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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Micro Mechanical Recycling Interactive – New Portable Sorting Game

  • July 6, 2015
Micro Mechanical Recycling Interactive – New Portable Sorting Game

We are excited to announce a new addition to the range of products available through our sister company, Recycling Displays. The Micro Mechanical Recycling Facility, or Micro-MRF, is a highly portable, compact tabletop interactive display, designed to educate and engage members of the public with important recycling processes. It is the first in a new range of products we are developing to build on the success of our existing line, and that include a self-set remit that a portion of our construction materials be renewable or recyclable.    "The entertaining features of the MRF reinforces the message that household waste does not just disappear once it's in the bin - rubbish still has a lifespan, and needs to be managed responsibly for the sake of the environment."   The unit is based on our highly successful Mini-MRF recycling interactive, a unit which has consistently proven itself as a valuable educational…

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Superyacht DESIGN Week – to 3D-print or not to print superyacht models?

  • June 18, 2015
Superyacht DESIGN Week – To 3D-print Or Not To Print Superyacht Models?

How has 3D printing transformed model making for superyacht design? Our view from the Amalgam deck. The last case study published from our maritime models team was to show off this 1/12th scale hand finished model of the classic TERN yacht. The scale was relatively large for this, because it's a replica of a much smaller yacht. Typically we make superyacht models at 1:50 or 1:75, however it does depend on what the client wants - and how they are going to present, use and transport the model. Next week the team's director, Chris Conlon, will be heading to see what's on at Superyacht DESIGN Week in London. This year’s event is exploring how the yacht industry can adopt techniques to create more sustainable products, and invest in more creative design. So, it’s a good time to explore how 3D printing has changed our approach making to naval and marine…

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Stainless Steel Sculpture for Blue Peter

  • June 11, 2015
Stainless Steel Sculpture For Blue Peter

Our sculpture of the BBC brand icon, the Blue Peter Galleon, is afloat in Bristol! When the BBC rang to ask us about making a sculpture of their iconic galleon which features on the Blue Peter badges, we were delighted to explore their options. As with most television props, the timing was tight to design and build it – so that filming could go ahead on schedule. We had a total of five days, from taking on the brief, to have the model ready for collection on the Monday by the Blue Peter presenter Radzi. The Blue Peter Galleon is easily recognised, so it was a challenging job to preserve the image and accurately re-produce it in 3D stainless steel. The background In conjunction with Avon Wildlife Trust, BBC Bristol has been developing a wildlife garden at the side of the Broadcasting House building on Whiteladies Road in Bristol –…

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Twinings Tea Advert Stopframe Animation Armatures

  • June 10, 2015
Twinings Tea Advert Stopframe Animation Armatures

Twinings Tea Advert Stopframe Animation Armatures In the latter part of last year, we created a range of jigs and mechanisms for design agency Stripeland and their 'Twinings - Drink It All In' TV spot. We made five devices in total; a rippling puddle, a huge tree with rotating branches, a swinging sign and a telescopic 'Sun Portal.' All of these devices were designed to allow precise incremental movements for stopframe animation, and each rig was dressed into the set with teabags and bright colours to create the final effect.   "We engineered devices that produced the desired motion, yet were also easy to operate by an animator."   The Rippling Puddle above was designed as a set of rings, with each ring capable of independent vertical motion, allowing the animator to create a 'Mexican Wave' effect.   The 'Sun Portal' comprised a concentric set of clear panels mounted on adjustable rails; when lit from behind…

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