Ogle Models & Prototypes

Ogle Models & Prototypes (10)

Ogle Models & Prototypes has helped a group of students reach the final stages of a major international aerospace competition.

They were asked to work with a team from University College London (UCL) to create a prototype for the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Challenge designed to develop and inspire the next generation of engineers.

The UCL team was asked to design, manufacture and operate an unmanned aircraft which was capable of completing a range of tasks simulating a humanitarian mission.

Rising to the challenge, they developed a tail-less, blended-wing body aircraft, which was to be made from carbon-fibre reinforced polymer. However, when it came to making the actual model the team realised there were issues.

To develop a model capable of enduring wind tunnel testing is often expensive, especially if the specific part requires pressure taps essential to sampling the distribution of air across the prototype. It was when attempting to solve this issue that the expertise of Ogle was sought.

Sam Hiscox, team leader for the project, said: “Following the wind tunnel testing, the results converged across a range of angles of attack and yaw positions. Pressure plots taken from the taps validated the aerodynamic properties of the design, which would not have been possible without Ogle’s expertise.

“With the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations validated, the team received their design report, for innovative use of materials and manufacturing techniques in creating a wind tunnel model.

“Ogle’s support of university projects is indicative of their forward-thinking outlook and investment in the people of the future.”

Ogle recommended using Stereolithography (SLA), a form of highly accurate 3D printing technology, which meant the pressure taps could be built within the model. This led to costs being significantly reduced.

Matt White, Senior Sales Engineer at Ogle, said: “The accuracy of industrial SLA ensured that the complex geometry of the scaled-down aerodynamic surfaces was replicated with precision. For clarity reasons, the team chose ClearVue resin, which allowed the pressure tapping pathways to be seen on the finished model. UCL is regarded as one of the best institutions in the country when it comes to training tomorrow’s mechanical engineers and we were only too happy to help when the team approached us.”

It is not the first time Ogle has worked with a team of students to help them compete within a high-level engineering competition. In 2016, the prototyping company has helped bring to life a unique racing car which had been designed by another UCL group entering the IMechE Formula student event.

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Challenge is an international competition run by the prestigious Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Over 100,000 flights are made every day across the world. With a growing demand for in-flight convenience and comfort, Ogle Models & Prototypes worked closely with Zodiac Aerospace to deliver the next generation in business class seat innovation.

Zodiac Aerospace is a leader in aerospace equipment and systems for commercial, regional and business aircraft, as well as helicopters and space applications. The Zodiac Seat Division designs, certifies and assembles innovative high-added-value products. With an extensive portfolio of business class seats, Zodiac approached Ogle to make modifications and improvements to the existing Aura design.

The requirement was for a full-scale functioning exhibition model with precise aesthetic appearance that would be exhibited at The Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg; incorporated into the stage floor within Zodiac’s stand. The model was to be built between two side-by-side client-supplied production business class seats.

There was a requirement for strength and rigidity within the model as it needed to appear to float above the floor with minimal contact points with the seat frames and floor. Whilst model board would have been easier to select for the CNC process it would have been too heavy for the seat. Fiberglass was selected as the main production material because it delivered added strength and drastically reduced the weight of the model. These two factors were vital for the exhibition seat as it was likely to be tested but also needed to be packed and moved with relative ease. Another benefit of this material is the cavity it creates for the electrical cabling and wiring – necessary for the lighting, air conditioning and television unit – to be neatly stored in.

Ogle boasts a portfolio of three, four and five-axis CNC machines. The majority of CNC work for the seat was done using several three-axis machines as the geometries were not overly complex.

Ogle selected to 3D print the trim and detailed parts using Stereolithography (SLA), working mostly with ExtremeWhite resin. During the CNC process, precise cavities were created within the model for the extra detailing, which is why SLA was selected as it can meet an accuracy of ±0.1 mm per 100 mm. Most importantly for this premium product, however, was the superior surface finish to ensure the model was as visually accurate and close to the production seat as possible.

The functional aspects of the model were then added. This included LED mood lighting, flat-screen TV, air condition duct and other electrical parts. The client required all electrical elements to be controlled by a single remote and connected to the existing electrical supply for the production seats. The completed model, including the production seats, also needed to be able to split into three sections, which meant that all the cabling has to run under the floor and have connections between each seat and section. This was to limit the physical involvement of anyone who had to set up the model.

