Fourfoursixsix Architects, Ogle Models, and EOS team up to create intricate 3D design
London, February 17, 2012—Fourfoursixsix, a highly acclaimed international architecture practice; EOS, the world leading manufacturer of laser-sintering systems; and Ogle Models, makers of exquisite, cutting-edge models; are delighted to support the world’s biggest egg hunt this Easter. These companies have worked together to create a laser-sintered egg that is highly intricate in structure, yet contemporary and sculptural. The egg will go on display from February 21, when the UK’s capital becomes home to 200 giant and uniquely crafted Easter eggs during the Fabergé Big Egg Hunt. The collaboration between Fourfoursixsix, EOS and Ogle Models has facilitated the design and production of an exceptional piece that is at the forefront of three-dimensional (3D) design and manufacturing methods, demonstrating how additive manufacturing can deliver outstanding results that are impossible to create with any other method.
The architectural design concept
Daniel Welham of Fourfoursixsix explains their design approach for the egg: “We decided to consciously move away from the development of a merely surface treatment to the egg. The geometry in question provided us with the perfect platform to begin applying a set of architectural principles to the overall form. Through this process we played with structure, light and shadow and began to develop a three-dimensional architectural terrain.”
And he adds: “Conceptually, the design works around a rational grid of components that have been configured to react to both light and scale across the surface of the egg. Each component incorporates an aperture within its design that can adjust to control the amount of light entering the internal space of the form.”
3D design is an integral part of the process at Fourfoursixsix and they were excited by the potential this project held to exploit these modern methods.
Designing and manufacturing the egg formed an opportunity to combine this technology with the latest additive manufacturing process, known as laser sintering, to create a highly intricate sculptural form that is both contemporary and unique. This format allowed Fourfoursixsix to apply a playful and avant-garde approach to the treatment of the piece, free from the limitations that more formal construction approaches may have held.
Additive Manufacturing - the manufacturing process
Stuart Jackson, EOS Regional Manager for the UK, explains why the company did not hesitate to join this exciting project: “As a mainly engineer-driven company we normally focus on industry applications in aerospace, medical, automotive and the like. The egg is a perfect example of laser-sintering applications that can catch people’s imagination on another level. Here, as with all other cases, the design drives the manufacturing and not vice versa. Parts can be created that would not have been possible with conventional manufacturing technologies. As such, this laser-sintered egg is a perfect example of the vast possibilities the technology can offer.”
Laser sintering is an additive layer manufacturing technology and differs significantly from traditional manufacturing methods. Digital three-dimensional data must be available for the objects in order for this technology to be used to manufacture products for a variety of industries. Three-dimensional models of products are generated on a computer using CAD software. This 3D CAD model is sliced into thin layers during production. The desired geometry is then manufactured layer by layer with the aid of laser-sintering technology, based on this model. First, a thin powder layer of plastic, metal or molding sand is applied. A focused laser beam solidifies the powder according to the digital cross-section of the material. Once a layer is completed, the platform is lowered by several tenths of a millimeter and the process starts all over again. The non-fused material is removed during the last step. In this way, it is possible to produce highly complex parts—like the egg—without any downstream work cycles or use of additional tools. Moreover, several different parts can be manufactured in a single construction phase.
Daniel and Stuart agree when saying: “We wanted to test people’s perceptions on what can be created using these modern methods. We hope people look at the piece and question how it was both designed and made. While laser sintering within architectural circles is not uncommon, within a more public environment it is still a relatively unknown technology. We felt the project provided a real opportunity to reach out to a wider audience and showcase what can be achieved.”
And Daniel concludes: “Our egg aims to show the potential of 3D design and production methods. The intention was to develop a design that could not be created any other way. We have used our ability to work with these tools to develop an intricate, delicate and complex piece that intrinsically connects back to the spirit of the Fabergé brand, which focuses on highly accomplished design and craftsmanship alongside the use of exquisite materials. In some ways, our design brings this concept into the modern era on a larger scale: a piece of 21st Century digital opulence.”
EOS was founded in 1989 and is today the world-leading manufacturer of laser-sintering systems. Laser sintering is the key technology for e-Manufacturing, the fast, flexible and cost-effective production of products, patterns and tools. The technology manufactures parts for every phase of the product life cycle, directly from electronic data. Laser sintering accelerates product development and optimizes production processes. For more information visit www.eos.info
Fourfoursixsix is an international architecture practice with offices in London and Bangkok. Fourfoursixsix are driven by a desire to create innovative, unique and pragmatic architecture. Avoiding the constraints of a ‘house style’, we choose instead to formulate design solutions through an investigative studio process, underpinned by a high level of client consultation and careful investigation of context, site and brief.
Such a methodology allows the firm to work at a wide range of scales and typologies, continually evaluated through rigorous critical analysis. We believe that this process-led approach to design produces consistently high quality solutions for both the client and end user.
Our design process and ability to work within highly varied typologies, coupled with our international positioning, has allowed the company to undertake a diverse range of worldwide commissions within a number of project disciplines. For more information, please visit www.fourfoursixsix.com
About Ogle Models
Ogle Models are one of the UK’s leading model making and rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing companies. With almost 60 years of experience in the industry, we consistently adapt our knowledge, equipment and expertise to tackle any project head on; delivering winning results to you every time and on time. Based in the UK with a strongly skilled local workforce, we supply a diverse range of clients, from a wide variety of markets throughout the world, from our highly invested facility. For more information, or to visit our facility, please visit www.oglemodels.com
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