Art meets engineering
A purpose built centre has opened in London to offer rapid prototyping and digital manufacturing facilities on a ‘pay and go’ basis. Engineering and manufacturing companies, large and small, as well as individuals in business or education, are being encouraged to use the facility.
The four storey building will be an extension of the activities of Metropolitan Works, London’s first creative industries centre which currently operates on London Metropolitan University’s city campus in East London. Two additive layer manufacturing machines from EOS, one for laser-sintering plastic powders and the other for metal powders, were delivered during 2008. They joined other rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing processes on site that use either 3D colour printing or photopolymerisation of resin.
An example of an engineering project currently being assisted by Metropolitan Works is by acclaimed silversmith Marianne Forrest. The watch (see picture) has an innovative strap that takes inspiration from prehistoric vertebrae. Although hand finished, it would be almost impossible to make entirely by hand to such high precision.
Matthew Lewis, manager of Metropolitan Works, said: “The centre offers a leading edge, digital design and manufacturing workspace that is a flexible, economic alternative to renting workshops and studios on a fixed term basis.”
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