The center console has to incorporate two working production tray table units, as well as a functioning privacy screen. To ensure the tables and privacy screen mechanism were sufficiently supported, the entire console was engineered around a large aluminum spine that other panels could be connected to.

Precision model making combined with the fabrics and leathers that were supplied by the client, created a visually-accurate model for the exhibition. The final stage was to fit and bolt down the model between the production seats and ensure they did not fowl or rub as they ran through their full motion of travel.

The variety of technologies available at Ogle including industrial 3D printing, CNC machining and skilled model makers, allowed the team to tailor each element of the model to its best suited production method. This ensured there was no compromise on durability and overall quality.

On completion of the project Patrick Smith, Senior Design Engineer at Zodiac Aerospace, said: “With the ever increasing demands of airline customers to improve product functionality, quality and customer experience, Zodiac Seats UK relies on partners such as Ogle Models & Prototypes to showcase product innovation in the best possible light.

“Zodiac Seats UK is a premium manufacturer of Business & First Class seating systems, supplying to a global customer base and working with the some of the world's most premium airlines.

“Partnering with Ogle Models & Prototypes has meant Zodiac Seats UK can commission superb quality prototypes, essential in securing the confidence of major airlines, that Zodiac Seats UK will deliver a top-quality product. Ogle was selected by Zodiac Seats UK based on their reputation for applying extensive knowledge of developing prototypes from initial design conception to final product execution.”

When you’ve got the concept ready to prototype, there are key factors that can be used to either help attain investment, engage key stakeholders or exhibit the part to its full potential.

In this article, Ogle Models & Prototypes outlines five key changes to consider when commissioning your next prototype.

1. Machinery and people

Whilst this might not be the top of your list of requirements, it’s vital to ensure that the firm you work with have the right array of machinery and personnel to deliver the project to your exacting standards. An example of this would be if you want a quick block model, then accuracy won’t necessarily be at the top of your list. However, if your prototype has limited tolerances and ultimately will need a high-spec finish, working with a firm that has multiple CNC machines will be extremely beneficial. We choose between seven CNC machines depending on the customer’s needs, which means not only are we competitively priced, but can deliver on time. 

2. Process in production

You want a part 3D printed? For most high-volume 3D manufacturers, that’s enough information. But it really isn’t sufficient when you consider the finishes required for the part and ultimately what you need it for. Ask your 3D printing company to think about the orientation at which your part is built; it reduces build lines and delivers a crisper finish. This also applies to CNC projects where, for example, weight might be an issue. All of these challenges can largely be overcome in the processes and development, but need to be considered from the onset.

3. Production-spec materials

This can make a huge different to the efficacy of your project and dramatically reduce the overall costs of a project. We are frequently asked to work with new materials for the aerospace and automotive industry as these will allow designers and engineers to thoroughly test a prototype before making changes and ultimately going into manufacture. Also, if production-spec materials aren’t viable options, then speak to your prototyping company about other options. For a marine project, we used a specific sealant to replicate the waterproof effect needed to test the part, on a recent aerospace project a specific fiberglass was chosen to dramatically reduce the weight and allow for electrical cables to be discretely hidden.

4. Finishing process

If you just need a quick 3D printed piece as part of a design project that is likely to have multiple iterations, then the finishing is not particularly important. If the part in question is the final design concept which will now be exhibited or displayed, then the way the part is finished before reaching the paint department is vital. At Ogle, we installed two EVP250 vibratory bowls to automate and speed the finishing of plastic parts made by SLS. Benefits of this process include delivering a satin-like finish, but parts also become more flexible as the plastic absorbs water from the bowl which replaces the material’s nature moisture lost during the laser sintering at 175 to 180°C.      

5. Paint department

I’d like to stop for a minute and compare this to the walls of your house/office. There’s plasterboard in there and perhaps some insulation, but all you see if the color and finish of the paint or wallpaper. Once a part has reached the paint department it has been fully prepped to deliver the best finish. Make sure the prototyping firm you choose has a dedicated paint facility. It is what your potential customers or investors will see first and instantly judge your concept on. We’d also urge you not to be afraid to push the boundaries. Ask for the zebra print sprinkled with gold dust and foil wrapped! If it’s what your project needs to succeed, then you need know before commissioning a firm that are capable of delivering your vision entirely.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017 16:55

Ogle Models Helps Create Parts For Mars Rover

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Europe’s plan to send a UK-assembled robotic rover to Mars has fallen at the feet Ogle Models, who were asked to deliver parts required for the ground based prototype of the Mars Rover, which will be sent to the Red Planet in 2021.

