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3D Modelling

At the PDC we use SolidWorks to develop 3D computer models which can be used for client visualisations, patent and funding applications and using directly for manufacturing. These models can also be used to analyses a design prior to prototyping:
  • Finite Element Analysis (FEA)
Computational analysis method that uses information from the 3D model to simulate the behaviour of the modelled component under life cycle circumstances. FEA can considerably reduce the time it takes to evaluate the performance of a designed component prior to manufacture. This enables us to optimise features and materials. Physical testing is also required to meet product validation and certification requirements.
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)
Simulates fluid flow through and/or around a model. For example, the drag coefficient of air flow over a model.
  • Animation and Kinetics
Subjecting a model to movement, for example gears and rotating shafts.

Rapid Prototyping

The PDC offers a range of consultancy services for product design and development, from concept through to prototyping:
  • Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
Our SST1200 fuse deposition modelling machine can produce parts from ABS plastic, with a layer thickness of 0.25mm. Parts are limited to a base size of 250mm x 250mm x 300 high. The parts can be used to assess aesthetics, fit and function. This process can greatly reduce the time taken to develop products.
  • Vacuum Casting
Plastic mimicking resins are used to manufacture small and accurate batches of products from a silicon soft tool using a master.

Product Stress Analysis

These sessions can be tailored to a specific project undertaken by a class or used as a general lesson on stress analysis.

Using 3D CAD models and Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to simulate a product under stress and predict its performance. Designs can be changed and simulations re-run to refine the design and improve the performance. These tests help reduce the development times of products and are verified using physical testing.

Only available with CADventure, as part of a half or full day activity.

Case Study

Drallim Helicopter Hook
‘We have used the prototyping facilities at the Product Development Centre which provided invaluable help to test our designs. This ultimately led to reducing the project’s lead time, risks and costs.’
Gary Wilson, Drallim Industries Ltd

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