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,…

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Special offer ‘Recycling Roadshow Kit’ for Small Business Saturday

  • December 3, 2015
Special Offer ‘Recycling Roadshow Kit’ For Small Business Saturday

Amalgam's Recycling Displays is pledging to help more local authorities and schools spread the message about recycling and re-use - by offering a discounted Recycling Roadshow Kit. We've launched this kit to support the education programmes Councils are running, to help them meet the 2020 recycling targets.  Grant Wilson from Moray Council was particularly helpful, telling us more about how they are using their information display point. The Recycling Roadshow Kit includes three displays, which recycling teams can take on the road, to spread the word about recycling and re-using materials. After talking to our clients, we've re-engineered the components, so the displays can easily be used in a shopping centre, railway or bus stations, or at school events and county shows. More details here Why use the Recycling Roadshow Kit? It is aimed at supporting local education efforts to reach young children right up to adults, through an interactive…

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Sign of the times – 3D signage

  • November 12, 2015
Sign Of The Times – 3D Signage

There are often areas of a project that fall outside the remit of any definite department; 3D signage is one of these areas. Often dreamed up by the graphics department, who may not have the construction facilities to bring the design to life, and turned away by propmakers as 'not really a prop', signage can end up being overlooked. Amalgam offers a fast turn-around service to create bespoke 3D signs from your designs that can add the finishing touch to a well designed and constructed set for film, advertising, television or theatre.   Our model makers can create signage using a wide range of materials and techniques to achieve the desired look, whether this be using vinyl printing, special effects painting, laser cutting and etching or a combination of the aforementioned. We will work from your designs and provide suggestions and advice, to ensure you get exactly what you are looking for.     These…

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Maritime Scale Models: via Planes, Trains and Automobiles

  • November 5, 2015
Maritime Scale Models: Via Planes, Trains And Automobiles

Our director, Chris Conlon, took a short sojourn to Mallorca in August – to personally hand deliver one of our hand finished, high detail maritime scale models. It’s always tricky to ensure safe passage of a valuable model, which is why we work with our clients to agree the safest transportation route – and if needed, we build a suitable transit case. This beautiful replica of the sailing yacht Antares was built at 1/50 scale of the original design. Our team constructed the model using a mixture of latest technologies and hand fabricated parts. It is finished in high detail mirroring the original design, with glossy colour matched paintwork. With the model wrapped extensively for transit, Chris reached our local airport and hopped on the flight to Palma. Although the inclement weather prevented Chris from visiting it, another of our favourite yachts, the restored William Fife yacht TERN was harboured…

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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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Recycling Displays at RWM 2015 – educational interactives and resources

  • September 16, 2015
Recycling Displays At RWM 2015 – Educational Interactives And Resources

Recycling Displays visits RWM to spread the word on developing educational interactives and resources   Recycling Displays representatives Will Sheer and Rob Mackay are at RWM at the NEC in Birmingham this week, promoting our range of educational interactives, games and new products in the pipeline. Recycling Displays has been working for over twenty years to support education about recycling and waste management. Our experience has shown that children are mainly learning from their parents' example at home - so Recycling Displays has been exploring how to improve the level of engagement for reducing and re-using our waste through their education. We believe children and young people need a greater understanding of issues affecting sustainable production of food (packaging) and manufacture of products (materials), if they are to use that knowledge in their working lives and positively influence the future. So we are seeking feedback about the support teachers and educational settings…

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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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Gloucester Bus Station Tactile Architectural Model

  • July 16, 2015
Gloucester Bus Station Tactile Architectural Model

This tactile architectural model, made for BDP, differs from 'traditional' architectural models in that it is designed for the blind and partially sighted - the information has been presented to be interpreted by touch. With tactility in mind, we set about experimenting with texture. Instead of paint effects to visually indicate various surface finishes such as concrete and limestone, the paved and pedestrian areas are different textures; instead of vertical internal walls and block offsites, the model has been made in relief, with the walls represented as crisp raised ridges. Other features include soft felt strips to represent furniture. A standout feature of the tactile model is the 3D printed Braille labels set around the base, indicating road names and various other features. After a number of experiments at reproducing Braille using lasercutting processes, we ultimately decided that 3D printed Braille was the preferreable option, owing to its precision -…

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Laser Engraving Service: Drummond + Hammett Cigar Box Guitar Components

  • July 10, 2015
Laser Engraving Service: Drummond + Hammett Cigar Box Guitar Components

As well as a complete design and fabrication service, we offer each process within our workshop - from CNC machining, to vacuum casting, to sculpting - as individual services. We recently provided our laser engraving service to local cigar box guitar makers Drummond + Hammett, etching their distinctive buffalo logo onto various surfaces and components of their instruments. Their exquisite, hand-finished craftsmanship is contrasted with subtle, precision-machined touches, as seen here featured on their 'ResoPhonic' guitar model.   These guitars are stunning works of craftsmanship and passion - head to the Drummond + Hammett website to find out more.      

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