To stretch the possibilities of 3D molding, we ventured into the production of art. We worked with a Toyohashi University of Technology lab on a research project in which we applied our manufacturing technology to construction and realized a free-form design that could hardly be achieved by previously existing methods.
Dividing the 3D model produced by the students
We worked on the “Unering” research project with the laboratory of Associate Professor Shiro Matsushima at the Toyohashi University of Technology. When we stepped in, students had already created a 3D model. To make this complex shape into a reality, we started by dividing the model into forms that could be handled with NC machining.
Applying the direct molding method
After complex mold division based on the data created from the design sketch, we create the machining data. By fusing parts formed from multiple molds, we reproduce an organic shape. To accomplish this in a short period of time, we picked the direct molding method, creating female molds directly.
Out of the mold and into trial fitting
Parts come fresh from their female molds, one after another. Now we send them on to the trial fitting process. We made speedy progress, with a manufacturing lead time of about 1 month for mold division preparation and data processing and about 3 months for mold/product manufacturing and installation.
Unveiling at the “open campus”
The Unering is a shell structure that twists as it rises. It is a dynamic art piece that expresses the energy of the Higashimikawa region, with its deep-rooted manufacturing tradition, as it stimulates the intellectual creativity of those who view it. Upon its completion, it was exhibited at the Toyohashi University of Technology’s “open campus” event for prospective students.