A1 Technologies

A1 Technologies (14)

For many years, A1 Technologies has been an active advocate for placing advanced, integrated 3D digital technologies into the hands of tomorrow’s designers, engineers and manufacturers to encourage and develop these skills for future generations. In April 2009 the company sold the world’s very first low-cost commercial 3D printer. Now, following stringent R&D efforts the company is delighted to be launching a brand new, proprietary 3D printer, the Maxit, with some key design and operational improvements.

The Maxit 3D printer has been developed to enable it to be built quickly and easily, within a few hours. A major part of the A1 mission is to engage children — in a school environment — to get creative with 3D printing and associated technologies, and to become familiar and comfortable with the technology. This is because A1 firmly believes that, in the future, we will all design+make in 3D, and putting 3D tools into classrooms now is the best investment we can make into that future for industry and for society.

What is more, reliable printing has also been at the heart of the development of the Maxit 3D printer, with quality electronic components sourced to support uninterrupted and consistent printing operations.  Thanks to a key design feature (the motor is remote from the hot end), the printing head is much lighter with lower inertia, allowing faster printing.

Maxit Specifications:

  • Dimensions 360 x 360 x 320 mm (excluding material holder)
  • Weight 2.7 kg
  • Printable area: 210 x 160 x 100 mm
  • Printing Speed: 40+ mm/sec
  • Layer thickness: 0.125 – 0.3 mm
  • Nozzle size: 0.5 mm (good for fast printing)
  • Filament size: 3 mm
  • Material: PLA (Poly Lactic Acid: biodegradable material)
  • Supplied complete with software
  • Maxit — At a glance
  • Super light and easy to transport
  • Very simple to assemble (under a day)
  • Reliable support
  • Compatible with CAD software — both open source and commercial
  • Price: £995

According to Martin Stevens, CEO at A1 Technologies: “3D Printing is proving to be a disruptive technology in many industrial sectors: however, it is also just on the verge of hitting mainstream consciousness and I believe that it is impossible to overstate just how important the technology will be in the future. That is why I am so passionate about getting 3D printing into classrooms now, to furnish kids with the knowledge and the skills to succeed in the future whether this is for their careers or as informed citizens. And, beyond that, hands-on learning with products such as these has been shown to foster enthusiasm for STEM subjects, not to mention entrepreneurial spirit.”

3D Printing, however, is not a process that can be utilised in isolation of other 3D disciplines. To this end, A1 Technologies offers a globally unique and compelling mix of low-cost 3D products, with complete integration to make 21st century engineering principles both accessible and applicable in the classroom. As well as 3D printing; 3D design, 3D scanning and 3D machining products can all be sourced from A1 Technologies to provide a fully comprehensive suite for designing and making in 3D.

For more information, visit: www.a1-tech.co.uk/maxit-3d-printer

A1 Technologies is delighted to be taking part at the Design & Technology (D&T) with ICT show. The event is a specialised forum that brings together D&T equipment suppliers, training and resource providers and specialist agencies and associations, all dedicated to networking and showcasing the advantages of Design and Technology in Education. The A1 Technologies range of products is a perfect fit in this environment, providing as it does a portfolio of ultra low cost, easy to access and use technologies that are ideal for the D&T classroom.

Visitors to the A1 Technologies stand (A70) will have the opportunity to try out these technologies for themselves. Working exhibits will include the Chameleon 3D design package, 3D laser scanning, 3D printing and 3D machining.  All of these digital technologies from A1 are particularly well suited to developing the design and technology skills of students of any age and engaging them with realistic engineering and manufacturing tools of the future.

Bringing together some of the most innovative and accessible 3D digital products on the market today, A1 Technologies will demonstrably prove that it is entirely feasible to bring all of these technologies into the classroom right now, without breaking budgets. Demonstrations on site will also illustrate how incredibly safe to use every product in the A1 portfolio is for any age group. The A1 range of products ticks all of the right boxes for educational requirements and each product is accessible in every conceivable way because they are low cost, easy to use and extremely safe. A1 Technologies is also showing visitors at the event how all of these technologies can be integrated in a holistic way to maximize the potential of the 3D world for designing and making products.

Bringing together those involved with design and technology education, this event is an ideal platform for A1 Technologies to further its aim to put 3D digital technologies in the hands of tomorrow’s engineers. The full range of products offered by A1 Technologies include the Studiomill 5-axis CNC machine, 3D printers, the Chameleon 3D haptic application, the 3D David Laser Scanner and the Unimat range.

