Miami Boat Show , Part I
The Miami International Boat Show in February is the boat show to attend in North America. If you attend as a manufacturer, you better have brought the latest and greatest because there’s going to be plenty of competing manufacturers vying for the spotlight and attention. When I worked at MTI, the weeks leading up to it meant super long days and working through the weekends. It also meant the debut of new models and lots of one off parts and accessories, and this year was no exception. After leaving MTI in August, I was asked in October to do the CAD files for some of the trim and interior pieces for their first 52′ hull and Miami Boat Show theme boat, Black Diamond. Four different parts were commissioned:
- A set of custom polished aluminum, diamond-themed throttles and shifters (as seen below)
- A large 17′ long polished aluminum trim piece for the hull side with a quarter scale version for the rear bustle
- A billet aluminum propeller themed steering wheel
- A set of billet aluminum propeller themed AC vents
The throttles were probably the hardest parts to model out of the lot because not only do that have to fit and function correctly, they need to look good as well and feel comfortable. After getting the 2D orthographic sketches from their in-house designer, they were split, cropped and scaled, then imported into SolidWorks.
After the proper the proper shape was created the details such as cutouts, mounting holes, bosses for the trim switches, accent lines, and fillets are modeled. The theme of the boat was “Black Diamond” so diamond shaped engravings were added to the tops of the throttle covers and shifters.
The shifters were scaled down from the throttle covers in one direction (width) and trimmed. This saved a lot of time over modeling the shifters from scratch. After the parts were checked for clearance and feasibility, the machining duties were sent to Protolabs First Cut shop. I wasn’t fully confident using them for the first time and for such an important project with such a short time-table, but they really delivered. I uploaded the IGES files, received a quote in less than 24 hours, and the parts were delivered a few days later. I was even able to ensure that the CNC operations would meet our expectations before I placed the final order. A once seemingly impossible feat, Protolabs has fulfilled all three of the conditions for the design trifecta: quality, cost and quickness! The only caveat could be their overall part dimension limitations, but they should be large enough for most. I will definitely be using them again. Lastly, I gathered the throttle box and lever geometry from a previous project, mounted the new throttle covers and shifters in SolidWorks and exported it to my rendering program. In this instance, it was the new release of Keyshot 4. Chrome and bead blasted metals, wood, and soft touch rubber textures were used for the rendering seen below.
Pictures of the finished and installed assembly will be up shortly.