The MetLase Approach
Problem Solving. At MetLase, our world-class engineers, armed with our core technology and technical skill work with you to reach a solution more quickly and more precisely than you may have thought possible. Whether you have problems of time or accuracy, or simply can’t see a way something can be done, we can help.
Speed. The process from design to cutting and assembly can take mere hours, while our innovative and patented techniques ensure that precise, laser-cut tolerances are achieved in the final assembly.
Innovation. Based on solid mechanical engineering principles, our technology allows for novel solutions to problems, both new and old.
Accuracy. The speed and accuracy of our products, repeatable to less than 20 microns, allow for rapid iteration. We develop, validate and optimise bespoke fixtures, tooling and pre-production parts to meet your specific needs.
Applications. We haven’t yet found the limits of our technology’s potential, and our experienced team of engineers relish the chance to match their ingenuity against the most steadfast of sticking points.
The greatest advantage of our fast-make cycle is how it facilitates innovation. When it only takes a few minutes to go from CAD to product, a designer can use his creativity to continuously improve the product, moving from "good enough" to "perfect".
Here is an illustration: we needed to accurately centralise a pigtail fuel-rail support-bracket prior to bending with a press-brake. A jig was constructed using titanium springs and a steel frame. In fact the first 4 samples were originally discarded, and then retrieved to tell this story.
The desired product: a specialised bracket.
Loading the centralising jig.
The bracket mounted on the jig prior to insertion into the press-brake.
The 5 stages below show the sequence of design iterations that typifies the MetLase process; development time from initial concept to final design can be achieved in a number of hours.
Step 1. The original concept. Using Titanium, we can design springs with customised stiffness, and a very long fatigue life. It worked, but it was prone to excessive play.
Step 2. By constraining the central slider, play could be reduced, but there was some binding as the inner part entered and exited the vertical guides.
Step 3. Extending the central vertical guide eliminated the binding, but the design still wasn't perfect, since the two side-arms could rotate at different rates, leading to asymmetry.
Step 4. Adding cogs between the side-arms forced them to rotate in lockstep. This was nearly a perfect solution.
Step 5. Improvement of the gear-teeth optimised the mechanism for smoothness and minimum backlash. Wider arms increased the stiffness.
The MetLase Process
Here you can see the process from start to end of a MetLase product.
This video shows the initial problem, brainstorming, design, CAD, laser cutting, assemply and testing. After several iterations, the final product is ready.
Note that there are no welds at any point in the process, and all parts are made on the laser-cutter.