The company’s model makers were tasked with making the body and solar panels on a Mars Lander rover chassis, to be used for terrain handling and testing purposes in lab conditions.

The robotic rover will be used as part of the second phase of ExoMars to follow up studies exploring the possibility of life on Mars, by drilling below the surface to detect organisms directly.

Airbus Defence and Space, Europe’s leading defence and interplanetary enterprise and the second largest space business in the world, approached Ogle to help make a drivable test vehicle, driven both via remote control and autonomously with body and solar panels mounted in place.

A spokesman at Airbus Defence and Space, said: “When the UK Space Agency requested Airbus Defence & Space Ltd. to provide a Ground Demonstration Model (GDM) of the ExoMars Rover, Ogle Models & Prototypes were the obvious choice to provide the representative ‘bathtub’ structure and solar panels. Both these elements were required to be mass-limited whilst still providing the necessary stiffness to ensure the GDM would remain rigid when driving over rocks.”

To keep the weight of the body and solar panels to a minimum, Ogle used fibre faced aluminium composite Cellite panels.

A CNC machine was used to create 15mm MDF jigs and a table router was used to cut out the Cellite panels from the jigs. Any exposed edges were filled with an automotive filler and sanded back to provide a seal. Ogle’s model makers worked to bond a threaded metal insert to enable bolts and fixings to move securely.

The completed panels were then bonded onto SLS printed extrusions which, when assembled, formed a three-dimensional skeleton with the Cellite panels spanning the flat surfaces.

The tub and solar array was finished in metallic gold which was matched to represent the radiation shielding on the real Mars Rover.

Ogle also designed and printed eight SLS hinges to allow the solar array to unfold. This section was finished with large vinyls that were printed with the image of photovoltaic cells, and applied to the upper surfaces.

Dave Bennion the Marketing and Sales Director for Ogle, said: “Whilst an array of CNC and SLS capabilities were used on this project, it was largely completed with bench model making skills to ensure each precise component functioned fully and fitted within the specific design and weight restrictions.

“Having such wide spread technologies available on-site at Ogle allowed the team to react quickly in making last minute adjustments to parts before sending them to SLS or CNC. The combination of materials, machines and the highly-skilled team has resulted in a very rigid yet lightweight prototype.”

The spokesman added: “Ogle Models & Prototypes met all expectations in delivering an excellent product on a tight schedule, whilst suggesting useful improvements to the initial design as a result of the manufacturing process.”

Ogle Models announced they were asked to create two unique phones and base chargers for British Telecom (BT) by design firm Alloy.

The models required intricate detailing for the buttons and integrated lighting for the base charger, which have never before been seen on the market.

Industrial Designer at Alloy Matt Harris said: “After paying a visit to Ogle, we were impressed by the range of equipment, the breadth of materials and processes they were able to perform and replicate. It was a pleasure to work with Ogle.

“The determination of the team to deliver exactly what we wanted, and the openness to try new or different processes, is what sets them apart from others.”

The finished version of the revamped BT DECT cordless telephone range needed to reflect the premium nature of the products for potential buyers.

In order to create the highest quality of parts needed for the project, Ogle used the Stereolithography (SLA) process which is so accurate it can meet measurements as small as ±0.1 mm per 100 mm.

To produce the brush metal effect, which was required for phones, Ogle also had to experiment with different techniques.

Mr Harris added: “The fine-spun finish turned out to be quite difficult to replicate on the model, but the team at Ogle tried several approaches until they found the one that most accurately matched our reference sample. They even ordered additional tools for this part to achieve the best finish.”

The base units for the phones had to incorporate a blue LED light to deliver a glow to the base of the phone.

To avoid spots of light, the model making team at Ogle created a reflective funnel to sit within the base unit to deliver an even distribution of light. The team then applied the battery pack, switch and mock USB sockets.

Dave Bennion, Marketing and Sales Director at Ogle, said: “It was a huge honour to work with the guys at Alloy on models for BT’s premium phone range. Being such a high quality product we knew we needed to deliver a superior surface finish. Dean Lear our Project Manager, was key to getting this detail right.

