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Developing CAD designs for Milk & More

The creation of some advertising marketing models, using modern and traditional methods, brought together up-to-date 3D design with cutting edge 3D printing technologies and long-established model-making skills. This 3-way collaboration, between Cambridge Design Technology, Prototype Projects and Mimesis Models, enabled the production of three ‘traditional Britain’ scenes in large scale glass milk bottles.

About Mimesis Models

London-based Mimesis Models was established over 25 years ago by Martin Kanter. Martin studied interior design at university before switching to industrial design. He now boasts nearly four decades’ experience in the model making industry.

Mimesis Models’ client list is impressive. They have worked with British Airways, Network Rail and the O2 as well as Guinness, Thorntons and Range Rover as well as many other household brand names.

The models created by Mimesis Models are frequently used for advertising purposes, as was the case for the Milk & More project.

About the project

Milk & More is a company that is passionate about encouraging people to eat well and live sustainably. They strive to continue and build on the role of the traditional milkman by stocking products for home delivery to meet modern day needs.

As part of its marketing strategy, Milk & More approached Bray Leino, an advertising agency, to promote their milk distribution service with a brief to use traditional images of bygone eras.

Bray Leino used an illustrator to create conceptualised images of a chicken farm, a bakery and a farmhouse. With the illustrations in hand, Bray Leino then asked Mimesis Models to produce the three models based on the approved designs.

The process

Old school vs modern

Mimesis Models could tackle the project in one of two ways. Either they could use the traditional, old school method of sculpting the models by hand, or they could opt for a more modern approach to model making and use 3D printing.

Given the level of details and small scale of the models, Mimesis Models decided to use a mixture of rapid prototyping and modelling. Having previously worked with professional rapid prototyping experts Prototype Projects, Martin Kanter of Mimesis Models contacted the company’s General/Technical Manager, Gary Turner, to begin the process.

Martin headed to Prototype Projects in Royston to meet with Gary and the prototyping bureau’s managing director, Justin Pringle, to discuss the project in more detail. He could see great benefit in Prototype Projects’ new 3D print texturing service which can be applied to SLS and SLA 3D Prints. This new process was capable of applying the essential finer detail to the models, thereby saving valuable time.

CAD design - bakery model

Developing the CAD files

With a professional 3D printing expert in place, Mimesis Models now needed a product design expert to produce the necessary CAD files. Prototype Projects work with many such experts and so they recommended potential companies that they knew would listen to the brief and add creative input.

Martin opted to work with Cambridge Design Technology, a company ideally suited for this type of work given their previous collaborations making scale models with Scalextric and Airfix.

Conscious that the models would need to be hand-painted by Martin, Cambridge Design Technology worked to the approved illustrations and produced scaled and proportioned designs that would allow for easy painting. Each of the parts – from doors, door frames, walls to chimney pots and chimney stacks – were to be produced individually. This meant each part would be printed separately enabling Martin to reconstruct the models in a similar fashion to an Airfix kit.

The design files were sent to Mimesis Models in eDrawings so that Martin could rotate the 3D CAD renderings and zoom in if required. These were then sent to Bray Leino for approval, and on to Milk & More.

CAD design - hen house model

Printing the models

With the necessary approvals secured, Cambridge Design Technology passed the CAD files over to Prototype Projects.

It was at this stage that the texturing would need to be applied to the 3D-print models. Martin sent reference photographs of cobbled stones, roof tiles and stonework to Prototype Projects who searched for suitable images of the required surface textures. These texture images were then imported to Prototype Projects’ software where the texturing was overlaid onto the surface of the model. Once the texturing had been adjusted the SLS machines were set up to print the individual parts.

Once all the parts had been printed, Prototype Projects packaged and labelled them for ease so that Martin could paint and build the models.

CAD design - farm model

Assembling the models

The quality of the texturing on the parts exceeded expectations. Martin said “the texturing applied by Prototype Projects really brought these 3D models to life. Also, the CAD work was incredible – the 5-bar gates were only 5mm high, yet because they were printed as separate parts, we were able to hand paint each one without risking overpainting adjacent elements”.

The parts, printed on one of Prototype Projects P6000’s SLA systems in Accura Xtreme material, arrived at Mimesis Models. Martin, and his colleague Jim, set about air brushing, dry brushing and spray painting all of the parts. Once painted, they were easily assembled and the finishing touches were applied to the models.

The final stage of the process was to place these intricate CAD-designed, 3D-printed, hand-painted models inside the milk bottles which had been produced by glass blowing experts, Aimer Glass.

Advertising Milk & More

With the completed 3D printed models carefully encased within their milk bottles, the final products were delivered to Bray Leino and Milk & More who were delighted with the results. The final models were photographed by Adrian Burke before being delivered to the client. These photographs have since been used as part of Milk & More’s The Best of Britain, Bottled advertising campaign.

Bray Leino sent a camera crew to capture the behind-the-scenes production of the models. Take a look…

Martin Kanter of Mimesis Models said,

this was a fascinating project that brought experts across multiple disciplines together to create these models. Both Prototype Projects and Cambridge Design Technology were immensely professional and their work was of the highest quality. Cambridge Design Technology’s CAD work was carried out with the paint and build in mind which was enormously helpful to us. I have always been filled with confidence working with Prototype Projects. Their 3D print texturing capability added another dimension to the models and greatly reduced the overall timescale of the project and meant we could avoid manual texturing”.

Bring your ideas to life

Talk to us about your next design. We are an innovative and creative company that provides product design and technology development services to medicalscientific, technology and industrial companies

Please contact us to find out how we can help on 01223 662300.

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