Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day: 3D Scanner Style

Earth day calls to mind adorable children participating in recycling drives and tree planting ceremonies, spending time in nature, and using 3D scanners to help companies create sustainable products!

Well, at least at Direct Dimensions it brings a reminder of two very cool projects where we utilized 3D scanning technology to help companies create new and exciting products out of recycled materials

Creating the Emeco/Coca Cola Navy Chair

Famed company Emeco teamed with Coca Cola to create a version of their classic Navy Chair out of recycled plastic Coke bottles. 

Recreating the Navy Chair in a new medium presented an engineering puzzle that was best solved using 3D technology. The original version of the chair is carefully handmade in a complicated 77 step process. Each chair, while essentially alike, is handcrafted by artisans with years of experience welding and surface finishing the aluminum. The new 111 Chair would need to retain the exact, iconic look of the original but would have to use a standard injection molding process to work with the recycled Coca Cola material.  The solution (of course) was to 3D scan and model it. Read the full story of how we 3D scanned the Navy Chair.

Helping to Create Green Consumer Goods
To satisfy the changing demands of  consumers, the team at Robinson Home Goods decided to launch a new line of kitchen products called Green Street. The products would be manufactured from material created out of recycled water bottles and packaged in recycled and compost-able materials. The designers even planned on re-using existing injection molds for the prototype phase.

They loved the overall shape of the existing spatulas and spoons but wanted something a little more indicative of the green nature of the product. The design team decided to redesign the slots in the spoon to look more like tree branches. The problem was that they only had old 2D drawings of their existing molds, making a modern CAD redesign almost impossible. They needed to find a way to accurately and quickly reverse engineer the existing injection molds into SolidWorks to facilitate the redesign process. Direct Dimensions stepped in with our 3D scanners and expert modelers to reverse engineer new CAD models of the molds. Read the full story here.

Happy Earth Day from Direct Dimensions!