Vivarium Project

Dominica Williamson, of, is an arts practitioner who works to connect people to their landscapes and environments. One of the ways she does this is by taking groups of people out into the country side to collect items from the natural world and create a miniature tableau inside a glass display case, or vivarium. She travels all over the world to run workshops and events, but had problems transporting all the equipment she needed easily. She came to CNC Craft to see if we could help to design a ‘flat pack’ vivarium to fit in a suitcase that could be assembled and dissembled easily.

Here you can see some of the work she has done.

The process

We were delighted to be asked to work on this project. It seemed such a wonderful way to increase peoples awareness of the world we live in. Meeting one day a week over a number of months we developed a brief, then made and tested prototypes until we arrived at a system that we hoped would be able to stand the rigours of transport, use and assembly cycles. The results can be seen in the images below.


The result is a system for making glass cabinets of various sizes with 2 doors and a waterproof well. The frame is made from birch plywood cut using a CNC router. The glass, or perspex sheets are held in grooves in the plywood frame, and the whole thing is bolted together with stainless steel rods that have been threaded on both ends. The two doors have 3D printed hinges super glued to the edges, that rotate around the stainless steel rods. We also developed a 3D printed door catch. It is hoped, that in the near future , all the cutting and printing files will be available for download from this site.

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