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Interactive model with speed and direction controls










This unusual industrial model was a real challenge on two fronts – firstly because of the very complex shaped components involved but also because of the requirement for a very specific interactive element. The thruster comprises a large propeller that forces water downwards through a deflector that can be rotated through 360 degrees to direct the water thrust in any direction. This is the USP of the client’s product and, as such, he wanted the model to incorporate a rotating propeller (with speed control) and a movable deflector (clockwise and anti-clockwise) at 6rpm. We also had to work out how to mount the model in a cut-away view of a ship’s bows and create a cut-away view of the thruster to show the main working components. The model was recently shipped in a large flight case to a trade event in Germany – one of the inset images shows it on their stand.


Cardiff City model moves to County Hall.









After being centre of attention at the football Stadium event, our Cardiff City model is now on temporary display within the County Hall offices in Cardiff Bay. As you can see from the images it’s a much more low-key venue but we’re told it does get a regular stream of visitors, from politicians and potential inward investors right through to police officers from other cities who use the model to help with crowd control planning for visiting football supporters (sadly not from premiership teams this year!). It’s going to be in County Hall for a few more weeks before moving to its permanent venue in the new Library (opposite John Lewis) where it will be open to the general public. Since the stadium event we’ve added a few tweaks and improvements to the model itself and to the interactive element including a new “All lights on” button which lights up all 36 of the model’s lighting zones at the same time.

6.5m x 5.5m model of Cardiff at 1:750 scale










Here’s a first glimpse of the massive project we’ve been working on for the last 5 months, a 6.5 x 5.5 metre interactive model of Cardiff. We set it up for the first time yesterday at a major launch in the Cardiff City football stadium where it was the centre of attention for over 200 specially invited guests. The model has been designed for use in a permanent marketing suite to promote the city of Cardiff to national and international investors. It is a fully interactive model controlled via a large touchscreen which activates over 30 different lighting zones on the model and at the same time displays relevant information pages on the screen. The touchscreen images are also projected onto a large screen above the model so that the information is visible to all. More information to follow soon.

Button controlled model for Northern PowerGrid











CLNR stands for Customer Led Network Revolution, a method of optimizing the power supply network based on immediate reaction to varying customer demands. The purpose of this model was to illustrate Northern Powergrid’s strategies for maximizing the efficiency of their supplies to both domestic and commercial users. The model looks deceptively simple but actually features some complex programming to demonstrate how the network adjusts to the demands of different users at different times of the day, including storing surplus power for later use. The button panel allows the user to set up varying power requirements which are indicated by lights on the model (turning red) and then press further buttons that illustrate how the demands are resolved (turning the lights green) with energy efficient systems and procedures.

Five models reflecting Atkins involvement in the London Olympic Park











Designed and built for Atkins Engineers, this group of five interactive models was commissioned to reflect Atkins' huge involvement in the construction of the London Olympic Park. Each model highlights a particular aspect of the unglamorous but essential engineering work Atkins carried out at the site, from creating an artificial level surface for the equestrian event, to installing fundamental infrastructure such as bridges, water supplies and drainage. One of the models, which incorporates scrolling LED messages and allows the operator to lift a table tennis ball into the air by controlling a fan, conveys how Atkins designed complex climate control systems to "engineer" the air in many of the park's specialist sporting venues. The models were used initially at an exhibition event linked with the start of the Olympics but will subsequently be displayed in the reception areas of Atkins' main offices around the UK. There is also a plan to export one of the models to the Middle East. .

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