Many consulting companies call themselves industrial design or engineering services organization. RPM Tech is a turnkey product development and prototyping company that takes ideas from concept all the way to production. We are part industrial design, part engineering services, part fab and assembly shop and all innovation and problem solving.
A little while ago, we were approached by a customer to help them with a “quick and simple” project – painting a few arcade panels and applying a wrap to the surfaces. We took on the project to help a great customer with their need. It turned out to be a complete, one-off engineering effort with user experience and branding features.
The client wanted to show it’s advanced software capabilities in an engaging platform.
First step: cut and paint – the “easy part”. The MDF panels are notoriously messy to cut and soak paint as if their “life” depended on it… We decided the best way to obtain a clean finish was to spray them – primer first. Paint is messy so we started with a inflatable paint booth – yes, that is a thing. The result was better than expected.
Next – the skins. The YouTube, Facebook and Instagram videos that show shrink wrapping done in minutes are a little deceiving. Uneven surfaces and temperature can make the process tedious and require rework . In the end, the team produced great looking units without flaws.
Next – colors. We love picky customers – they know what they want and often their vision results in great color combinations. We evaluated various materials, finishes, plating as well as color gradients. We ended up with a tinted ceramic coating that was attractive, easy to clean and tough as well as anodized surfaces and attractive plastics.
We started the overall assembly next. Much of the CAD modeling provided optimal placement for the hardware, positioning of the stiffening members, without which the units would have never survived shipping (especially the PC and the casters). All the parts were fabricated in our RPM Tech Model Shop.
Rubber dampers provide further protection to the high end computer. A bag on the door holds the controllers and any accessories that were required. We even designed and fabricated a hinged access panel for ease of use.
Details below show the joysticks installed, backlit panel (a last-minute addition) and custom, laser cut speaker grills.
The three units were completed, tested and prepared for shipping.
Our customer’s vision combined with a skilled group of designers and makers collaborated to deliver a stunning result. The units have since been shipped multiple times – withstanding brutal shippers.
Arcades are fun. What is your fun one-off project?
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