Case Study 4
The client required an architectural model of a skyscraper; the finished model would be over 1m high, with an aluminium framework and support structure to represent the steel frame in the actual design. The components of the model which connected to the framework were already manufactured by the client; therefore the framework required a high degree of accuracy to join the parts together.
The client already had the 3D CAD data of the tower which was given to our design engineers. The 3D model was imported into SolidWorks, so our CNC engineers could work out the best possible method of manufacture.The model needed some complex sections of aluminium rectangular bar, including one section that was 7x3mm up to 500mm long and a series of small load-bearing struts; the complexity of the framework’s structure meant it would be difficult to manufacture in one process. With accuracy a main priority in choosing a manufacturing method, CNC manufacturing was decided to be the best process.
Once the method of manufacture had been decided, the 3D CAD model was split into its individual parts in SolidWorks. These parts were then passed onto our CNC engineers and imported into our CAM software PowerMill. Here the CNC tool paths were written and tooling and setup methods were decided. Aluminium plate was used for the top plate and the two central structures, while aluminium rectangular bar was used for the struts.Our model makers joined the aluminium structure to the parts supplied by the client, creating a structurally sound and visually impressive architectural model. The client was very pleased with the finished product.