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Mechanical Engineering

Although mSemicon‘s original activities were in pure electronic engineering, its complementary nature meant that mechanical engineering has always been a core competency of the team. While we still excel in electronics over everything else, we have, over the years, developed a substantial knowhow in the area of mechanical engineering. Some of this is internal while other parts are in collaboration with a number of external partners.

In general, mSemicon engages in mechanical engineering work in the context of electronic product development; i.e. as a complement to an electronic circuit board being developed.

Design

The mechanical design process follows a similar process to electronic design work. A concept is proposed and checked for feasibility and validity before the design process starts in earnest.

The design undergoes several levels of revision, based on overall engineering considerations, client feedback etc. before it is ready for the prototyping stage.

Physical prototyping

3D printers

mSemiconmSemicon has a number of 3D printers, which allow mechanical concepts to be conceptually checked before a project goes too far along. A mechanical idea can be verified or discarded in a matter of days, sometimes even hours.

Once the concept has been verified, it then proceeds to the design stage.

The image shows a part that was first made as a prototype on a 3D printer and subsequently extrusion tooled.

Temporary moulds

Past the 3D printed stage, it usually makes sense, if the intention is ultimately to tool up a mould, to test the design by making a temporary mould, i.e. make a prototype.

The prototype, while normally not identical (in terms of material consistency) to the final tooled part, can give a very valuable insight into the suitability of the proposed solution. It allows time to modify or correct the design should performance issues be uncovered. mSemicon makes regular use of temporary moulds.

Tooling

mSemiconWhere a mechanical product reaches the point that it will be manufactured in volume, it is time to have it tooled. mSemicon can make all the arrangements for this (design for tooling, tool making) as well as source the finished part.

The image shows an impeller (from a new high speed blower) that was first manufactured by SLS prototype technology, in order to test for fit and functionality and then tooled for manufacturing.

Machined solutions

Some products, especially those of low prduction volume, are not suitable for tooling, and need to be machined. This is relatively more expensive (per piece), but it obviates the need for tooling. It is also quicker to produce, as tooling time is not a factor.


mSemicon can take care of all the steps necessary to turn our client’s requirements into a finished piece of engineering.