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Want to prototype your idea? How to protect your intellectual property

  • August 17, 2017
Want To Prototype Your Idea? How To Protect Your Intellectual Property

When you’ve got a new idea to prototype, or want to adapt a product design, you’ll need to consider the potential intellectual property issues during the development and prototyping process. Thinking creatively about how to solve an immediate problem is often how the best ideas start out, and we’ve made many physical prototypes to help product designers, inventors, and technology experts bring their idea to life. Here’s our summary of steps for developing your design through to prototype and guidance on how to protect your idea: Working with suppliers - arrange an NDA When you start looking for help and support, make sure you have an NDA in place. A non-disclosure agreement (NDA), whether written by a legal team or derived from a template, gives both parties an understanding of the confidential nature of the work. If you are discussing your design or new idea, keep the number of people involved…

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Development of the Holovis game controller for immersive 3D experience

  • February 28, 2017
Development Of The Holovis Game Controller For Immersive 3D Experience

Published in this month’s Develop 3D, you can take a look behind the scenes at the development work we did for Holovis to design and manufacture the Crimson Wing game controller. Holovis came to Amalgam with a basic outline shape developed as a 3D concept. Their first priority was to develop the ergonomics, starting with the handle of the controller. To test each handle design, we made controller handles out of modelling foam, using our 3-axis CNC machine.  Once we determined the desired shape and best size, we adjusted our CAD model and applied finer exterior design details to it. The concept version was then shelled out, for us to apply all the required internal features and electronic support bosses.  The next stage was to develop our CAD file into a final design, which took four weeks of computer-aided design work.  Once the CAD files were complete, we 3D printed…

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Process flow models – to realise a 3D proof of concept

  • July 28, 2016
Process Flow Models – To Realise A 3D Proof Of Concept

Some clients come to us for a model, when making engineering changes, or re-designing a process flow. These businesses may be working in manufacturing, or energy sectors, where the changes need to be shared with stakeholders around the company, and across the industry. So, today we take a look at the top reasons why a 3D model helps, when explaining a complex or technical process flow. Top reasons for creating a process flow model 1. When a concept is highly technical, a model enables you to simplify it - and use dynamic lighting or coloured parts to mark specific aspects. The SPX Flow Continuous Processing Industrial Display model (shown above) is a great example of how we apply our CAD skills to develop a design ready for 3D-printing a huge number of component parts. Once the parts were finished, they simply clicked together to create the eye-catching industrial display, showing the…

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New Blades Show 2016 – thinking about a career in model making?

  • June 9, 2016
New Blades Show 2016 – Thinking About A Career In Model Making?

Amalgam are very familiar with building trade show display models, however, it's a rare opportunity for us to get out today, to visit New Blades Show, the annual model makers's fair to visit if you're considering a career in model making. Hosted by 4D modelshop at the Holborn Studios, London, the show features work by graduates from the Arts University Bournemouth, University of Hertfordshire, University of Bolton, City of Glasgow College, University for the Creative Arts and Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology. And we are looking forward to seeing the displays, usually widely diverse in techniques and creative ideas. It's an exciting day for the graduates. Industry sponsored prizes are available - and it's an opportunity for them to meet potential employers and consider their career path. We wish them all the best of luck.   Our recruits While we're visiting the show, it's a chance to reflect…

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INTERACTIVE MASTERPLAN MODELS TO ADAPT YOUR SCHEME DESIGN

  • May 27, 2016
INTERACTIVE MASTERPLAN MODELS TO ADAPT YOUR SCHEME DESIGN

Beyond dynamic lighting, there are other methods for making a masterplan model interactive. Our recent interactive masterplan for Ecotricity was developed as a simple, chunky, massing model, to assist with decisions being made in the formative stages of the design. Ecotricity founder and Forest Green Rovers Chairman, Dale Vince, wanted us to create an interactive masterplan model for their new Ecopark scheme. The site included the Forest Green Rovers new home stadium and sports campus, an environmentally conscious ‘Green Technology Hub for likeminded businesses from the green economy, and natural wetland reserve set around a redirected canal. Forest Green Rovers have also recently shortlisted nine stadium designs from almost 50 entries by architects based around the world in a competition to create the club’s new home. Adapt the masterplan with an interactive model The customer knew they needed a physical model, but were facing multiple challenges. The designers began with…

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An Overview of our Sculpting Services

  • October 30, 2015
An Overview Of Our Sculpting Services

We are in the run-up to our third annual Halloween Pumpkin carving competition, the #AmalgamCarveOff, and being professional makers we are in with a good chance - however, the competition is stiff. With sculpting vegetables at the forefront of most people's imaginations this week, it's worth talking about the sculpting services we can offer, the projects we've worked on, and the role this traditional skill plays in the age of 3D printing.   Animals and Props Our sculpts tend to be one-off, bespoke pieces, but in some cases serve as casting masters to create multiple copies in different materials. The Big Midge for BBSRC has been artworked to high levels of realism, and beyond hand-making and paint finishing required no further processes.   The Rats of Medusa, for the BBC fantasy series Atlantis, took some thinking about how to create a texture that was both fur and stone. We settled on…

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The Building Centre presents The Physical Model in a Digital Age

  • September 10, 2015
The Building Centre Presents The Physical Model In A Digital Age

Continuing our theme of interactive models, our own Chris Conlon will be speaking on 21 September at The Building Centre in London. The Physical Model in a Digital Age focuses on how we can combine digital and physical realities to create interactive architectural models which enhance the impact of a design. The image above is an example of an interactive table that Amalgam and Intergalactic are offering clients in the EMEA region.   For years, we've been exploring how people can interact with architectural models at a greater level – to switch colours, specifications or highlight underlying infrastructure in a master plan. Chris Williamson of Weston Williamson + Partners will also speak, and can comment first hand on how important it is for architects to create an engaging model to represent their design.   So Amalgam is moving forward with the help of Intergalactic, an award-winning digital agency, to unite…

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Interactive Models: Engagement and User Experience

  • July 23, 2015
Interactive Models: Engagement And User Experience

Most of the models we create are display pieces or prototypes for a variety of different industries - architecture, marine, product design and so on. Physical models have consistently proven themselves to be invaluable assets when developing and testing new designs, engaging with other people or communicating ideas.   A static display model is a proven tool to draw in the audience, however, an interactive model becomes a powerful component in creating a memorable user experience. Interactive models can be used to achieve a number of goals, including:   - COMMUNICATING COMPLEX PROCESSES TO THE UNINITIATED   - TESTING OR MARKETING A NEW IDEA, ENGAGING WITH POTENTIAL CLIENTS   - BRANDING, CEMENTING A BRAND IDENTITY AND CREATING AWARENESS   Complex Processes On an individual basis, placing a user in a narrative - such as a game - allows new information to be processed easily, and can be an enjoyable user…

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An overview of our CNC machining services

  • November 11, 2014
An Overview Of Our CNC Machining Services

At Amalgam we provide a range of premier CNC machining services. This covers machining forms from client-supplied CAD, to being able to offer a complete end-to-end design and fabrication service. We can develop technical drawings based on conceptual images, machine the parts and assemble the structure, all completely in-house. We can also arrange for transportation and installation of larger projects, as we did with the range of EDF Energy interactives made last year.   Beyond simply being a cutting tool for sheet material, we are constantly developing new and better techniques for using the CNC within our workshop. In this article we’ll be going over some of these applications, which in turn are services we can offer our clients.   Substructure Design and Fabrication   This Rooftop Yurt was one of three constructed for the Timber Frame Company as an interlocking skeleton of ribs cut from sheets of plywood. The structure was then skinned with timber and copper…

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