Digital Manufacturing Centre / Case Studies
Katy Holford/ Wentworth Pewter, Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
- Creation Date:Monday 6th July, 2009
The Design-Nation stand at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show (19-23 May 2009) showcased contemporary designs for the garden by five Design-Nation members including Brighton-based designer Katy Holford.
Katy decided to use the show as a platform to launch her new ‘Little Flowers’ range of small (30cm high) garden flower sculptures manufactured from pewter. However, manufacturers Wentworth Pewter initially struggled to find a suitable method of producing the master needed to make the silicone mould.
“Normally we would either use a sculptor to sculpt the master in modelling clay, make an acid etched magnesium plate (as used in printing) or manufacture our own master from pewter. With this particular project the sculpture costs would have been very high; the magnesium plates only work on a maximum of 2 levels and the pewter master too tricky to produce because of the flower design.”
Richard Abdy, Wentworth Pewter
Katy contacted Metropolitan Works who suggested that SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) a type of rapid prototyping in nylon could be used to produce a suitable master. The Centre’s specialist Rapid Prototyping technician got straight to work using Katy’s CAD files to manufacture the nylon versions of the flower heads; these were then posted to Wentworth Pewter for casting.
The rapid prototyped models did the trick; enabling the team at Wentworth to create a mould and manufacture the pewter flower heads quickly and successfully, with no visible difference to the aesthetic of the finished product.
Little Flowers designed by Katy Holford are now available to buy for £10 each from Wentworth Pewter.