For more information, visit: www.dteducation.co.uk or www.a1-tech.co.uk

A1 Technologies is delighted to be taking part in the 3D Printing Event, which is taking place in Eindhoven, The Netherlands on 25th October to coincide with the Dutch Design Week (DDW). By participating in this event A1 will showcase its comprehensive range of products, including 3D printers, as well as the low-cost design tools and scanning equipment that allow users to create the 3D models for printing.

As awareness of 3D printing continues to grow and new applications emerge — almost daily — 3D printing is a very exciting industry with which to be involved. Martin Stevens, CEO of A1 Technologies is a fervent believer in the capabilities of 3D printing and what it can offer our global community. Martin has been involved with 3D printing for many years, and one of the existing barriers that A1 is working hard to break down is accessible design tools that will allow ANYONE, of any age, to design in 3D and subsequently 3D print their designs.

During the 3D printing event later this month, Martin will engage the audience with a presentation called “3D Design for All”.  Citing the 12 million 3D CAD user base world wide, Martin will challenge this number within the context of the global population — some seven billion of us — many of whom would choose to design and make in 3D if the right tools were accessible to them.

Martin will explain to the 3D printing event audience just how this is becoming a reality by demonstrating the advantages of a complete — and integrated — portfolio of ultra-low cost 3D digital technologies for every stage of the design + make cycle for industrial users, individual hobbyists and creative designers as well as within all educational environments.

Product Range

• StudioMill — a 5-axis CNC machine complete with software and a range of tools.
• BfB 3000 — a pre-built 3D printer with conversion software for the printer, which will also check and repair .stl files.
• RapMan — a self-assembly 3D printer kit.
• Chameleon — a creative haptically-enabled 3D design package.
• DAVID laserscanner — a 3D laser scanner.

Bringing together such an agile range of 3D technologies — at such affordable prices — truly sets A1 Technologies apart in this field. The team at A1 works tirelessly to open up the 3D digital world to education, individual creatives and industry alike — with the dedicated aim of making these technologies fully accessible to all.

3D Printing Event, 25th October 2011
Seats2Meet, Strijp S, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

For more information, visit: www.ddw.nl or www.a1-tech.co.uk

A1 Technologies is delighted to introduce the new DAVID Version 3 laser scanner. After more than a year of development this low-cost, highly effective laser scanner, the DAVID 3.0 boasts some significant upgrades that put real scanning power into the hands of users.

The most exceptional development to note in this latest version of the DAVID Laser Scanner is that it is the first and only laser scanner to include software that supports both ‘classic’ Laser Scanning AND Structured Light Scanning.  The structured light scanning method, as its name suggests, employs  ‘Structured Light’ (SL), which makes scanning faster and easier using a standard video projector compared with the single line laser and camera employed for the laser scanning method.

The video projector is connected to a PC and DAVID 3 uses it to illuminate and scan the object with several stripe patterns.  Within seconds of initiating the process, the 3D scan results appear on the monitor screen. So what are the pros and cons of Structured Light Scanning compared with Laser Scanning? Here is a quick run down:

Advantages of Structured Light Scanning

• SL scanning does not require calibration panels in the background during the scanning process.
• SL scanning is a much faster process.
• SL scanning is a one-click operation compared with the hand-held laser scanning process.
• There are no moving parts or inaccuracies from hand tremors etc.

Disadvantages of Structured Light Scanning

• Projector prices are dropping, but they are still more expensive than Lasers.
• SL scanning requires darkened conditions, usually darker than required for laser scanning.
• SL scanning is not suitable for smaller objects with fine details because projectors typically can not be focused to very short distances.

Because the DAVID 3 is set up to offer both structured light scanning and hand held laser scanning capabilities, the user has the flexibility to select the best method for the application at hand, and maximize the benefits of each scanning method.

Furthermore, the completely new user interface makes DAVID 3 even more versatile, extendable and user-friendly while still compatible with all of the same hardware as previous versions. A comprehensive user manual is supplied with the DAVID 3, which fully explains how to get the most out of the equipment.

The new version of this ultra-low cost scanner will be on-site at TCT Live 2011, at A1 Technologies stand F24. Come and be one of the first to see it.

For more information, visit: www.a1-tech.co.uk

Monday, 12 September 2011 09:52

A Real Source of Power for Designing & Making

Written by

A1 Technologies is very excited about the Power of Making Exhibition, which opened at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London last week. This exhibition, hosted by the V&A in collaboration with the UK Crafts Council is open to the public ‘to celebrate the power of making in our lives’ and will run right through until 2nd January 2012.

