Vital Seating Presentation Award
Over the years we have been asked to produce many custom 3D printed awards and this case study demonstrates how we utilise our technology to produce fantastic results.
Sitting in badly designed seats is one of the worst postures for the human body. It causes weakness of the abdominal muscles, deformation of the back and places pressure on the inner organs. Prolonged sitting in poor seats restricts blood flow which leads to drowsiness and can result in headaches, lower back pain and pain in the arms and legs. What’s more, travelling at speed in poor seats in rough conditions with pro-longed heavy vibration places unprecedented pressure on the body. In extreme situations such as heavy impacts, vehicle rollovers and mine blasts, seating systems can go a long way to protecting passengers from serious injury.
Malcolm Nicholls Limited (MNL) was asked by a leading supplier of safety-critical seating to supply scaled models of one of their systems. These 3D printed awards were to be given as gifts to the armed services as a thank-you.
The customer supplied 3D CAD (STL files) at full size, MNL then needed to manipulate and dumb down the data to the correct scale approx. 10th scale. MNL used the finalised data to create 3D printed parts; they were produced via Stereolithography (SLA). Once completed parts had been built, they would go to MNL’s finishing department to remove visible layers and produce that all-important perfect gloss finish.
These finished 3D printed parts were then used as a pattern for MNL’s silicone tooling process. From this tool a perfect replica scaled model could be produced, in this instance once the tool produced its cavity, soft pourable wax was poured into the tool. These waxes were to be used for a foundry investment cast patterns where brass castings were produced. Final coating on to the brass was to be bright chrome. These models were supplied with a wooden plinth (Scandinavian cedar).
Two varieties of presentation cases were produced both with the company logo. Some of the presentation cases were produced clear with a blue tint, they were produced in the same as above, i.e. 3D printed, finished to the required level in this case a light spark, tooled and cast in a semi-translucent material with a blue tint. While others were cast in a solid colour from a silicone tool, and additional hinges and catches were attached. The internal walls of these cases were covered it a luxurious blue velvet, giving it that je ne sais quoi.
These seating systems are retrofitted to trucks and vans.