Process

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The Making of a Hi-fi Model

Good prototyping is when artistry meets technology.  When KitchenAid asked us to make a dozen of their premium water kettles in high-fidelity models for the National Houseware Show, we were confident that our model crafters can deliver a suite of stunning models that will meet the client’s expectation.  As any projects, we started with designer CAD drawing and quickly went from digital to physical in about 2 weeks.  The body was milled from ABS.  The handle and lid was constructed out of aluminum.  We put in light-up LEDs that represents the user interface when the product is in use.  Here you will see a series of photographs we sent to our client while the model is being constructed so the client can track the progress of the model build.

  • Client: KitchenAid
  • Fidelity: Tradeshow 
  • Product: Electric Kettle 
  • Material: ABS, Aluminum
  • Tools: CNC 
  • Time: 15 days 

Model VS. Production Comparison

Kettle Model to Production Comparison

Machining is any of various processes in which a piece of raw material is cut into a desired final shape and size by a controlled material-removal process. The many processes that have this common theme, controlled material removal, are today collectively known as subtractive manufacturing, in distinction from processes of controlled material addition, which are known as additive manufacturing. Exactly what the “controlled” part of the definition implies can vary, but it almost always implies the use of machine tools (in addition to just power tools and hand tools).

Metal forming, is the metalworking process of fashioning metal parts and objects through mechanical deformation; the workpiece is reshaped without adding or removing material, and its mass remains unchanged.[1] Forming operates on the materials science principle of plastic deformation, where the physical shape of a material is permanently deformed.

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Espresso Machine

The Nespresso high fidelity prototype showcases the beautiful design and the stunning colors by using UV treated paint on a full ABS housing.  The water tank is milled acrylic and tinted for a smoked grey translucency effect.  The crank lever is fully functional and is made out of polished aluminum.  The hi-fi models were shown at the National Houseware Show and have created a buzz for the brands.

  • Client: Nespresso
  • Fidelity: High 
  • Product: Espresso Maker
  • Material: ABS, Aluminum 
  • Tools: Various 
  • Time: 15 days 
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Silk Screen & Pad Print

Putting realistic graphics on the prototype is essential to realistic representation of the product.  Our graphics can be applied with silk-screening, pad printing, laser & acid etching, engraving, stamping and various other methods.  No matter if it’s a 3D graphics that you needed some depth with, or a crisp gloss-finished logo that needs to be etched on to a textured surface, we can achieve your desired result.

  • Client: Whirlpool
  • Fidelity: Production 
  • Product: 30′ Cooktop 
  • Material: Ink Printing 
  • Tools: Silk Screen
  • Time: 2 days 

Silk Screening & Laser Etching

Graphics for Cell Phone
Laser Etching

Screen printing is a printing technique that uses a woven mesh to support an ink-blocking stencil to receive a desired image. The attached stencil forms open areas of mesh that transfer ink or other printable materials which can be pressed through the mesh as a sharp-edged image onto a substrate. A fill blade or squeegee is moved across the screen stencil, forcing or pumping ink through the mesh openings to wet the substrate during the squeegee stroke. Basically, it is the process of using a mesh-based stencil to apply ink onto a substrate, whether it be t-shirts, posters, stickers, vinyl, wood, or other material.

Laser engraving, is the practice of using lasers to engrave an object. Laser marking on the other hand just discolors the surface, without cutting into the surface. The technique does not involve the use of inks, nor does it involve tool bits which contact the engraving surface and wear out. These properties distinguish laser engraving from alternative engraving or marking technologies where inks or bit heads have to be replaced regularly.

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