UCL News


UCL Bartlett installs cutting-edge model-making machines

7 August 2009


Design produced by laser sintering bartlett.ucl.ac.uk/architecture/index.php" target="_self">UCL Bartlett School of Architecture

The UCL Bartlett School of Architecture has installed two machines that open up a world of possibilities for architects, engineers and others.

The plastic laser-sintering machines can create exact replicas of computer-aided designs by cutting the electronic models into thin horizontal slices.

The data from those slices is used to drive a laser that fuses successive layers of plastic powder, which build up to create replicas of designs.

Martin Watmough, head of the additive later manufacturing (ALM) department at the UCL Bartlett, said laser-sintering could create finely detailed models impossible to make by any other means.

The facility is already being used by students from the Bartlett and other departments such as engineering and medicine.

It has also been used by well-known architectural practices, the Royal College of Arts, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and Imperial College London.

Examples of the diverse objects the machines have produced include architectural models, Wedgewood-style tureens for the staircase of an ocean liner, a mudguard for mountain bikes, and a representation of a brain scan made for a sculptress.

For more information about the ALM department at the UCL Bartlett follow the link above.

Image: right, finely detailed design produced by laser-sintering machine.