Racing Seat Prototype
TMI AutoTech, Inc. is an established vehicle manufacturer located in South Boston, VA. Two of TMI’s best known vehicles are the Ariel Atom Supercar and the Ariel Nomad Urban Assault Vehicle. Both of these vehicles are built from the ground up at a 60,000 sq.ft. manufacturing facility in Halifax County. While TMI AutoTech, Inc. has extensive design, engineering, fabrication, and manufacturing capabilities, the company contracts with ProductWorks to leverage its vast resources and expertise in product design & development.
On a recent project, TMI contracted with ProductWorks to produce the prototype of a racing seat for a new product offering. As they worked through their product development process, TMI recognized the unique skills and technology ProductWorks has to offer.
Using 3D modeling and 5-axis CNC router technology, ProductWorks staff programmed, fixtured and machined a seat prototype. After satisfactory evaluation of the prototype, ProductWorks moved to the manufacturing phase where they used the prototype as a mold to produce a fully realized racing seat.
Steinway & Sons
World renowned piano craftsman Steinway & Sons engaged R&D CAMEE to program its new Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) routers, and complete the post-foundry process machining on several of their grand and upright piano frames. R&D CAMEE’s advanced abilities in Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Machining (CAD/CAM) allowed Steinway to increase piano production, increase sales, upgrade machinery, implement more modern manufacturing techniques, and better function within the world of digital manufacturing.
Blind Stapler Project
Stewart Topp, owner of Topp Line Incorporated, reached out to R&D CAMEE to help create a new stapling tool named “The Blind Stapler,” which could revolutionize the cabinet making industry by allowing craftsmen to attach a face frame to a cabinet box within seconds. R&D CAMEE worked with Topp on product design, prototyping, and limited production runs. Topp was able to use information derived from the prototype to apply for a patent from the U.S. Patent Office.
Continuing a successful run of producing beautiful, custom trophies, R&D CAMEE produced Pinnacle Award Trophies for the American Society of Furniture Designers (ASFD). In addition to manufacturing the trophies in the Innovation Center’s advanced machining center, R&D CAMEE reached out to Virginia Tech’s Department of Sustainable Bio Materials to produce custom packaging for the trophies.
IWF Design Emphasis Trophy
The International Woodworking Fair (IWF) is held every other year in Atlanta. A Design Emphasis Award is given to advanced-level design students who excel in various categories, such as Occasional Furniture, and Seating. The winners receive beautifully curved solid wood trophy designed by the late Sam Maloof. Because IWF had a limited supply of the Maloof trophies, they approached R&D CAMEE to re-create the iconic award.
When the team at Virginia International Raceway wanted a custom trophy produced for the Oak Tree Grand Prix/Tudor United Sportscar Championship weekend, they came to the staff at R&D CAMEE. The R&D team was honored with the request to design and produce a trophy for one of the largest races at the nation’s premier road course.
Advances in Surgical Tool
Surgical correction of pectus excavatum was a complex and somewhat brutal procedure until Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters (CHKD) surgeon Donald Nuss developed a minimally invasive technique to correct it in the 1990s. In the Nuss Procedure, which is now used around the world, the surgeon threads a curved metal bar under the sternum to push it out into a normal position. The bar is then anchored to the ribs and remains in place for approximately two years so the chest wall can harden in its new position. Then the bar is removed during a second surgery. To solve a manufacturing problem which did not allow the original tool to be autoclaved (heated to high temperatures), the team engaged R&D CAMEE to create a tool component that could be autoclaved and thus reused for additional patients.