Coesum for prototypes, pre-series and plastic molding
Customer objective: Guidosimplex Srl, a historic company specializing in the development of products for easy driving for disabled people. For this purpose they have developed this infrared control unit that allows the steering wheel controls to be operated very quickly and intuitively.
Solution proposed by Coesum: Before moving on to the construction of the molds and related molding, with the customer we decided to produce prototypes and then a small series that would allow the customer to do tests to validate the project and then move on to industrialization.
Results: Guidosimplex was able to validate the project at the engineering level and move on to the subsequent series production steps for plastic injection molding. All this thanks to the use of rapid prototyping technologies and silicone mold replicas.
In 1960 the Ministry of Transport certifies the validity of driving adaptations, this gives rise to the creation of Guidosimplex which in a very short time becomes a leader in the sector and a reference point for people with disabilities who want to easily drive their cars. In a short time the export to European countries is consolidated as well as the United States, South Africa and Japan, only in Italy more than 150 are the authorized workshops for the installation of its products.
The device we produced for Guidosimplex is an infrared control unit. It is a device that is applied to the steering wheel and allows the vehicle’s controls to be operated very quickly using the push-button panel, the keyboard night lighting is also provided. The product has been developed with care for the ergonomic aspects that allow an agile rotation of the steering wheel and functional of the device that can be applied both to the right and to the left of the steering wheel. Easily removable, it is equipped with a rechargeable lithium battery with long autonomy and can be adapted to any type of car; on the next model, Bluetooth technology is also provided.
The first step was the realization of a stereolithography prototype to verify the functionality and ergonomics of the device. For the realization of the piece we used the Accura Xtreme resin that simulates the ABS characteristics. The whole product kit was made up of 11 pieces of which 2 were produced with transparent resin, to test also the backlight of the keypad. The pieces were sanded and prepared for painting to simulate the aesthetic of the finished product. In a few working days Guidosimplex had the chance to have the prototypes in hand and do all the tests allowed by the rapid prototyping technology used for the production of the pieces.
After the first tests, after a few weeks, we started with the creation of a silicone mold pre-series. The customer requested a small production lot with materials that simulated the production ones as much as possible. Our solution? tooling for silicone replicas including stereolithography prototype and silicone mold suitable for the production of about 30 pieces with vacuum casting system with polyurethane resins. Some details have been produced with transparent material while another detail is in opaque resin co-molded with a steel insert, always made with silicone replicas. At the end of the production the pieces were painted. In just over two weeks, Guidosimplex had a product pre-series on which to carry out further functional and assembly tests, which allowed it to validate the project quickly and at low cost before moving on to mass production from plastic molding.
The last step was the production of steel molds; we followed the mold design and still today we produce about 1000 pieces per year with 30% glass-filled PA6 molding and SAN.
Thanks to Guidosimplex that after years chooses Coesum again as a partner in the production of its products!