Seeing the Invisible: Sola Cube Creation! (07.14.2020) - tortoise general store

Seeing the Invisible: Sola Cube Creation! (07.14.2020)

Posted by CreativeR Collaborator on

Holding a sola cube is like holding a natural wonder in your hand... but how are they made?  

Step 1: Creating the Foundation

The first step of manufacturing a sola cube is pouring liquid acrylic into a 5-6 cm square mold, slightly larger than an actual Sola Cube.  The plant, seed  or flower that goes inside has been carefully dried before insertion, and gently placed into the liquid acrylic once the liquid hardens into a gel.

Step 2: Pressurization

Once the plant/seed/flower is placed into the acrylic gel, additional liquid acrylic is poured into the mold.  The mold is then placed into a vacuum kiln, and pressurized to force out any air bubbles that may have developed.

Step 3: Heat Treatment

The Sola Cube now undergoes heat treatment.  The cube is showered in hot air, at a temperature of 80 degrees C (176 degrees F) for 3 to 4 hours.  This stabilizes the binding of the acrylic and ensures the cube is durable and long lasting.

Step 4: Processing

The cube is then cut precisely  into 4 cm on each side and planed.  The corners are rounded and smooth by hand.

Step 5: Polishing

The surface of the cube is polished until it is shiny with a clean and glossy finish so the specimen inside is beautifully visible from every angle. 

We're excited to carry a brand new Sola Cube specimen starting this month: the Chinese Lantern Plant!  The shape and color of this fruit resembles a Chinese lantern.  During the Bon Festival in Japan, streets and homes are decorated with them as signposts for ancestral spirits to find their way back.  This fruit has also been used as part of traditional Chinese medicine since ancient times.  You can purchase our new sola cube, the Chinese Lantern Plant, here!

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