Passionate about designing & making A1 Technologies was delighted to be invited by the curator and the V&A to get involved with this eminent event that will undoubtedly attract individuals, families and school groups to view highly innovative and inspirational pieces of work. For the duration of the exhibition A1 has loaned the makers in residence at the V&A — PostlerFerguson — a suite of its advanced tools for designing and making in 3D. The synergy between the event and the aims of A1 as a company are clear and by demonstrating these advanced, accessible and easy to use products in such an environment the company hopes to introduce many more people to 3D digital technologies. Any visitors to PostlerFerguson within the Sackler Education Centre at the Power of Making exhibition will be offered the opportunity to try the equipment out for themselves.

The comprehensive suite of 3D technologies on site with PostlerFerguson includes:

• Studiomill — a 5-axis CNC machine complete with software and a range of tools.
• Chameleon — a creative haptically-enabled 3D design package, which incorporates Cloud9 software from Anarkik3D.
• DAVID laserscanner — a 3D laser scanner.


The Power of Making
Victoria & Albert Museum
London
6th September 2011 – 2nd January 2012


For more information visit: www.a1-tech.co.uk or www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/p/power-of-making

Wednesday, 31 August 2011 10:29

A1 Technologies Gears up for TCT 2011

Written by

A1 Technologies will once again be exhibiting at TCT Live 2011, which will be taking place at the NEC in Birmingham, UK. Running from 27th September – 29th September TCT Live will be staged concurrently with other related exhibitions including Interplas, MM Live, Nano Live and MEMS Live, to maximize visitor experience.

A1 Technologies is currently gearing up to maximize this significant opportunity with the aim of introducing a host of new visitors from a wide range of disciplines to the exciting capabilities of low cost, accessible and integrated 3D digital technologies for designing and making.

Time and again, the A1 Technologies team has seen the tremendous benefits of placing these technologies in the hands of the uninitiated — and has been rewarded with sheer enthusiasm and excitement as the concepts take hold — not to mention increasing sales. Five year olds through to 85 year olds, individuals, teachers and corporate engineers are all similarly blown away by the innovative, intuitive and easy-to-use 3D digital technology supplied by A1 at accessible, ultra-low prices.

TCT offers an excellent platform for A1 to actively demonstrate the advantages of its complete — and integrated — portfolio of 3D digital technologies for every stage of the design, engineering and production life-cycle. The full product range is capable of meeting the design + make needs of industrial users, hobbyists and creative designers as capably as it fulfills applications in all educational environments. All visitors to the A1 stand (F24) will be invited to experience the products — first hand — for themselves.

The A1 Product Range

The comprehensive suite of 3D technologies that will be exhibited at TCT Live 2011 comprises:

• StudioMill — a 5-axis CNC machine complete with software and a range of tools.

• BfB 3000 — a pre-built 3D printer with 4 kg of print material and conversion software for the printer, which will also check and repair .stl files.

• BfB RapMan — a self-assembly 3D printer kit.

• Chameleon — a creative haptically-enabled 3D design package.

• DAVID laserscanner — a 3D laser scanner.

Bringing together such an agile range of 3D technologies — at such affordable prices — truly sets A1 Technologies apart in this field. The team at A1 works tirelessly to open up the 3D digital world to education, individual creatives and industry alike — with the dedicated aim of making these technologies fully accessible to all.

Event Information:

TCT 2011
27th – 29th September 2011
NEC, Birmingham UK
Stand F24

For more information, visit: www.a1-tech.co.uk or www.tctmagazine.com/x/tct-live/tctlive.html

When the team from A1 Technologies presented live demonstrations of its cutting-edge range of 3D digital technologies to the Bristol Society of Model and Experimental Engineers (BSMEE) in May earlier this year the response from delegates was so positive that A1 was invited to participate at the Bristol Model Engineering and Hobbies Exhibition, which took place last weekend (19–21st August) in Thornbury, UK.

Aiming for a similarly positive response from the hobbyist and model maker visitors to the exhibition who come from across the UK and further afield, the A1 team actually found themselves inundated with enquiries from visitors and exhibitors alike. As always, the A1 stand was furnished with working systems covering the full range of 3D digital products it supplies with an open invitation for visitors to access the technologies for themselves. The equipment exhibited included tools for 3D design, 3D laser scanning, 3D printing and 3D machining — all of which can be fully integrated and all available from A1 at ultra low prices.

