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Author Topic: CAD - 3D modelling - 3D milling  (Read 1095 times)


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CAD - 3D modelling - 3D milling
« on: December 15, 2007, 06:10:56 pm »

Hello all.

Just thought I would post details of an excellent company that I am dealing with who offer a huge number of services that I am finding incredibly useful for modelling.

The companies name is SurfDev.

They offer the following services

1 Paper -> CAD
They can take any number of complex paper plans and generate 2d and/or 3d CAD files

2 CAD -> paper
They can take files from pretty much any CAD package and turn them into paper plans

3 3D scanning
They can take any item, such as hulls, super structures, engines etc and scan it using lasers directly into a 3d model in a CAD package. This can then be altered, enlarged, reduced etc etc etc

4 3d milling
Once a 3d model is available, they can mill out any size of item that we would ever need in a 3d milling machine. Accuracies available down to 100 microns. Materials anything from orange foam to stainless steel. This is perfect for making plugs, or up/down scaling complex components,

5 laser cutting
They can take any shape from a plan and use laser cutters to cut them. This can be from plastic, plywood, metal etc. Brilliant for formers etc

6) SLS moulding - Laser activated resin
They take a 3d model and use that to control a laser shining into a vat of resin. Where the laser shines, the resin solidifies. They can form any shape you want, even shapes too complex to be milled. You also get to boast that your boat was made by "frickin' lasers!!" This gives you the ability to have up/down scaled ultra complex pieces, such as cranes, winching gear etc etc

7) stress modelling
Using a 3d model, they can simulate various water and air effects to ensure that the model will support the stresses and strains that it is going to be placed under

8) 3d inspection + modification
Lets say you have a hull that you realise is the wrong shape to match your plans. It's to small/long/wide/narrow.
SurfDev can take your plans and scan the item ( in this example a hull ) and then produce a new set of plans which have been modified in order to fit.

Service and contacts
I have placed a few pieces of work with them in the last few days, and have found them to be one of the best companies I have ever dealt with. My main contact is

Neale Williams

he is a director of the firm and has the ability to give you definate details.

The sales process

Step 1- send an e-mail or write with as much detail, sketches, pictures, diagrams etc as you can. If you want a hull scanned and upscaled, provide pictures. If you want formers made, add a picture and give some details like "I want 15 formers, at 100mm intervals etc ). Also include your telephone number and e-mail address

Step 2 - Someone, probably Neale, will ring you back to discuss. As this is SurfDev's day to day business, they know a huge number of tricks and tips. I've probably spent 3 hours on the phone in the last few days discussing 3 projects, and all my requirements have now changed due to Neale coming up with better ways of doing things. At first I resisted his idea's, but then I realised that he's the expert in all of this, niot me.

Step 3 - Quote SurfDev will send you a fully itemised, fixed cost, quote. If the final price is significantly under the quote, they will reduce the price, but it will never go up.

Step 4 - start project. Payment first, and then work carried out, although I understand that this is negotiable.

A word on prices:

NOT CHEAP!!! SurfDev deals with the auto, aviation and militry industries usually, and their prices reflect this. The sort of work that us modellers would need doing is affordable, but it's not the place to go if your messing about on a 50 knackered old kit. This is really for those "special" scratch built boats that you want to be perfect.

To give you an idea, I am having 2x 3d models created, 7 large and complex pieces of milling done in foam, a large piece of complex milling done in alloy, two sets of formers produced and 2 sets of plans created. I won't have much change from 8,000. However, I'm getting a hell of a lot of top quality stuff for my money.

if you approach SurfDev, let them know you have come from Model Boat Mayhem and they might talk about a discount if the work is large enough. Better yet, if a series of people grouped their requirements together into a large order, that might be better still.

Any question, don't hesitate to ask.


Guy Bagley

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CAD - 3D modelling - 3D milling
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2008, 12:02:44 pm »

no 6-  laser activated Resin, is also known as stereo lithography in the trade......

 a great company to know by the looks of it !
all in all its just another brick in the wall......
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