In supporting Linde’s vision to develop a new range of reach trucks for taller warehouses, IDC Models, the rapid prototyping and model making division of IDC (Industrial Design Consultancy), produced a life-size block model of a reach truck using a variety of different model techniques.
Supplied with a steel chassis by Linde, IDC Models built a full-size model based on Linde’s CAD design specifications. Being a new style of reach truck with the potential to reach over 12 metres, Linde was keen to check usability on a full scale model. IDC’s design engineers also developed a control console for the reach truck and this was incorporated into the model to be tested by users.
IDC Models’ large format CNC machine was used to create the main parts of the truck from ‘ureol’ precision modelling blocks. Smaller components, such as the windscreen, joysticks and knobs, were developed by first 3D printing the components by SLA to form masters and then producing vacuum casts based on these.
The components were pieced together with an exceptionally high standard of workmanship and then sprayed and finished on-site at IDC Models. To make the model as realistic as possible, Linde supplied additional finishing touches such as rubber seals and other smaller components.
The model was instrumental in helping Linde test and refine this futuristic reach truck and enabled them to develop a pioneering new range of materials handling trucks.