“As the handsets would be part of the high-end DECT range, there were several processes and material finishes required that had not previously been used on the phones and required patience and accuracy, which we believe eventually paid off.”

Ogle Models was asked to create parts for the vehicle which took a year to design as part of the world’s biggest student motorsport competition.

The parts were created for the IMechE Formula student event, which challenges entrants to design and manufacture a single-seat race car that is tested at Silverstone race track.

The aim is to create a high performance car in terms of acceleration, handling and braking, while also being reliable, easy to maintain and low in cost.

Dave Bennion, Marketing and Sales Director at Ogle, said: “We were pleased to be approached by the team at University College London this year as we have successfully worked with them on several occasions and have found them to be very professional, we hope to work with the students when they are out in the workplace”

“The competition is extremely prestigious and is backed by industry professionals. The aim is to help innovative engineers showcase their technical, engineering design and manufacturing skills and we were proud to be a part of finding the next generation of racing car designers.

“A lot is riding on the event for the participants, which is why it was so important we delivered the commissioned parts to a high spec, using the exact measurements.”

Ogle used selective laser sintering (SLS), which is a form of industrial 3D printing technology to create the pieces needed for the single-seat race car.

Glass filled nylon (PA3200) was chosen to add the extra strength and the temperature resistance required.

Using SLS is ideal because creating intricate and complex geometry of air intakes can be difficult to manufacture quickly using other methods.

Tim Baker from the University College London team said: “We approached Ogle because we know they are one of the leading prototyping companies with an excellent reputation for high quality work.

“Using 3D printing in motorsport is hugely beneficial because it can produce lightweight parts from complex and bespoke designs in short time frames.

“Our design required parts that had complex geometries and it was essential they fitted exactly. It was a dream come true to see our design, which we’ve worked so hard, come to life.”

This year the competition saw more than 130 university teams from 30 different countries take part.

A spokesman for the event said: “Our mission is to excite and encourage young people to take up a career in engineering. It seeks to challenge university students to conceive, design, build, cost, present and compete as a team with a small single-seat racing car in a series of static and dynamic competitions.”

This year, standards were very high and each entrant’s vehicle had to pass rigorous scrutinising tests to ensure it complied with the strict safety regulations.

Formula Student (FS) is Europe's most established educational motorsport competition, run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Matt White, who joined Ogle as Prototype Solutions Engineer earlier in the year has a Motorsports Degree from Coventry University and played a key role in Coventry’s Formula Student team.

Ogle Models & Prototypes helped revolutionize the way oceans are monitored for future weather reports when it developed a cutting-edge remote controlled drone which could be used at sea. Historically, recording data sourced from the sea is also how ocean mapping and marine biology studies are formed. Ogle was asked to create the intricate bow and tail fins for the unmanned surface vessel (USV), which needed to be precise so the model could be accurately tested.

Dave Bennion, Marketing and Sales Director at Ogle, said: “We understood the importance of accuracy on this project. There was no room for error because the parts we were asked to develop made up 30 per cent of the prototype. The material and production process also needed to guarantee that the final part would be non-porous which meant the model could be tested accurately. We are extremely proud to have been selected to produce these parts for the MOST Autonomous Vessels (AV), the leading innovator of autonomous drones. The company’s products have become so integral to research and understanding more about our oceans.”

Ogle used laser sintering (LS) which is one of the most accurate additive manufacturing processes available. It involves using a special laser which traces the required shape from a 3D CAD model across a compacted powder bed of material. The parts were then put through a vigorous process to ensure the quality of the surface finish was exact and water-proof.

Dan Alldis, who is Design Manager at MOST AV, said: “We have previously worked with Ogle on a number of different projects, but this was the first larger job. Their price was competitive and the range of machines and tools they have is extremely impressive. They have led the way in 3D printing for years, building a very impressive portfolio. It made sense to work with the experienced team at Ogle for this project. We have an order going through for three more parts since the completion of the bow and tail fins, and would not hesitate to work with them on future projects.”

The AutoNaut has since completed a four-day trial from Plymouth, UK carrying met office sensors, which were used to test the viability of collecting forecasting data in a new and more cost-effective method. Experts now predict that within five years, swarms of these remote controlled vessels will be at sea for months at a time gathering data from around the globe. It is thought they will provide a priceless resource to many of the world’s research industries.

