VACUUM PUMP – Whistle Industrial Design Melbourne
1634
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VECTOR VACUUM PUMP

ALUMINIUM CASTING DESIGN

CLIENT

Javac Pty Ltd

DATE

2015-2016

To keep the Vector at the forefront of Australian vacuum pump technology, Javac engaged Whistle to help optimise the aluminium casting design to reduce unnecessary material weight, incorporate Javac’s new intake valve system and freshen the design. Whistle developed Vector 2 from concept sketch through to production-ready CAD, working side-by-side with the management and engineering team at Javac and their suppliers to successfully develop the final design solution.

 

The result is a fresh, compact and lighter Vector vacuum pump, an evolutionary design that is at its heart, a true Javac product perfectly suited for their Australian market.

 

See more at Javac.

DEVELOPMENT PROCESS

REVIEW. DESIGN. OPTIMIZE. DOCUMENT.

Key to the success of the project was optimisation of the aluminium casting design to maintain the required strength, improve cast quality and reduce material weight. We began with a significant review of the shortcomings of the current castings, from porosity and mould quality, to weight, material thickness and ribbing design. The Product Design Specification was developed to identify all project aims and constraints, before moving into the design stage to develop appropriate solutions.

 

The image of the castings below shows the progression from old to new design, with the reduction in size and design optimised motor mount ribbing clearly evident.

Vacuum Pump aluminium casting design

ALUMINIUM CASTING DESIGN

The original aluminium casting design shown left, and the new compact, weight optimised castings shown right.

CONCEPT DESIGN

 

During the concept design stage, key focus was placed on developing an evolutionary design, to maintain the familiar and unique look created by the original Vector pump.  We explored a number of aesthetic variations, each iteration considering varying ideas on size reduction, tooling design, carrying options and assembly.

 

The ideation process yielded four design concepts, the first a direct evolution, and the subsequent designs each pushing the aesthetic slightly further.

Aluminium casting design concept

CONCEPT REFINEMENT

 

With a concept chosen, the design was refined over the existing components to ensure an accurate representation for client sign-off. The refinement was sketched and delivered in three orthographic views to thoroughly evaluate the forms and sizing. These orthographic sketches would go on to form the basis for the CAD modelling process.

Concept refinement sketch

DETAIL DESIGN.

Detail design was an inside-out process, beginning with development of the appropriate internal ribbing and features required by the functional components, as well as the strengthening features required to support the weight and fastening of the motor mount.  At each stage through the process, the estimated weights were checked, and material thicknesses monitored to ensure the minimum volume of material was being used to build the castings, whilst still allowing for correct function and strength. The new external design surfaces were then built around the internal geometry, with adjustments made as required to ensure all features worked in harmony, whilst keeping weight down.

 

FEA simulations helped optimise the integrated foot design, to remove solid build-ups of material and maintain strength, and cooling fin surface area was checked to ensure sufficient heat dissipation.

 

Once complete, 3D printed mockup samples were fabricated to verify size and component placement, before a CNC mockup was commissioned to validate the new intake valve mechanism.

 

Solidworks detail design

DETAIL DESIGN CAD IN SOLIDWORKS

External surface development and internal feature detailing in Solidworks.

Aluminium casting design simulation FEA

FORCE SIMULATION IN SOLIDWORKS

Checking loading on the optimised foot design in Solidworks Simulation.

Prototype aluminium casting design

VISUAL PROTOTYPING

3D printed housings for sizing and form verification.

Aluminium casting design

PRODUCTION DOCUMENTATION

Manufacturing drawings and supporting documentation.

PRODUCTION HANDOVER & SUPPORT

 

Whistle supplied 3D CAD files for manufacture to the supplier and accompanying 2D drawings documenting machining, colour and finish specifications. In addition, a complete step by step machining schedule was supplied to ensure the parts were finished to the stringent requirements of Javac engineering. Whilst tooling was in development, Whistle also created photo-realistic, computer-generated imagery to support Javac’s marketing team.

 

PRODUCT ON SALE June 2016. Congratulations to Javac on the release of their newest Vacuum Pump!