Blackburn based Darwen Terracotta manufacture bespoke terracotta products for use in the construction industry.
The façade of many traditional buildings dating from the middle 19th century onwards, are constructed using architectural terracotta and faїence coatings to provide embellishments to the design of the building. Stand out UK examples include the Natural History Museum and the Royal Albert Hall in London, although work is carried out across the globe.
The company take pride in mixing traditional artisan skills combine with 21st century manufacturing, and working with DigitME2, the company have been able to develop this further.
The DigitME2 project together with support from Lancashire based SME, 3DGBIRE, researched 3D scanning methods. The use of portable scanners on the surviving building features allow the company to recreate exact copies without the need to remove the feature from the building, resulting in an instant reduction in third party workmanship and transportation costs, enabling the company to reduce both production, time and their carbon footprint.
Using 3D CAD skills, Darwen Terracotta have also invested in 3D printing technologies to produce the mould masters. The use of this unmanned technology, allows overnight production of masters for smaller scale elements, reducing production bottlenecks and overall manufacturing time. In addition, the use of 3D printed parts to produce the masters, enables reuse of the part, allowing many moulds to be made from a single master.
“Working with UCLan has proved invaluable for our business! The DigitME2 team provide a service that takes the time to understand our operation and then apply the knowledge they possess to seek out new technology and innovations that will aid our manufacturing operation. The scanning and printing processes are something we can now take forward into the production environment to both compliment the skills of our workforce and reduce costs.” Steve Allen, MD
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