The interest and excitement that these technologies caused was palpable, and the positivity was contagious. What did become very clear over the three day exhibition however, was that the vast majority of these creative people were only being made aware of 3D digital technologies — and their capabilities — for the first time. For those visitors that were previously aware of the technology, few had seen them in action before and were taken aback by how accessible they were and how simple they were to operate effectively. This, despite the fact that virtually all of the visitors that engaged with A1 at the exhibition had a background in engineering. Furthermore, very few, when asked, were trained in 3D CAD but were fascinated to find out that by using A1’s easy-to-use 3D design package (Chameleon) and 3D laser scanner (David), they too could create designs in 3D and therefore, generate 3D data for 3D printing and/or machining to produce full 3D models.

Within this context, a large proportion of the visitors that spoke with A1 team members specified that they saw the main application would be to produce a pattern to generate parts from moulds for small volume builds for models. Specific examples included model aircraft, engines, cars, trucks and boats (there were many others).

Martin Stevens, CEO of A1 Technologies commented on the time invested in Bristol: “We spoke to hundreds of people during the exhibition and we were overwhelmed by their enthusiasm and excitement. No one walked away from our stand unmoved.”

He continued: “Before the exhibition opened each day, we had a short window of opportunity when we could wander around the show and look at the other stands. At this point, it was our turn to be blown away by the beauty of the models being shown, by the effort and the engineering ability that shone through every single model — real labours of love, built by people who not just loved what they did, but were very interesting and knowledgeable as well.”

The creative sector is built on a foundation of passion for designing and making and A1 Technologies will continue to demonstrate how 3D technologies can positively contribute to this passion.

For more information, visit: www.a1-tech.com.uk or www.bristolmodelengineers.co.uk/Exhibition/exhib.htm

The growing community of DIY designers + makers is a phenomenon that has exploded in recent months. The shift away from mass customized products towards individual, personalized goods is a reflection of the changing tide in consumerism and it has been made possible by the increasing accessibility of the tools that allow consumers to design and make the products they want – when they want them.

Personalisation is the creation of a product to meet the specific requirements of an individual. The epitome of personalisation is the creation of one’s own wedding ring, and that is precisely what Cloud9 design software together with 3D printing from i.materialise has achieved for Kari.

Of course it helps if your mum has a background in design and jewellery — but these days it is not an essential factor. This inspiring story, though, is shared to illustrate the potential of original design + make technologies.

Rob proposed to Kari at the end of last year, and her dream engagement ring was one that Kari had seen years earlier, created using traditional techniques by her mum, Ann Marie Shillito who is a jeweller,  a 3D design software developer and a self-confessed 3D printing evangelist.

Kari is extremely proud of her mother, saying: “‘I have been so lucky growing up with a jeweller as my mum, some of my earliest and fondest memories are walking through the front door after school to the familiar sound of her hammering away in her workshop.”

Ann Marie now also runs Anarkik3D, a company that has developed Cloud9 — a haptic, organic modelling software package for easy, intuitive 3D design. This original software in combination with the latest developments in 3D printing materials — titanium — meant that the timing could not have been more perfect for Ann Marie to bring all of the necessary threads together to fulfill her daughter’s wish.

The original engagement ring would have been extremely difficult to reproduce for a number of reasons, however, with Cloud9 and 3D printing at her disposal, Ann Marie was able to recreate the design within the software, to be 3D printed in titanium. Furthermore, she was able to design a super fluid titanium wedding ring that flows around the diamond of the engagement ring to create an elegant, personal integrated set.

With the general concept approved by the happy couple the process was set in motion. A test design from Cloud9 was 3D printed in steel for Kari to see and try it on. Following this the full, integrated set was finalised in the Cloud9 software using an accurate digital diamond. On final approval, the wedding ring design was saved and converted to .stl format and sent to I.imaterialise in Belgium to be printed in Titanium. Within two weeks the ring was returned for finishing. With the diamond set in the gold engagement ring the two fitted together perfectly so it looks as though the diamond is floating within the flowing titanium bands.

Kari is absolutely delighted with the results: “I love that my mum made my wedding ring using a 3D computer programme! As well as an interesting life, she has given us a unique and special gift and our rings are now all the more precious to us.”

The Cloud9 software is part of a complete design package — Chameleon — which includes the Falcon 3D mouse; uniquely available from A1 Technologies.

For more information, visit: www.a1-tech.co.uk or i.materialise.com

Last week Martin Stevens of A1 Technologies gave a thought-provoking presentation to the Institut Turgot in Paris within the framework of ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ to highlight the benefits of implementing advanced technologies in schools across Europe. The day was organized by Nelly Guet, who, having retired from front line education, now heads up an organization called AlertEducation with the dedicated aim of increasing entrepreneurialism and skills in European schools. The alignment with A1 Technologies’ own dedicated mission is striking. Martin’s demonstrable long-term strategy of improving engineering, design and make skills in educational facilities is a core tenet within the remit of A1 Technologies and a personal commitment.

