From deep sea to the boardroom table

Written by: Amtech Rapid Prototyping | Published:

Among their many expert services Amtech Rapid Prototyping create replica scale models of large equipment their customers have been commissioned to build. Presented in display cases they are superb representations of the full size version. Amtech describe how they approach making a replica of SMD QT1000 trencher, a machine that cuts channels into the seabed.

Based in NE England, Amtech Rapid Prototyping comprises of a team with impressive experience in the rapid prototyping industry.Their services include all types of prototype production, including 3D printing and vacuum casting, most interestingly Amtech also create scale replica models of commissioned equipment.

Global company Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd (SMD) commissioned Amtech to make 1:20 scale replicas of their QT1000 trencher, for presentation in display cases to customers. The full-size trenching vehicle cuts channels into the seabed to lay large diameter cables and pipelines. The data for the QT1000 trencher is scaled down to create a detailed replica of the real machine.

Ian Judd, Director, said ‘In real life these machines are 15m long and CAD data supplied had every nut and bolt so we needed to scale down and lose unwanted detail, such as internal features’. Ian explained that SMD sent their full scale 3D CAD data and, working alongside the client, Amtech designers worked to reduce the overall size of the CAD, while keeping a great deal of detail in order to give a strong impressive looking model. Where parts were to be painted in different colours they were made separately so they could be easily finish-painted.

Following client approval 3D CAD files are printed in SLA resin and bead blasted. Then to make sure of fit and function skilled technicians trial-build the parts, before rubbing off the build layer lines. After the parts are rubbed back, until all imperfections are lost, paint is applied, in a range of colours and finishes. To complete the model company logos are made via a dry rub down graphic and applied to give the final realistic look.

For the overall effect of a truly miniature version of the real machine a Perspex presentation case and information plaque is produced. Amtech’s model making is truly impressive.


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