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At the latter stages 8 sets fully functional sets of vacuum cast polyurethane resin components were required for various requirements including production assembly trials, photo shoots for marketing literature and fully functioning sales aids for the trade show.
3D Printing via Stereolithography – SLA
SLA parts were used in early stages as concept models. Shown here is one half of the handle just after the SLA build has completed; prior to support removal.
Concept SLA Parts
Once the pieces were built, supports were carefully removed. As budget was limited, parts were given a light sandblast only. Conept pieces back to the customer after only one day.
Scaled down simplified data of the engineering plant was broken down into many sections representing the differing areas of the plant. Several SLA printers and SLS printers were utilised simultaneously to speed up the process.
Once the pieces were built, supports were carefully removed. As budget was limited, parts were given a light sandblast and a quick coat of paint, the colour depicted the various sectors of the plant.The parts were mounted to a custom built display board. All in all the project was completed in just over a week
How it was achieved…
The highly-skilled modelmaking team were able to apply the same surface finish to the masters as that found on the rest of the PowaKaddy product range. Silicon tooling replicated these masters resulting in a total of eight sets of polyurethane castings that closely simulated the injection moulded components. The consistency in surface finish was matched with the consistency in accuracy. “We used to have to tweak most of the prototype parts that other RP companies supplied to us; however since using Malcolm Nicholls Limited we simply assembled the plastic prototypes to the tubular framework” explained Lee Manvell, New Product Development Design Engineer at PowaKaddy. The completely new handle design was prototyped using another of MNL’s tools. The handle seen in the photos is a nylon SLS component, produced on the HiQ Sinterstation. The SLS parts were finished and painted to match the other components. A textured rubber-like skin with golf ball dimples was over-moulded onto the SLS handle. Once again SLA masters were produced to facilitate the silicone tools required for the over-moulding.
PowaKaddy sell into more than 50 countries, and following the show, the carts have toured the world visiting their various resellers and distributors. Functional prototypes have also been produced of various accessories including an SLS umbrella holder in Glass-filled nylon. “These parts were fantastic; they were so strong we were able to treat them like production mouldings.” concluded Manvell. PowaKaddy have put their prototypes to good use; including production assembly trials, photographic shoots for sales & marketing literature and of course the excellent fully functioning sales aids for the trade show in Munich.
Textures like the fine spark finish here were applied to the early prototypes.
Minutes after the SLA build had finished shows a lot of the SLA resin in liquid form around the part.
Textures applied to masters were reproduced faithfully on each of the polyurethane mouldings.