+44 117 924 9596 info@amalgam-models.co.uk

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

Developing TOTSUP, the Big Red Bus reward chart for children – on Crowdfunder from 15 March!

  • March 16, 2016
Developing TOTSUP, The Big Red Bus Reward Chart For Children – On Crowdfunder From 15 March!

Graphics design lecturer, Sally Marks, is the inventor behind TOTSUP, the Big Red Bus reward chart for children aged two and a half to six years old. Once Sally won funding to develop a working prototype, she came to us to turn her design into a real product. She had been given Mike Harvey’s name at Amalgam by a contact at Exeter University, where she first sought support for her start-up.   https://youtu.be/66RKQRmK-6E   After the final TOTSUP prototype was unveiled, we heard from Sally that feedback from parents who have been trialling it has been resoundingly positive. The additional research conducted using the prototype led Sally to launch TOTSUP on Crowdfunder, to secure funds for developing the mobile app. The campaign is on from 15 March for 30 days. From design to prototype Here’s Sally’s story from bringing her idea to meet us at the workshop: “As a parent,…

Read More

Autonomous Robotics

  • January 29, 2016
Autonomous Robotics

In February’s issue http://www.develop3d.com/downloads/ of Develop3D, we were delighted to share the story of our exhibition model work, for Autonomous Robotics Ltd, which is based in Wiltshire.   They are developing next generation seismic technology to gather data from the ocean bottom using a system of Flying Nodes – a new type of automated underwater vehicle. The oil and gas industry requires very high quality data, gathered from ocean bottom seismic (OBS) surveys, often at extreme depths and dealing with complicated geology. ARL’s planned system for a swarm of Flying Nodes system will significantly reduce the cost of collecting seismic data, with the ability to record on the seabed for up to 60 days and cover a wide range of surveys.   Having prepared a paper to share on Flying Nodes at the Society for Exploration Geophysics (SEG) conference in New Orleans, Autonomous Robotics wanted to demonstrate a full size…

Read More

Tio, the toy kit designed to inspire tomorrow’s inventors

  • December 17, 2015
Tio, The Toy Kit Designed To Inspire Tomorrow’s Inventors

Invent Play Learn Ltd is the company behind Tio, the kit to build app-controlled toys and inventions in seconds. The Tio kit encourages creativity and long term play by combining the feeling of creating with your own hands and the power of today's technology. It comprises connected hardware, magnetic mounts, wheels and other accessories that can be attached to almost anything including recycled and craft material, lego, old toys, gadgets and even 3D prints. Using the kit, adults and children alike, can create an infinite number of toys and animate the world around them. The interactive learning app customises and programs the toys. It controls many features like speed, direction and colours. Key to the experience is the Tio storybook, full of friendly characters who guide children through imaginary worlds and their first creations. The Tio team shares a vision to inspire tomorrow's inventors with a new way of inventing,…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

Triggertrap Ada product prototype

  • March 5, 2014
Triggertrap Ada Product Prototype

We recently created a look-and-feel product prototype of the Triggertrap Ada, and the project has been back through our doors for some modifications before being vacuum cast in a new incarnation. Matt from Triggertrap goes into further detail in a video on their kickstarter page, which shows our technicians working away at preparing the master for casting.   Our initial involvement was to create a look-and-feel prototype. This first object was a hand-finished object created using 3D printing processes, sparked and finished to look like the production component; models of this nature are useful as marketing tools. The vacuum casting process allows us to create a functional product prototype - a component with material properties much closer to those of the production object. This is useful for real-world condition testing but also allows the designers to iron out any further niggles in the design (if there are any).   We…

Read More

Triggertrap Redsnap Vacuum Cast Prototype

  • December 13, 2013
Triggertrap Redsnap Vacuum Cast Prototype

Amalgam prototype modelmakers recently completed a set of prototypes for the Triggertrap Redsnap, an affordable timelapse and high-speed camera system funded through Kickstarter. Our vacuum cast prototype of the look-and-feel enclosure is one of many similar projects we have undertaken over the years, a list which includes the Gapgun, which we produce in batches as a fully functional production model. Our vacuum casting facility and hot new 3D printer enable us to offer a comprehensive prototyping service for a range of products, and our understanding of materials allows us to make these objects suitable for practical testing and ergonomics as much as look-and-feel display pieces. Our method combines the reliability and speed of 3D printing and additive manufacture with craftsman-level hand skills to turn a stepped rough build into a fine-tolerance, exquisitely finished casting master. We are then able to make batch casts of this object to replicate its form, texture…

Read More