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University of Wales buys five more DeskProto RP systems.

For immediate release, March 2005.

Utrecht (the Netherlands) -- March 1, 2005 -- The University of Wales, Cardiff (UWIC) has bought five more DeskProto Rapid Prototyping systems for its School of Product and Engineering Design. Each RP system includes a CPM 4030 desktop milling machine and the DeskProto CAM software for RP. Students will use DeskProto for evaluating their designs at all levels of the design programme.

UWIC acquired their first DeskProto system in 2001, and as it proved to be a good designer's tool the number of systems steadily grew to a total of 15 RP systems today. This large number is needed to accommodate all 250 students studying their Product Design Programme of BA and BSc courses. All students use the machines both during a model making course and for subsequent design projects. The CAD designs are made using Alias Studio and IDEAS Master Series, and then exported as STL for transfer to DeskProto.


The UWIC's workshop
Part of the UWIC model making workshop, showing the newest five DeskProto RP systems.


"We introduce computer aided model making at level-2 (2nd year of degree) with a very practical CAD/CAM project which this year involves the redesign of a rechargeable electric drill.", says Paul Wilgeroth, the program director Product Design. "The students have to redesign the casing of the drill while still using the standard working parts ( e.g. chuck, motor, switch and battery)."

Wilgeroth continues: "In order to check their design concepts for overall size, ergonomics etc they are encouraged to make a quick CNC concept model (external features only) out of Styrofoam. This material is very quick to machine and rapidly produces a model that they can interact with.
Having completed their detail design work they then have to CNC full size prototypes of their design from brown model board using the CPM 4030 machines. These prototypes are then finished by hand, painted and appropriate graphics applied. The end result is a fully working prototype of their design.
Having completed this module the students are encouraged to use CAD CAM for all their project work especially for their final projects at level-3."



Working prototype of a drill
Working prototype of a rechargeable electric drill, created using DeskProto's Two-Sided Milling Wizard. This is an actual UWIC level-2 project.
The two parts of the casing have been designed using I-DEAS NX, CNC machined in tooling board using DeskProto and a CPM 4030, hand-finished, painted and decorated.


The DeskProto approach of Rapid Prototyping is Subtractive (SRP), in contrast to RP systems that stack thin layers top of one another (Additive RP).
Reasons for UWIC to choose SRP include:
  • The low price per system: CPM + DeskProto cost about 10 % of an entry-level additive RP system. UWIC just cannot afford sufficient additive RP systems to accommodate all students.
  • The ease of use: any student can be taught to use the system within an hour. This is important as the systems need to be operated by the students themselves.
  • The same systems can be used both for Styrofoam concept models and for model board presentation models.
  • The low operational cost: Styrofoam and model board are cheap, even very cheap when compared to the patented resins and powders used by additive RP systems.
  • The high educational value: know how of desktop CNC machining is very useful for understanding toolmaking.
DeskProto is applied by many other design schools as well, combined with various types of NC machines. And of course also by many design bureaus, model makers and manufacturers. For a partial list of reference users see the DeskProto Gallery.



About UWIC

The University of Wales Institute, Cardiff is one of Britain's larger Universities. The University is made up of nine Academic Schools in various disciplines, the school of Product & Engineering Design being one of these. The UWIC has been independently acclaimed for its high academic standards and for its high level of student satisfaction. A measure of success being that in 2001, UWIC was the first UK University institution to be awarded the Government's Charter Mark for excellence for a successive third year.
For more information, visit www.uwic.ac.uk ( now named www.cardiffmet.ac.uk ).

About DeskProto

DeskProto by Delft Spline Systems is the 3D CAM program that has made CNC milling a competing technology for Rapid Prototyping. The software can import STL files from any 3D CAD system, and can export NC program files suited for any 3-axis CNC milling machine. Key features are low price, high speed and ease of use (the software is aimed at designers, not at CAM specialists). Clients range from one person design and model shops to very large companies like Sony-Ericsson, Unilever and NASA.
For more information on the software, visit www.deskproto.com
For more information on the machines, visit www.spline.nl




DeskProto is a registered trademark of Delft Spline Systems.