Kenwood Chef Model

Certain projects have been selected from MNL’s Rich History, this one comes from 2002:

For more than fifty years the Kenwood Chef has been a lifesaver in the kitchen – more than 10 million have been sold worldwide. The Kenwood Chef builds on this distinguished heritage and cannot be beaten for functionality, innovation, performance, speed or design. The art of family cooking can again become a pleasurable experience. Getting the balance of ingredients correct in any recipe is vital to ensure the correct blend of taste and texture for your final dish. When producing a model to represent a new design for Kenwood’s “Chef” food mixer/processor, a delicate balance of processes that Malcolm Nicholls Limited (MNL) had to offer had to be chosen.

The model needed to satisfy various functions. Firstly the visual appearance had to be exactly as per the design offices intent. The intention was for the Chef to be predominantly stainless steel, with various finishes, including bright chrome-work, matt sections, and other components with a brushed look. Prototyping stainless components are costly and time-consuming, the method required to produce the model to represent these finishes, had to overcome these hurdles.

Secondly the model was to be semi-functional only; as there would be some more market research carried out using the model for public perception on the look of the product. The model should demonstrate how the top half of the Chef could be raised, how attachments could be fitted, and how the mixing bowl could be removed etc. Another one of the models’ functions was to aid the marketing department with photographic shots being taken for posters, exhibitions and possible press launches.

Despite the fact that the model was not to be made from stainless steel, it still needed to be durable enough to withstand the rigours of excited engineers. The model might also be needed to face the public’s scrutiny, and it is those whom may not appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of physical models.

With all these considerations in mind, as well as the usual budgetary constraints, MNL decided to construct the model Chef over a solid lightweight model-board chassis. The underside of the top section was CNC machined from solid aluminium to stop the top section from drooping under the weight of some of the attachments (standard production attachments for the Chef range). The chrome components were cast in polyurethane (PU) resin from silicone rubber tools, produced from Stereolithography (SLA) masters. These PU castings were then vacuum-metalized to give a near perfect match to the real thing. All other visible components were produced as SLA parts, hand finished and then sprayed to the required colour and texture. The excellent combination of MNL’s model-makers and the superb durability of Somos 9120 SL resin. Combining the skills of their hands-on model-makers with the latest available 3D printing technologies and materials, MNL had all the ingredients needed.

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