British Airways i360 selected Fine Cut for the detailed sculpting and engraving work due to their reputation and flexibility with difficult projects.
Fine Cut’s first task was to engineer the domed shape out of a solid block of aluminium. Engineering specialists created various CAD files before using 5 Axis machining technology to sculpt the domed shape. The plaque was then hand polished until smooth.
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The complicated aspect of this project was in applying the cloud effect graphic. Initially Fine Cut were hoping to laser mark the pattern onto the dome but the curvature and sheer size of the plaque made this impossible. Using precise CNC engraving techniques Fine Cut first plotted the surface shape, using a probe, then utilising a micro cutter, were able to engrave tiny indents into the metal to give the desired effect. The same High Precision machine was then used to engrave the wording into the plaque, also precisely following the contour.
The Plaque was then sent to be chrome plated, increasing the surface hardness of the dome, adding a resistance to corrosion and above all providing an aesthetic mirrored finish.
The piece was then returned to Fine Cut for the text to be filled with a gloss black paint before being carefully cleaned to give the final product depth and texture.
Fine Cut worked to a very tight time frame, using computer software, 5 Axis engineering, CNC engraving, marking, polishing and protection techniques to complete the final product.
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