2014: Styrotech CNC’s Year in Review.

2014 has been a busy, successful year for Styrotech CNC. We’ve had a lot on, which is great for us as well as being a good indicator that the economy, manufacturing and the industries that CNC machining is a part of are heading in the right direction. We’ve been involved with some really interesting (cool!) projects - to name and describe them all would take forever. But here’s selection of some of what we were up to in 2014.

January saw the introduction of us offering CAD services. Preparing CAD has always been an integral part of Styrotech since founder Kevin Trotter started using CAD to design windsurf board in the late 1980's. Styrotech CNC now offers the same expertise and experience in CAD modelling to all our clients – we can help take your idea from being just that – an idea – and turning it into a ‘solid’ CAD model – ready for the next stage in your project.

And then there were the statues we made. First up was a 3.8m tall “King Joffrey”, the tyrannical character from the popular Game of Thrones TV series. Made in component parts using polystyrene, King Joffrey was assembled and finished before meeting his end, in full view of the public, in Aotea square. You can see King Joffrey on the left beside our next guest...

The second big (7.0m!) statue we did was of “Anubis”, a mythical Egyptian God. Anubis was made the same way as his ‘little’ brother, King Joffrey. Initially, the job started with FormScan 3D scanning and digitising a 66cm tall sculpture of the subject, Anubis. This CAD was then used to make a full size polystyrene statue of Anubis. Once assembled and painted, he was taken to the Armageddon expo and incinerated by his owner, Pyro Company. 

With a strong marine background, Styrotech remains involved in the CNC cutting of many things marine. From moulds and plugs of kayaks and keels to the manufacture of cores for centreboard, rudders and 49er wings, you usually don’t have to go to far round here to run into something to do with a sailboat.

But perhaps one of the more interesting marine projects we’ve been involved with is the design and manufacture of the OC300 – the ultimate offshore cruising tender. For this project, the original Styrotech team – Russell & Kevin – were back together collaborating on the design, manufacture and testing of the hull. As Russell put it “Just launched today, and in true Trotter style, it f****** rips” – and the reaction from the market has been overwhelming – everyone wants one!

We continue to be involved in the manufacture of art designs for a range of artists – one in particular was pretty cool. Designed by David Trubridge Design, it was a seat/bench made using frames and runners. The interesting thing about this is that the angle that the edges of the frames is cut at continuously changes in order to ’fit’ the runners. So to do this, we need to use spline cutting. The result – as you can see in the picture – was impressive.

No overview of Styrotech’s year would be complete without mention of our ongoing involvement with the design, development and manufacture of SUP’s. From the range of boards we’ve made here in the factory, to the collection of SUP’s Kevin has worked closely with AXIS paddleboards to design & develop, we’re never far from having a close association to an industry that links directly to Styrotech’s background in the manufacture of world class windsurfing boards. It’s just now that we’re directly involved in the design and manufacture of world class SUP’s, fins and paddles.

And it was out with the old (above left), and in with the new (above right) when Styrotech took delivery of its new 3-axis Biesse CNC machine. This machine replaced the original SCM R2 “Greenie” that’s been with Styrotech CNC since the beginning. Of course it’s faster, smaller, more capable and more efficient than the Greenie, but no one would say they weren’t a bit sad to see the Greenie” (all 6 tons of it!) leave. 

And I could go on and on – there is so much cool, interesting material. Trying to narrow it down in a ‘best of’ is hard. If you want to see more of what we’re up to, check out our Facebook page (facebook.com/Styrotech) – there’s a heap more material here.

In the meantime, from the team here at Styrotech CNC, thank you very much for giving us the opportunity to work on such a broad range of projects. Have a happy, safe and fun Christmas and new year. We’ll see you next year. And, last but not least, we finally got a new sign!


About the Author

Jonathan Squires With a background in business and product management both in New Zealand and internationally, Jon is currently working with Styrotech CNC as Sales and Marketing manager.

Having toyed with product design for some years I entered the Formica Formations competition to test my blue sky design process, and was delighted to have won and had Beehive fully realised.


Graham Roebeck - Structural Integrity

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