Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171
Loughborough University

Personalised Footwear: E2HS - From Elite to High Street

Robust models for project meetings

Mega-scale miniatures by HSS

Dr Richard Buswell and his team from the Civil Engineering department at Loughborough University have been working on a groundbreaking large-scale Additive Manufacturing project with industrial partners including Foster + Partners and Buro Happold. Their work has seen them construct a new AM machine with an incredible build volume of 2m x 2.5m x 5m. Using this machine, the team went onto manufacture the worlds first reinforced concrete component using digitally driven additive techniques. This unique and fascinating geometry named The 'Freeform Bench' weighs in at a hefty 1 tonne and is truly a masterpiece of the modern age.

Being so unique, the team would ideally like to transport the geometry to demonstrate their machines capabilities, however, this is often difficult due to its size and weight. To alleviate this problem, the team have been manufacturing scale-model replicas of the Freeform Bench using 3D Printing. In spite of the many advantages offered by 3D Printing such as process speed and the use of coloured inks, parts are often found to have insufficient strength for handling in situations such as project meetings.

The team from Civil Engineering therefore contacted the HSS team asking whether we could help them to build a number of robust scale-models. From receiving the .stl file, the HSS team built, cleaned up and delivered a series of models within 48 hours, providing the team with their first robust scale models of the 'Freeform Bench' that could be handled in meetings without fear of being broken. Dr Buswell observed that 'the HSS model holds up well to being constantly moved about and handled at presentations and the detail is fantastic; it replicates the aesthetic of the full scale bench beautifully'.

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