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Creating a Fully Functional Prototype of a Shopping Trolley

01 November 2005

In late September 2004, Supercart, a leader in the supply of plastic shopping carts, and their designteam, approached ARRK to help them develop a fully functional prototype model allowing them toassess their new design.

Following a visit to ARRK’s facility in Gloucester, UK, Site Manager and in this case project leader, Craig Vickers, was ableto guide them through the various processes available to them. These included StereoLithography, Selective LaserSintering, Fused Deposition Modelling and of course the down stream services, such as polyurethane castings and ourpaint and texturing services.

Supercart’s primary concern was how their model would work, stack and look,explaining that stackability was a vital factor for potential buyers of theirproduct, given the limited space they have available to them when the trolleys were not in use.

As a result of this criteria, ARRK advised Supercart to have full sized Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) prototype modelproduced, to address all these areas. Using Glass Filled Nylon powder to produce the trolley in a series of sections, this process also offered the customer excellent strength, durability and rigidity.

An initial 3 prototype SLS models were produced by Martin Burgess and his team, over a 2 to 3 week period, incorporatingnumerous design changes.With ARRK having 3 SLS machines at their Gloucester site ARRK was able to offer the customersignificantly reduced leadtimes, saving them both time and money.

Following assembly and trial stages, several modifications were made and incorporated successfully by grafting them into the existing units. By doing this from the beginning it saved valuable time and unnecessary additional expense not having to rebuild the complete trolley again!

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