Ogle Models & Prototypes has been helping car manufacturing giant Honda with its push towards driverless technology. Ogle’s cutting-edge technology was used to create concept models for Honda as part of the Japanese multinational’s bid to develop autonomous driving technology.

The models were used for the ‘Honda. Great Journey.’ advertising campaign illustrating what self-driving cars could eventually look like. The car firm plans to put driverless vehicles on the roads by 2020. Each of the 1:24 scaled models, the size commonly used for toy cars, required precise production to accurately reflect the high quality of Honda’s vehicles.

Ogle’s stereolithography (SLA) machines were used to create the tiny component parts for the models and the firm’s team of model-makers painstaking put the pieces together.

Dave Bennion the Marketing and Sales Director for Ogle, said: “The accuracy demanded of our people and machines was significant. To achieve the required paint finishes and component parts for the models, there was no room for error. Each finish had to be executed to perfection, resulting in a seamless look when being filmed.

“We are extremely proud to have been selected to produce such intricate and unique models for such a household brand and were delighted to receive such positive feedback.

“Innovative solutions were sought throughout. For example, to create a hammock effect, a net finish was achieved by sourcing multiple net fabrics and lacquering the component parts, so that they were clear, before applying paint over the pattern of the fabric.

“A considerable amount of time was spent both in design and on the bench to create clearances for paint so that everything would fit and work after the parts had been painted.”

Some of the fine decorative touches were shaped by hand using stainless steel and copper wire to create a robust and realistic effect.

Ogle’s paint department were tasked with delivering finishes that had never been created before. The meticulous process included applying a guide coat of paint to each of the models to ensure all items were rubbed down correctly before being sandblasted to even all the surfaces and soften any remaining layers.

In the final assembly, all the parts were thoroughly tested to allow for the required movement within each model. Two of the seven models, The Mountain Climber and Jungle Jumper, went through even further inspection because many elements were functional and needed to move, so the overall balance and strength of the model had to be tested and maintained.

For more information, visit: www.oglemodels.com

Prototyping firm Ogle Models has come to the aid of a designer to create 3D printed shoes for Olympic gold medal winner Amy Williams.

The gold wedge shoes appeared on The Gadget Show as part of a feature emphasizing the use of 3D printing in the fashion industry.

The process involves making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital CAD file, typically by laying down successive thin layers of material.

The design house Julian Hakes turned to Ogle after facing the prospect of creating a unique design in a short time frame, and the company’s industrial 3D printing machines provided the solution.

Ogle marketing and sales director Dave Bennion said: “We’re delighted to be involved in such a unique project, especially honoring a British Olympian. The latest technology provided by 3D printing is enabling innovation across all kinds of industries.

“3D printing and additive manufacturing are terms that are, today, frequently used synonymously to denote a group of additive processes that produce – or print – parts directly from 3D CAD data, one layer at a time.

“These additive processes have emerged and been greatly developed during the last 20 years and have proved advantageous for a host of applications including concept models, functional prototypes, tooling patterns and, more recently, production parts.”

The team at Ogle printed the shoes using special technology called Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) production, which gave a nylon-based print strong enough for walking in and bonded well to the leather upper. 

For more information, visit: www.oglemodels.com

Ogle Models & Prototypes, based in Letchworth, has invested £60,000 into the installation of a FORTUS 400 Fused Deposition Modelling machine. The piece of equipment can provide real parts for making jigs, tools and inspection parts in short timescales which are ready for immediate use.

Marketing and Sales Director Dave Bennion said: “We believe the purchase of the FORTUS 400 FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) machine is a much needed addition to our already impressive fleet of state-of-the-art technologies.

“The equipment is ideal for bespoke one-offs or short production runs, which is going to help speed up productivity, without compromising the quality of the prototypes that Ogle has become well known for within the industry.”

The FORTUS 400 FDM has a build envelope of 406 x 355 x 406 mm, initially running three thermoplastic materials including PC-ISO (polycarbonate-ISO), ASA -UV (a stable production grade thermoplastic) and ULTEM 9085 (a flame retardant high performance thermoplastic).

Parts can be printed in four different layer thicknesses .127mm, .178mm, .254mm and .33 mm depending on the requirements of the design and the materials specified. However, not all materials are suitable for the different layer thicknesses. Parts are produced within an accuracy of ±.127 mm or ±.0381 mm per mm

For more information, visit: www.oglemodels.com

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