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Case Study: Defining a new technology
The Digital Furnace
Digital Furnace Corp. Alpharetta, GA
Design by Sam Harris, Lionel Gillespie
Engineering by Jim Heberling

Digital Furnace was a funded start up company that
had a powerful software product designed to run on a
PC chassis. The company needed hardware that was as versatile and powerful as the software. In the first meeting, they asked us to define a “digital furnace”. Heat and cabling would have to be managed. The unit could sit on its feet, or hang on the wall.

We began by establishing a unique language, building scale studies, getting to know the ancestors of this digital furnace. We studied cast parts: manhole covers, stove eye grates, looking for visual cues we could use. 

Phase two focused on bringing the object to full scale, where we concentrated on ventilation, control surfaces, cable management, stand vs. hang features, and final materials. From these detailed paper models, the basic direction was chosen.

Phase three models explored details and thermal
analysis was begun.

Phase four engineering was begun and 3-d solids models
in SolidWorks® allowed parts to get rough cost and tooling estimated. Color studies, control labels and company graphics completed the package.

The final delivery was an engineering package and production cost estimates.

Above left: 3D solids model by Jim Heberling

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