Briefing the assembly on the value of advanced and accessible 3D digital technologies for design and make applications, Martin conveyed the importance of introducing these technologies to students at the earliest possible opportunity to maximize their potential for developing individual skills and entrepreneurialism. He also expounded the further benefits that can be identified such as local manufacture (reversing the trend for mass off-shore manufacturing) and the environmental advantages that come from this. Stressing how education is too important to be left to politicians alone, Martin pressed home the point that companies must get involved in developing the right kind of future employees with the right kinds of skills, whether by mentoring, school visits or other interventions.

The central premise of Martin’s presentation demonstrated how 3D digital technologies in schools offer students valuable hands-on experience that can lead directly to vocational opportunities within the engineering sector. Beyond school however, many European countries are faced with similar problems in this sector — contracting numbers of engineers and a shrinking manufacturing base. The need to create value, establish creative design hubs and promote innovation and entrepreneurialism is much vaunted. During his presentation, Martin was able to show that 3D digital technologies can not only tick all of these boxes but they can benefit the individual students, the schools that adopt them and industry at large with positive outcomes for respective economies and governments.

Investing in these technologies for schools is a key investment in the future, creating an active learning environment with a focus on advanced technology for real-world applications. The benefits and the rewards of the A1 Technologies product range within this remit are also stark, in that all of the individual products can be integrated to accommodate the whole design and make process. Furthermore, the products are all easily accessible — to students of any age — designed to be easy to learn, easy to use, easy to understand, fun and affordable.

Martin’s talk was well received — with thunderous applause — both due to its content and the fact that it was delivered in French. The audience gave Martin the same feedback as he had received in other countries, and which matches the UK issues, that there is a great need for both STEM and entrepreneurial skills to drive the economy of the future.

The full range of products offered by A1 Technologies including the StudioMill 5-axis CNC machine, the RapMan and BfB 3D printers, the Chameleon 3D haptic application, the 3D David Laser Scanner and the Unimat range can be viewed at the company’s website: www.a1-tech.com.uk

A1 Technologies was invited to present at a meeting of the Bristol Society of Model and Experimental Engineers recently, demonstrating the need to introduce these technologies to new users and that allowing them to get their hands dirty is often the best way to get people excited.

Getting on the road, meeting people face to face and giving them the opportunity to see and experiment with equipment for themselves is central to A1 Technologies’ philosophy of democratizing 3D digital technology for everyone. Thus when the company was invited to present at a meeting of The Bristol Society of Model and Experimental Engineers (BSMEE), the A1 team headed along the M4. Essentially, the BSMEE exists to promote the development of the wider Model Engineering hobby, by providing support and encouragement to interested people to construct and operate models of an engineering nature. Members come from a range of trades, professions and backgrounds sometimes without formal engineering training but all have a keen interest in developing the skills to undertake Model Engineering activities.

To kick off the meeting, Martin Stevens, CEO at A1 Technologies, took a straw poll of the attendees to get an idea of how many were familiar with 3D digital technologies. About a third of the audience were or had been users of 3D CAD. Fewer still were acquainted with or were users of 3D printing and 3D scanning. Despite the simplicity of the poll, these statistics are reflected across many industries and professions involved with engineering disciplines time and time again. This alone highlights the need to take the message deeper and wider across every field of use. Getting back to the hobbyists, a discipline that is often overlooked, this meeting highlighted just how much this genre has to offer the engineering sector — and by making them aware of alternative processes for product development in the form of advanced, low-cost 3D technologies there is great potential for opening up new applications.

On a much more positive note, following a presentation that expounded the value of 3D digital technologies, the industry that has sprung up around them and how they can be applied, the audience members rolled up their sleeves to try out the full A1 Technologies product range for themselves. This resulted in many questions and lively debate across the rest of the evening, with on-site feedback that all of the products would be of great interest and very useful to members (and many other people like them) for their endeavours. Cementing this feedback was an invitation to demonstrate the technologies at a model making exhibition later in the year, with model making visitors expected to exceed 10,000. 

All in all, the BSMEE meeting threw up some interesting issues and, what really made the trip worthwhile — there are new converts to the benefits of 3D digital technology planted across Bristol.


