Technical Replicas for Museums & Enthusiasts
origin of our work on replicas was due to the linking together of two
normally unlinked areas. The first of these was Prime Function's experience
in product/industrial design, development and prototyping. When this
was coupled with our interest in the historical development of technology,
it has inevitably led to projects that link the two for both museums
One of these
was a project that involved a significant amount of research. This
related to an intended reconstruction of the 1908 Deutsch-Archdeacon
prize winning Voisin aircraft flown by Henri Farman. Initial work,
following the research phase, culminated in the construction of a
complete set of aluminium casting patterns.
Recent further developments on this project in 2004 have meant that
there is now the possibility that we will be replicating the wings
and fuselage of this aircraft as well.
project relating to a somewhat more rapid vehicle came about when
we were asked to produce detailed technical drawings of the very sophisticated
(for its time) aluminium crankcase and sump of the V12 Delage car
that held the Land Speed Record in the early 1920’s. The object
of this exercise being the making of replica casting patterns which
in turn would enable the construction of a replica engine utilising
some of the original components. The car is now running once again
in VSCC events.
We have recently been involved with a fascinating project for a Canadian
client. This was the complete research and drawing up (utilising 3D
CAD) of the controversial 1895 Pennington motorcycle that was originally
built in the USA and then further developed in the UK. Having been
detailed to a fine degree to enable a fully working replica is now
a more commercial level we also been involved in a joint exercise
with an aluminium foundry to produce replica vintage Marshal headlamps.
This particularly illustrated the usefulness of our expertise and
facility for limited production runs to meet the needs of vintage
car enthusiasts for spares which are not readily available elsewhere.
‘Rare Spares’ Plastic Replica Components
'Rare Spares' is a recent development within Prime Function which
will exploit the exciting possibilities opened up by the latest developments
within the technology of vacuum casting. For the first time the cost-effective
replication of previously unobtainable parts and components made of
Bakelite or other period plastics becomes a possibility.
The compression mould or injection mould tooling for these items will
almost certainly have long since disappeared and there is certainly
no way that it could be remade economically. However with vacuum casting
tooling it is perfectly possible to use either an existing original
component or to work from a life-size model (which we could make)
should an original item not be available.
Reference to our vacuum casting page will show the extent of the process,
but suffice it to say that there are really no limits to the possibilities.
Screw and other inserts can be incorporated as required.
Minimum quantities are not really an issue as, of course, a one-off
moulding is perfectly feasible but hardly very cost-effective. However,
with a single impression tool, the most cost-effective quantity would
be a batch of about 20 (or multiples of this with a multi-impression
tool) and so the concept will doubtless appeal to single marque and
other car clubs who are interested in laying down a small cost-effective
batch of a particular rare spare for the immediate and future needs
of their members.
We therefore welcome dialogue with these clubs and other interested
enthusiasts in order to see what plastic based spares are most needed.
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