD design software on his Macbook-Pro to create the initial designs for each Volta piece. After the completion of the CAD design, Vince creates the CAM programs that translate the 3D design into the computer language that his Haas CNC milling machine can understand.  Affectionately nicknamed "Yetti," the CNC machine functions as Vince's "Avatar" by transforming his thoughts into the physical motions that propel tooling to carve the aluminum blocks into the various pieces of the Volta Series.  By shearing and cutting the metal, Yetti leaves behind subtle surface designs on planed sides or deeply engrained patterns. Vince then carefully miters corners and curves edges to make surfaces smooth and silky to the touch.

Prior to the sculpting phase, Vince must design and build all of the jigs and fixtures required to anchor the billet aluminum in place.  Each fixture is unique in that it is built to fit a particular part or shape. Therefore, Vince may build as many as six different fixtures for one particular product. After the fixturing is designed, programmed and made on the CNC machine, Vince is ready to produce the first article of the new design. Vince determines the raw materials and specific tools required for each piece, then gets to work on the latest creation, refining and perfecting each version until the design has reached the level of quality, detail and craftsmanship that 15Kv Design strives to maintain in all of its functional sculpture.

Vince transports the sculpted pieces to the anodizer for the final finishing process. Anodizing, an electrochemical process that seals and protects the pieces while allowing the intricate and unique surface designs made by the machining process to shine through. Either richly colored or metallic silver, the anodized coating give the objects a durable, protective, long lasting finish.