The A1 Product Range

Over the last two years, A1 Technologies has brought together a range of ultra-low-cost, advanced 3D digital technology products. The company can now offer a remarkable and comprehensive suite of 3D technologies:

• StudioMill — a 5-axis CNC machine complete with software and a range of tools
• BfB 3000 — a pre-built 3D printer with 4 kg of print material and conversion software for the printer, which will also check and repair .stl files
• Chameleon — a creative haptically-enabled 3D design package
• DAVID laserscanner — a 3D laser scanner
• UNIMAT — an engineering kit that allow students to experience six different machines; including a jigsaw, lathe, mill, drill and sander.

For more information visit: www.a1-tech.co.uk

A1 Technologies is delighted to be participating at the NAAIDT annual conference, which will take place 19th-21st May, 2011 at the INTECH Centre, Winchester. NAAIDT, the The National Association of Advisers and Inspectors in Design and Technology, is an organization dedicated to the promotion of Design & Technology across the UK curriculum and developing best practices for practical activity with a range of technologies within schools. This year, the exhibition that runs along side the annual conference for NAAIDT members, will also be open to schools from local counties. Nick Baldwin, one of the event’s organisers believes this will bring a valuable dimension to the 3-day conference and exhibition. The venue for the event is the INTECH science centre, which is also an educational resource in its own right, supporting learning in science, technology, engineering and maths. At the event later this month, A1 Technologies will showcase its full range of low-cost 3D digital technologies.

Bringing together some of the most innovative and accessible 3D products on the market today, A1 Technologies aims to show this influential and user-based group of people that it is entirely feasible to bring 3D products into the class room right now. Demonstrations on site will also prove how incredibly safe to use every product in the A1 portfolio is — for any age group. The A1 portfolio of products ticks all of the right boxes for educational requirements and each product is accessible in every conceivable way because they are low cost, easy to use and extremely safe. A1 Technologies will also show visitors at the event how all of these technologies can be integrated in a holistic way to maximize the potential of the 3D world for designing and making products.

The A1 Product Range

Over the last two years, A1 Technologies has brought together a range of ultra-low-cost, advanced 3D digital technology products. The company can now offer a remarkable and comprehensive suite of 3D technologies — all for the same price as one traditional machine.

The full technology suite includes:

• a 5-axis CNC machine complete with software and a range of tools;
• a pre-built 3D printer with 4 kg of print material and conversion software for the printer, which will also check and repair .stl files;
• a creative haptically-enabled 3D design package;
• a 3D laser scanner;
• an engineering kit that allow students to experience six different machines — including a jigsaw, lathe, mill, drill and sander.

Every product in the technology bundle has been designed and developed to be used by students or anyone without training, rather than only by technicians or teachers on their behalf. Not only can students gain first-hand experience with easy-to-use, intuitive equipment; they are also able to see for themselves exactly how the technology works, due to the open, visible design of the equipment.

The full range of products offered by A1 Technologies includies the StudioMill 5-axis CNC machine, the RapMan and BfB 3D printers, the Chameleon 3D haptic application, the 3D David Laser Scanner and the Unimat range.

For more information visit: www.a1-tech.co.uk

The Cambridge Science Festival, which took place 14th–27th March, is a fully interactive series of events open to the general public to raise awareness and encourage young people to experience new aspects of science and technology.

Many exciting events took place across the city during the two-week festival. One of the highlights, and one of the busiest events was the Manufacturing Zone at the University’s Institute for Manufacturing, on Saturday 26th March.  A1 Technologies was invited to take part during the day and to present the company’s 3D products and digital technologies to a torrent of fascinated visitors — some of whom were as young as 3 years old!

Parents and children alike were caught up by Dr Bill O’Neill’s presentation on “the Santa Claus machine”.  No doubt delivered in his own inimitable style, Dr O’Neill, Head of the IfM’s Laser Research, demonstrated the many capabilities of 3D printing technology with this captivating title. The kids, however, were even more impressed when they got to get their hands dirty and have a go with real 3D design and make technologies.

A1’s distinctive Chameleon 3D design package was a huge success with visitors as they were able to experience the haptic nature of this device as they created their own virtual 3D models. This remarkable package allows the sense of touch to be used along with excellent visual graphics to build and mould products on screen. Convention dictates that 3D Design belongs in the realm of experts and A1 Technologies is fully committed to proving this convention wrong. A particularly special moment for the A1 team during the day in Cambridge, was when a three year old little girl — using both of her hands — started designing in 3D, and showed that she was able to use the Chameleon to start her very own 3D design.

