During 2021, we have had the amazing opportunity to work on three model-making projects with one of the most exciting companies in Vermont- Beta Technologies. The models we've made are being used to help tell the story of this electric aircraft company and how they're trying to revolutionize the industry.
Our models have had to been highly accurate, evocative and finished to an extremely high standard.
Client: Beta technologies
Our first task was to help them finish a 1/5 scale (10' wingspan) model. It was in started, but had a long way to go and they handed it off to us. We had to made some changes to the forms, mold and cast new rotors, incorporate some 3D printing, and fabricate the skids. And do a lot of sanding...
From Big to Small
From 1/5 to 1/24 scale this time, we completely built a table top model of their recharging station- a network of which creates a support system for their electric aircraft. Pictured here are some 2" tall chairs inside the pilot's lounge. These were modeled in the computer and printed in resin on one of our MSLA printers before finally being hand painted.
A look at one area of the completed model shows the attention to detail. We used a variety of techniques from 3D modeling and a digital fabrication set of tools, to good old scratch building and using our artists' eyes. The integrated LEDs add a whole other level of believability to the finished model.
The completed model is approximately 18" H x 30" D x 36" L. It is on display in their Washington, DC office where they regularly meet with policy makers, military and business leaders. The model help to tell the story of the electric aircraft's ecosystem.
Mold Making and Casting
Almost every job requires some parts to be molded and cast. Making a series of 1/24 scale model aircraft required us to strategize how to section off the model to go through this mold and cast workflow. The shapes of the craft are beautiful but complex and required a complex set of tooling.
With over a dozen molds, we set about casting dozens and dozens of resin parts, using our pressure casting tanks as often as possible to eliminate bubbles and produce quality parts. The various castings then have to be cleaned up for seam lines and any remaining blemishes before being assembled. Assembled models need to look seamless before getting painted, so our attention to detail and craftsmanship is put to good use during this process.