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Beyond Design, Inc.
3D Modeling and CNC Milling:
the Future of Mold- and Modelmaking
3D Modeling
3d Modeling & CNC Milling
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3D Modeling

The addition of 3D computer modeling will be the beginning of a new direction for Beyond Design Inc. The ability to develop high resolution objects in virtual space will provide a medium that can translate the sketch pad, flat drawings and sculpted models into a workable format. Once modeled in a 3D program such as Alias Maya, an object can become very real, as images and in dimensional space. The translation to Solid Works allows dimensioning and the transition to production machinery. CNC machinery, like 3 or 5 axis routers or milling machines can reproduce almost any object we can model. Once the object is produced full size in a tooling media like foam or cast gypsum we can either make molds of it for reproduction or apply a surface treatment for a “one off” object.

As a design and translation resource, 3D modeling is fundamental to the direction Beyond Design is headed. By working in virtual space, we can create complex assemblies, look at them, test fit them, design connections and internal components all before we have built anything. This can save huge amounts of time and allow the participation of many individuals in the design, engineering and production process before anyone leaves their home or office.

As we add the Architectural market to our range of product offering, this capability will offer the architectural designer the ability to have a more direct connection with the building components produced. The transition from and to AutoCAD will provide a “feedback loop” that can make pre-fabrication and building from a “kit of parts” a better reality for traditionally “custom built” applications.

For other designers, this capability will provide a means to translate sketches, drawings, photos and scale models to scalable 3D models. From these, test models can be cut on the CNC router in Styrofoam and other soft plastics for “real world” verification of design and scale. Once a “soft model” is approved, a “master” model can be cut in tooling gypsum or in a syntactic foam board from which molds can be made.

For the process of mold making, the 3D modeling process can be a huge benefit. Large models can be made in pieces that exactly produce the parts of the mold in the way it need to break apart, eliminating much of the painful process of creating shim lines and eliminating many “fitting” issues. Also, for blanket molds, the model of the mold rubber itself can be cut in a soft medium eliminating the traditional use of clay for this part of the process.