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Viper SLA 3D Printed Golf Trolley Case Study – certain projects have been selected from MNL’s Rich History, this one comes from 2005

“Golf Europe” is Europe’s comprehensive golf show, exclusively for suppliers and buyers in the golfing world. PowaKaddy, the world famous market leader in golf cart technology had a substantial stand in the Munich show back in October of last year(ed 2004). It was at this show that they unveiled their latest powered golf cart, the P5™ prototyped using the Viper SLA.

The plastic components on the show carts were all produced using advanced prototype technologies at Malcolm Nicholls Limited. 3D printed Stereolithography (SLA) masters were produced using the size advantage of MNL’s SLA5000 coupled with intricate detailing that the Viper Hi resolution SLA machine offers. The two technologies were used side by side to manufacture hybrid masters. “MNL typically replace detailed areas such as those found on product logos with a piece produced on the Viper SLA machine” explained Ross Nicholls, MNL’s General Manager. “The Viper gives us excellent detail, clarity and crispness. Quality is what this company was founded on; The Viper helps us to maintain our high standards” Nicholls continued. The highly-skilled model-making 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 Selective Laser Sintered (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.

Motorised Golf Caddy Viper SLA Prototype

Viper SLA 3D printed Golf Trolley

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