Case Studies

Home / Case Studies / CNC Machining Smart Scales

CNC Machining Smart Scales

smart scales
Project Name: Smart scales
Production materials: Stainless steel, aluminum alloy
Manufacturing technique: CNC machining
Product size: 300 x 300 mm
Reasons for choosing CNC machining: Accurate, fast and efficient
Lead time: 7 days

Project Background

Vipp is world-renowned Danish designer and producer of kitchens, bathrooms and furniture, noted for their high quality and attention to detail. They approached ProtoFab with the design of a new model of smart bathroom scales. Smart scales are becoming increasingly common in modern homes and are an important tool for monitoring and improving health, so we were keen to be involved. The design is bold and innovative, mixing a retro analog dial with smart technology and Vipp's minimalist Scandinavian design.

Project Requirements

Vipp requested a very high level of detail in the production of each part, and also required that assembly should be seamless with no gaps. In addition, the surface was to be painted using Vipp's traditional silvery black color, and the silicon parts should fit perfectly with the metal parts. Finally, it was requested that the analog dial should undergo wire drawing in order to create a high-end look and mask any potential imperfections.

Challenges

The silicon dial panel was quite large, but it was also very thin and prone to warping, so it was difficult to know exactly how much silicon to use. This was where the experience of our team came into play, and in the end the dial came out perfectly and was seamlessly assembled to the aluminum alloy part. This project also involved wire drawing on metal, which always presents a challenge.

Solutions

1. In order to ensure parts were produced to the necessary level of precision, we chose to use industry-leading CNC machining equipment for all production in this project.

Programming for CNC machining
Programming for CNC machining

2. It was difficult to know how much silicon to use during casting, and there was a constant danger of shrinkage or warping. To deal with this, we produced a silicon prototype and opened a mold. We then adjusted the temperature of the silicon to 60℃, and our experienced engineers made further adjustments until the silicon and the aluminum alloy were perfectly joined.

smart scales

3. Vipp was very clear that we had to use the exact color they use elsewhere in their range, and we made great efforts to ensure this was the case. The final look is a perfect example of Scandinavian minimalism.

spray on a scales mode
spray on a scales mode

4. Wire drawing can be understood as a finishing process. Making miniscule carvings on the surface of the aluminum has the effect of removing any scratches or imperfections to may have been introduced during production. We used specialist wire drawing equipment on the aluminum dial to carve out a curved pattern, giving the dial a high-end look.

smart scales dial
smart scales dial

Finished Prototype

dial detail of smart scales
dial detail of smart scales

dial detail of smart scales
dial detail of smart scales

FrotoFab provides CNC machining, 3D printing, low-volume manufacturing, mass production and product finishing services (grinding, polishing, casting, varnishing, screen printing, transfer printing, electroplating, laser engraving, wire drawing, and much more). We are able to quickly confirm the viability of any design, and can make professional adjustments to achieve the best possible result. If you have a project similar to the one above, or would like to discuss another of the services we provide, we would be delighted to hear from you.