Making a Shark Jaw!

3rd February 2017

A blog by Ross Monks

In my first year of Product Design at Plymouth University, we were given a design brief to create a product for educational purposes to use at the National Marine Aquarium. The product however was only allowed to be manufactured on a laser cutter!

Our course received a tour around the Aquarium by one of the Hosts there. I was inspired by the fossilised Tiger Shark jaw shown to us by the aquarium staff. As such a delicate artifact the public are unable to touch or hold the jaw, this inspired me to create a wooden replica.


I designed a replica Tiger Shark jaw to be as close to the real shark as possible, with the size, width and number of teeth all at a 1:1 scale.

The model is made from 56 individual pieces cut on a laser cutter from a sheet of 6mm laser-ply. The individual 2D pieces are then glued together to form the 3D model, with the addition of two nuts and bolts which allows the jaw to open and close.


My aims for the design are to allow both children and adults an interactive learning experience in the aquarium by providing a fully functional model jaw that opens and closes which anyone can hold and experience. So, next time you visit the Aquarium, make sure you ask to hold the Tiger Shark jaw I’ve donated!

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