In a similar vein, the David 3D laser scanner caught the imagination of a four-year old little girl. Using her father as a platform to reach the equipment, she was able to start scanning and reverse engineering an object independently.

Throughout the entire day, children and adults were fascinated by the entire A1 Technologies range, and many learnt how to use a sander, a jigsaw and a lathe — part of A1’s Cool Tool product series. The rewards were obvious as visitors left the room with enthusiasm and satisfaction written all over their faces — the proof, if any were needed, was evident in the mess that had to be cleared up. There were mountains of sawdust!

A1 Technologies was delighted to be able to contribute to the Cambridge University Science Festival and to enthusing and motivating children in this area by showing them how exciting technology can be.

Martin Stevens, CEO at A1 Technologies commented on the day: “At the end of an exhausting day, the A1 team left Cambridge feeling totally exhilarated. Judging by the children who came to see us, and we were overwhelmed by the crowds all day, I don’t believe it is an exaggeration to say that there will be about 1,000 more children considering a career centered around this technology in the future.”

Martin is also Chairman of ‘Made in London’, an organization that represents the 15,000+ manufacturers based in London and he hopes to translate the success witnessed in Cambridge to ‘Made in London’s’ stated commitment of bringing these technologies into the hands of primary school children in the capital — to illustrate how stimulating and exciting technology can be.

For more information visit: www.a1-tech.co.uk

Image Credit: Courtesy of the Institute for Manufacturing at Cambridge University

Thursday, 06 January 2011 10:39

Calling all Design & Technology Teachers

Written by

Calling all Design & Technology Teachers

What would YOU buy for your classroom with £10,000?

A new lathe?  A 3D printer?  Maybe a CNC mill or router?

What if you didn’t have to choose?

This is not a ‘too good to be true’ sales pitch. It is vital information that should be considered by every school teaching the design and technology curriculum.

A1 Technologies is a company that believes in getting real cutting edge 3D technologies into the hands of young people. In so doing students are challenged to design, engineer and make — inspiring them to translate their creative skills into their future careers.

Over the last two years, A1 Technologies has brought together a range of ultra-low-cost, advanced 3D digital technology products. The company can now offer a remarkable and comprehensive suite of 3D technologies for educational institutions — all for under £10,000.

The full technology suite includes:

• a 5-axis CNC machine complete with software and a range of tools;
• a pre-built 3D printer with 4 kg of print material and conversion software for the printer, which will also check and repair .stl files;
• a creative haptically-enabled 3D design package;
• a 3D laser scanner;
• an engineering kit that allows students to experience six different machines — including a jigsaw, lathe, mill, drill and sander.

Every product in the technology bundle has been developed and designed to be used by students or anyone without training, rather than only by technicians or teachers on their behalf. The equipment is fully accessible by anyone in the classroom. Not only can students gain first-hand experience with easy-to-use, intuitive equipment, but they are able to see for themselves exactly how the technology works, due to the open, visible design of the equipment.

Essentially, all teachers and purchase officers should be made aware that for the price of just one traditional machine they can now realistically acquire a complete 3D suite of products. This will not only enable them to meet the needs of the whole D&T curriculum but it will also give pupils access to a full range of cutting-edge 3D technologies that will allow them to experience concept development, through design to final physical (and/or virtual) model.

The full range of products from A1 Technologies can be viewed at the company’s website:

www.a1-tech.co.uk

About A1 Technologies Limited

Established in 2009, A1 Technologies supplies highly affordable, entry-level 3D digital technologies to educational and industrial organisations. The company has a strong background in advanced technologies for design, engineering and manufacturing and a philosophy of promoting these technologies at the earliest opportunity in school curriculums to encourage understanding and uptake by tomorrow’s engineers.  A1 Technologies works to democratize 3D digital technologies for everyone and to this end, the full range can be acquired separately for particular applications or procured as an integrated package — all at ultra low prices that cannot be matched. The A1 portfolio stands out as the most innovative 3D digital technology offering on the market today because it is within the reach of everyone — both in terms of budget and ease of use. Individuals, educational institutions from kindergarten to university stages, as well as commercial organizations can now all realistically consider the potential advantages of embracing 3D digital technologies.   

For more information contact:
Martin Stevens
A1 Technologies Limited
E: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
W: www.a1-tech.co.uk

Press Release issued by RP Editorial Services
Contact: Rachel Park
E: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Friday, 17 December 2010 10:07

A1 Technologies Introduce Studiomill

Written by

The latest addition to A1 Technologies’ portfolio of entry-level advanced 3D digital technologies is the Studiomill 3D milling machine. Providing users with the ability to translate 3D CAD models into high quality CAM prototypes, models or parts, Studiomill is capable of 2D, 3D and Virtual:Five:Axis modeling for full 3D machining.

