Saturday, 29 January 2011

completed projects and recent events

Forlano Design engaged us to manufacture 3 furniture pieces last year to made to be made from Walnut. Although composites is our main line of work, years as a pattern maker, boat builder and model maker mean I can still accomplish wood craftsmanship when required.  The pieces are: 'Terrain', 'Expectant' the chest of drawers hall unit, and 'Terrain shelves' the fractal set of shelves.

For 'Expectant' I enlisted past employee, friend and wood craftsperson Evan Gist, he selected the walnut from the yard, machined and dressed the wood and superbly built and coated the carcass and door fronts. I took over from there and aligned and installed the drawers into the carcass and designed and integrated the rebated and angled handles.
To create Ruby was a challenge, my first thoughts were to look at 5 axis CNC machining, however it proved an extremely difficult and expensive exercise to machine all 56 pieces both sides with variations on the champers. So I fell back to doing it by hand - with a 4" grinder and some 80 grit sandpaper.
Using the CAD model to help with reference points for both sides of the 56 pieces I got through most of the pieces in an intense 5 hour session. The alignment of all three parts was tricky but was worth the effort. The piece looks amazing and complex ...a great design.

Terrain shelving, was much simpler, based on the same method of manufacture as the 'Terrain' stool, it came together quickly and were painted in an off white.  They are able to fit on a wall in a variety of combinations and rotations. (4 of the six pieces are shown)

completed projects and recent events

Thales is one of Australia's largest defence suppliers and working with them on high level projects has been and continues to be a great experience. Early last year we were designing and building a carbon fibre housing for a collection of electrical and computer equipment. The 'ATAC system' objective was "to create something small and lightweight that would offer almost the same power as one of our (Thales) existing 100 kg servers". The arrangement of internal parts and overall design and composite material selection was very much a collaboration between Thales technical staff and composite components working together.

Although it looks simple the design and manufacture of this housing was not, many elements had to be taken into consideration from the electrical resistance properties of the selected composite materials to how Thales technical staff can work on and upgrade the components and how to keep the operators from tampering or accessing the very same internal components!

The ATAC project was seen as a success by the Thales 'deployables team' and has now led to further work for us on similar defence oriented electrical and computer based projects for Thales.

completed projects and recent events

We have been quite busy since the last post and keeping the 'news' up to date has unfortunately slipped way behind.
We completed some major works and a lot of minor works in the time that has passed, and I have listed with images some of these projects.
UAV Vision: after working with UAV Vision for the past 3 years we were contracted to create a complete set of steel production tooling and component parts for a new design. The steel tools were based on 3D models received from the client and from these we drew the 3D mould models and organised all the CNC machining. The moulds were made over a 2 week period and shipped to us polished and ready for use. The quality of the moulds was great and we have not needed to rework or maintain the moulds other than the occasional re-prep of the release agent after a series of parts.

Some of the details were quite small with rebates for 2.5mm machine screws and 3mm 'O' ring seals on 4 of the parts. Photos of the moulds receiving a release coat and the prototype camera housing and a 'primed' camera housing are shown
The Cerebral Palsy Association has kept us busy over the last 5 years we have been suppling their composite seats and last year was no different. After discusioins with the specialists we made some changes to the manufacture of the seats to improve the build time and quality and they now come out better than ever, coincidentally a study conducted by Curtin University (for the Cerebral Palsy Technical department) demonstrated that the composite seats we produce were superior in most aspects to the traditional materials and the existing seat construction method for the particular tasks they must perform. We look forward to continuing to produce these seats in the coming years.