We have been fortunate, over the years, to have worked with a great many varied and interesting businesses. With the ability to create high-quality and distinctive moulds for a spectrum of specifications, it has enabled us to support the work of thousands of individuals. And, during this time, it never ceases to amaze us just how versatile moulds and CAD design are. If you’re venturing into a new field or looking for ways to improve productivity in your business, read this guide today. We’re looking at the different ways that moulding can integrate itself into different industries with ease and support productivity.
The versatility of CAD
To help us produce moulds to exacting specifications, we rely heavily on the skill and expertise of our CAD experts. From our CNC routers through to bespoke timber moulds, this technology allows us to recreate designs and items to the millimetre. CAD itself has long been utilised throughout a number of industries and markets. We have a simplified guide here but in short, CAD was preceded by CAM (computer-aided manufacture). This technology was originally used to improve the production of factory tools and machinery. By creating a digital drawing or electronic file, designs can be easily fed from the computer through to the manufacturing equipment. Items could be reproduced in quick succession and in identical format, eliminating the risk of human error and speeding everything up.
From the mid-1960s, CAD became a commercially available programme that could be adopted by many different industries. A reduced price and increased accessibility allowed more and more companies to take advantage of its benefits. And, now, you see it used throughout many different businesses.
CAD + Moulds
Here at 3D Pattern and Mould Makers LTD, we have built a reputation from crafting moulds to exacting specifications. The needs for these are vast. For example, we:
- Create rubber moulds for cast stone.
- Create timber moulds for bridges.
- Create GRP moulds for cast stone and refractory concrete.
- Create large facade panel moulds, often brick faced.
To do so, CAD has become integral. It allows us the ability to design a product or finished outcome with the client. We are able to ensure that all measurements and dimensions are perfect before the manufacturing process.
Different Industries Using Moulding
With a clearer understanding of how versatile CAD allows us to be when it comes to mould making, we can now look at the different industries that benefit from these services.
Classical Building Design
During the restoration of older buildings, preserving the style and look of a specific architectural era is vital. Only then can you maintain the story that comes with the building too. Ornate stone designs adorn the walls of many buildings, making them breathtaking to look at and memorable. Historically, these were created by hand through skill and labour or stone carvers. The cost implications of this generally far exceed the project’s budget. And, for this reason, many look to cast stone as an effective solution. Rubber moulds offer a soft and pliable solution for this, allowing intricate patterns to be produced . Cast stone has heightened strength and a liquid consistency that slips well into rubber mould designs. With this, restorative projects can stick true to the historical feel of a building while making cost-effective solutions at the same time. Pounbury in Dorset is a good example of where different orders of architecture have been employed and with spectacular results, we are proud to have played a part in manufacturing many moulds for this project.
Timber Moulds for Construction
In a world where we’re becoming more and more environmentally aware, timber has risen to popularity for many construction projects. Wood stores carbon from the atmosphere within it, helping to manage the ozone layer. Many of our timber moulds are produced for clients seeking just this – a bespoke and effective solution to their construction projects. From large-scale bridges to radial wall panels and staircases, we source sustainable wood from FSC-certified suppliers. Our moulds can be treated with polyurethane mould varnish to maintain a high-quality finish to the pre-cast and offer versatility, unlike many other materials.
GRP is an intricate process that results in exceptionally strong and long-lasting products. Over the years, we have been commissioned to use this technique for many things. But, perhaps the most impressive is in the production of monuments. One of our proudest projects was the production of The Shrovetide Hug Monument, depicting 3 players grappling for the ball during a football game. Designed by Neil Hawksworth, this striking monument was finished with the highest quality and is a production of a layering technique. With such an exacting message to get across, it is a clear showcase of the possibilities of moulds and, specifically that of GRP usage.
CNC-routers are computer numerically controlled and allow us to manufacture intricate products including signs. It is easy to reproduce a sketch into a numerical code. From here, the machine can construct, cut and machine a pattern for use on plywood or other materials. Over the years, we have used this technique to create signs, patterns and details needed for various projects.
Moulds for All Industries
During the time we have been producing moulds for our clients, there really has been no limit to the type of projects we undertake. Whether you need a design made to exacting specifications or multiple products identically produced for construction or other means, our moulds allow you to do just this. If you have any questions about our range of services or would like to speak to a member of our team about CAD or your individual project, do not hesitate to contact a member of the 3D Pattern and Mould Makers team.