Studiomill provides a cost-effective means of creating both simple and complex parts and supports all major CAD software packages, including ProDesktop and SolidWorks. The machine is supplied with purpose-built, proprietary PathingCNC software, which is used to simulate and control the modeling process and supports industry standard file formats .stl and .dxf.

Studiomill is a completely versatile CNC machine, coming as it does with distinct features that increase its performance over competitors.

-Supporting large cutting tools up to 16mm in diameter, Studiomill has the ability to cut more material more quickly, which reduces overall machining times. At the other end, its tool range goes down to 1mm for engraving or very fine finishing, offering 0.05mm resolution.

-Studiomill comes with a host of mounting features that include a clear mounting plate for easy centering of material stocks, a 3 jaw self-centering chuck perfect for large and small round stock, and a 4 jaw independent chuck perfect for square stock.

-With the Virtual:five:axis machining option, Studiomill can quickly and easily produce 5-axis machined parts — unique in its market place.

-Studiomill offers a work area of 160 mm diameter x 220 mm height for 4-axis parts.

In terms of materials, Studiomill can accommodate a variety of low-priced materials including standard plastics (ABS, TryCut); modeling boards; modeling wax; woods; resins; and foams. Sheet and block material are both usable. It will also machine brass, aluminum and other light metals.

The PathingCNC software is intuitive and easy to learn and allows users to view and manipulate their CAD models in a virtual tooling environment and to quickly and easily tailor the modeling process to suit all requirements. The software allows the more advanced user to exercise complete control over the modeling process, but also provides a degree of assistance to the novice user. PathingCNC is compatible with Windows7 and Windows XP.

Incorporating a 200W DC motor spindle and a software resolution of 0.005 mm, Studiomill can produce models quickly and precisely with excellent finish, quality and accuracy. For optimum performance and flexibility with a variety of materials and cutters, Studiomill offers an adjustable spindle speed of 5,000 : 20,000 rpm. Furthermore, the machine uses an industry standard ER collet system and comes with a complete collet set to hold tools from 1-16mm diameter.

Studiomill is also an ideal option for teaching environments. A predominant reason for this is that the machine is safe and easy to run and maintain. Moreover, the machine casing allows a safe, 360° clear view of the milling process, which draws students into the process and allows them to fully appreciate it. The Virtual:Five:Axis machining function allows teaching of production machining processes such as producing an engine block or turbine blade.

In all, the versatility of the machine allows project use from jewelry to product design and engineering, which means that the broad capabilities of Studiomill do not restrict students’ design processes within their projects. Furthermore, the PathingCNC software is intuitive and allows students to develop their understanding of the modeling and prototyping process as they learn.

Taking into account educational budgets, many establishments opt to buy one machining centre of very high quality for tens of thousands of pounds and these machines are often difficult to use and the resource is then usually tied up with work for a small number of students. In contrast, several Studiomill machines will fit the same budget and workshop space needed for one large machine, thus promoting learning among a greater number of pupils.

Finally, Studiomill can also be supplied with lesson plans designed around the CAD/CAM curriculum framework and the CAD/CAM in schools program. The full range of products from A1 Technologies can be viewed at the company’s website.

About A1 Technologies Limited

Established in 2009, A1 Technologies supplies highly affordable, entry-level 3D digital technologies to educational and industrial organizations. The company has a strong background in advanced technologies for design, engineering and manufacturing and a philosophy of promoting these technologies at the earliest opportunity in school curriculums to encourage understanding and uptake by tomorrow’s engineers.

A1 Technologies works to democratize 3D digital technologies for everyone and to this end, the full range can be acquired separately for particular applications or procured as an integrated package — all at ultra low prices that cannot be matched. The A1 portfolio stands out as the most innovative 3D digital technology offering on the market today because it is within the reach of everyone — both in terms of budget and ease of use. Individuals, educational institutions from kindergarten to university stages, as well as commercial organizations can now all realistically consider the potential advantages of embracing 3D digital technologies.

For more information, visit http://www.a1-tech.co.uk/

Contact:

A1 Technologies Ltd
Contact:  Martin Stevens
Telephone:    0777 565 1028
Email:     This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Web:    www.a1-tech.co.uk

Copyright © 2018 Prototype Today ®. All rights reserved.

|   Privacy Policy |   Terms & Conditions |   Contact Us |

All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Additive Manufacturing Today