A key part of the new JEB International headquarters in Hong Kong, is our design workshop, which is the centerpiece of our new office. Visible through glazed partitions, all staff can look on as mock-ups are created in real time. Housed in the design workshop, are drill presses, bench saws and testing apparatuses. We have also purchased two state-of-the-art 3D printers. Up till the installation of these printers, 3D printing had not been a technology that we used as a part of our design process.
After more than a year since moving into our new office, we can now highlight key areas where the 3D printers have enhanced our design and development of acoustic glazed partitions and doors.
The design of aluminum and glass partitions normally starts with aluminum profiles. In the past, our industrial design team would come up with new concepts, we would review and improve them through drawings, and then decide whether to green light the cutting of a new die and the extrusion of a sample. This design and testing process would take up to 8-10 weeks for a single extrusion. Utilizing our 3D printers, not only has the cost of producing die cuts and extrusions been eliminated, but the speed to print out a concept can now be done in nearly real time. In the best cases, we can have a 3D printed sample on our desks and ready for review within 24-48 hours.
Form & Function
Not only can we eliminate the cost and time of extruding aluminum samples, we can actually build models made up of multiple extrusions to see how different components of the system can work together. For example, we can see how brackets and stakes work with flutes, how door leaf profiles interact with doorframes and how various gaskets and seals work with alternating thicknesses of glass.
This has allowed us to push our design processes even further. Rather than shelfing an idea that we weren’t too sure about investing in, we can physically see what is limiting the design, and thus, decide how to improve it before moving on.
This opens up avenues of opportunity that we have not ventured down before.
JEB has continually offered clients the ability to customize products to their specifications; our goal has always been to make every detail as perfect as possible. Nowadays, it is quite rare that a major project built by JEB, anywhere in the world, doesn’t involve some level of customization. Not only do we get the opportunity to review and improve our designs firsthand, the architects and designers that work with JEB also get a chance to physically inspect the prototypes just days after the initial brief. This not only serves to benefit each individual project by helping to work out details specific to each project, but this also helps the bigger picture, by allowing JEB to drive its R&D initiatives further than they have ever gone before.
A true testament to how the design workshop and 3D printers at our new international headquarters have improved our business has been the release of two new products which were launched in recent months:
SUMMIT, a thin, double-glazed partition system which has been developed for simple and efficient installations; and BROOKLYN, an innovative and contemporary version of steel framed windows. Both systems have experienced immediate success worldwide.