Who would have thought that when the famed British singer Adele dropped her smash hit “Hello” in 2015, that maybe someday she could be calling her long-lost lover from a 3D printed telephone. Well, the Letchworth, UK-based prototyping firm Ogle Models is making that seem like a future possibility with their latest project with Alloy, the industrial design firm working for the major communications services company British Telecom. In the past, the prototyping company has utilized their 3D printing prowess to create a single-seat car for IMechE Formula, the biggest student motorsport race event in the world. Prior to that, they souped-up the AutoNaut weather data collecting sea drone with a 3D printed bow and tail fin design.
The Ogle Models team was recently called on to create a British Telecom (BT) cordless phone and base charger for the industrial design firm Alloy. The BT DECT cordless telephone model required intricate detailing for the buttons, as well as integrated lighting for the base charger. In order to produce these complex details, Ogle Models utilized stereolithography (SLA) 3D printing, which allowed them to produce intricate measurements as small as ±0.1 mm per 100 mm.
“After paying a visit to Ogle, we were impressed by the range of equipment, the breadth of materials and processes they were able to perform and replicate. It was a pleasure to work with Ogle, said Matt Harris, an industrial designer at Alloy. “The determination of the team to deliver exactly what we wanted, and the openness to try new or different processes, is what sets them apart from others.”
Both the phone and charger base have an incredibly sleek and modern design. The BT DECT cordless phone has a matte black finish, with smooth edges and intricate details for the speaker component and numbers. The tilted base charger has a metallic look, and props up the charging phone at an angle. To achieve this finish, Ogle Models tried out multiple approaches until they found the brush metal effect that Alloy was aiming for. According to Dave Bennion, the marketing and sales director at Ogle, the team utilized several processes that have never been used on phones before.
The prototyping firm also implemented a reflective funnel component within the base charger to ensure that the unit’s blue LED light would be evenly distributed. Ogle Models also implemented a battery pack, as well as switch and mock USB sockets. All in all, the outcome was an incredibly smooth and aesthetically appealing cordless telephone.
The project is certainly a major accomplishment for the Ogle team, as BT is one of the world’s most renowned communications services companies, and is used throughout the UK and in 180 other countries. The Letchworth prototyping company has shown that by applying newfound finishing techniques to high quality 3D printed objects, it’s possible to obtain the appearance of a sleek and modern product. Discuss further in the 3D Printed BT Phone forum over at 3DPB.com.[Source: Ogle Models]