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[05 NOV 98] UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK PRESS RELEASE
Researchers Turn Executive Toy Into Hi-Tech Engineering Tool

Researchers at the Warwick Manufacturing Group at the University of Warwick have transformed an executive "pin art" toy that sat on many managers desks into a hi-tech industrial moulding tool that those same managers can now use to create new products.

Dr Smith with toy model and new engineering toolDr Gordon Smith has adapted the "pin art" toy which consisted of several moveable pins of the same length. When a shape such as a human hand is pushed against the pins, on one side the pins push out onto the reverse of the box forming the shape of the hand [or any other objects] as a series of raised pins.

Using a Realising Our Potential Award from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Dr Smith has created a more precise network of pins which are covered by a flexible plastic sheet. The pins can then be precisely controlled to pull the sheet into the shape of any product or component that a company wishes to mould. When the moulding process is complete the pins and covering sheet can be re-set to zero creating a precise mould that is actually re-usable. Dr Smith and his team call this new process "intelligent tooling".

MORE INFORMATION:
Peter Dunn, University Press Officer  01203 523708

Dr Gordon Smith, Advanced Technology Centre, University Of Warwick  01203523784
  

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CWN / Education / University of Warwick / Press Release / 05 Nov 98

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