Priority Prototypes News
We’re turning 21!
Priority Designs is celebrating our 21st Birthday on 11/11 [November 11, 2011]. Please join us for our open house event on Friday where there will be food, drinks, rock wall climbing, r/c helicopter flying, and our in-house LIVE BAND "Locker 15"!!! Gates are open from 4pm-11pm. Admission is free!
Nikon Emerges Technology with Lasers
Nikon came to Priority Prototypes for design and short-run production for testing, before production tooling, of an Automated Laser Metrology Device. After developing and finalizing our CAD data, we were able to create SLA as well as CNC foam masters in which we created silicone tooling for 6 assemblies - each having 6 individual parts. Each unit had to be within tight tolerances in order for the components to fit precisely in these sophisticated products. Urethane parts were cast with brass mold-in inserts. An Electro Magnetic Interference (EMI) coating was applied and final production paint was achieved with color matching. Laser cut sheet metal inserts and a Polypropylene filter was applied completing the assemblies. Due to proprietary data, we are only able to show the housing parts (above) and not the complete assembled unit.
For more information: http://www.nikonmetrology.com/large_volume_metrology/laser_radar/
Testing at 100 mph
Not only do we build Super Models, but also from time to time we build testing equipment for our Super Engineers. Our client, Rawlings has been developing new sporting equipment for decades and came to us for testing new materials that would withstand a 100 mph fastball to an athletes head while reducing the risk of serious head trauma. No no one in our office would volunteer to be the test subject, however one of our engineers designed an air cannon apparatus that would enable testing of multiple head shots with various materials at a consistent 100 mph (of course within a ±.004 mph tolerance).
High speed cameras were set up to capture the significance of what a baseball might look like during split-second impact with “space-age” materials. This is one example…
Through vigorous tests and hours of development, Priority was able to assist Rawlings with their development progress and newly designed S100 baseball helmet. The Advanced Impact Management System (AIMS) constructed in this helmet has been tested to withstand ball speeds up to 100 mph. An expanded polypropylene liner is combined with a composite insert built into the frame that helps the helmet retain its protective oval shape upon impact. The Rawlings S100 Helmet is now required for Minor League Baseball players as of spring of 2010.
Rheem Unveils Innovative Branding
Priority Prototypes had the pleasure of working with Rheem Manufacturing Company in prototyping their new product line introduced to the market at the AHR Expo – the largest HVAC trade show of the year. Walking the designs from “up-front” here at Priority, just a few steps down the hall to the prototype lab has been a substantial advantage when projects like this take place in our facility. Having to build almost a dozen full-scale prototypes for Rheem, (within the same timeframe) it was vitally important that we had our design team within arms reach to communicate the design intent into the full sized, rather large, models while working through the prototyping process. The new designs were accepted well at the AHR Expo and Rheem will move forward with their production of the industry’s first commercial hybrid air and water product(s).
The 36" x 42" x 40" model was constructed from CNC machined foam, laser cut sheet metal, various SLA's, and nickel-plated Objet parts. An absurd number (in excess of 1600) of louvers were each bent by hand for this single model. Photos of the Air Conditioning Unit were taken in our photography studio before they were delivered to Las Vegas for the AHR Expo in early 2011.
Priority Prototypes Nails It at the Kobalt 500
We had the privilege of contributing to NASCAR's history by creating the winner's trophy for the 2010 Kobalt Tools 500 Race held in Phoenix last November. We created the trophy for Lowe's who sponsored the race and wanted a giant replica of the Kobalt hammer we designed for them. NASCAR driver Carl Edwards put the hammer down, (sorry for the pun, we couldn't resist) won the race, did his signature back flip out the driver's window and claimed the trophy.
Said, our prototyping engineer Roger Bechtol, "One of the biggest challenges for us was that Lowe's wanted the big hammer to be really authentic. So, after scaling up the design, we actually cast the head in aluminum, and then cast the soft touch grip in over-molded urethane just like the real hammer. You could drive a nail with it if you wanted to." The hammer is approximately 3 feet in length and weighs about 15 lbs.
After winning the race Carl wowed everybody with an act of kindness for one of his biggest fans. The Zach Colick, Daily News-Sun ran a story about his act and said the following "(fan) Ann Kotowicz’s admiration and support of Carl Edwards intensified Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway when No. 99 surprised her in the winner’s circle with his winning trophy and a hammer, both autographed, after finishing first in the Kobalt Tools 500.
The celebration also included photographs and hugs, another opportunity for Kotowicz to further her bond with Edwards.
Photos by The Associated Press
Ochocinco Wears Pink Chin Strap
The NFL is supporting October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with an initiative called, A Crucial Catch: Annual Screening Saves Lives. To show their dedication to the cause, players can wear pink cleats, wristbands, gloves, helmet decals, captain patches or towels. Cincinnati Bengal, Chad Ochocinco wanted to wear a pink chin strap for his helmet! The prototyping shop at Priority Designs was called in for assistance. Sherry Jones, a Priority Designs’ Industrial Designer took on the job and with the help of our professional prototyping staff modified the chin strap a manly NFL Breast Cancer Awareness pink! Ochocinco wore the pink strap in last week’s game and the Bengals won with a TD in the last 22 seconds.