Link Design – The Modelmaker

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Link Design – The Modelmaker

October 28
14:11 2012

Link Design provides bespoke prototypes to meet clients’ needs and create a uniquely tailored service

Let’s face it, most of, if not all of the things we use and consume today as human beings have to be designed, developed and prototyped before ending up in the retail environment.

It’s all very well to look at glossy 3D renders of a concept, spin it round and wax lyrical. Until you can actually see the design as a 3D object it’s difficult to assess the functionality, aesthetics, and ergonomics of a product. Whatever it may be, the physical model becomes the best tool of evaluation for the marketeer, the designer, the engineer and the consumer.

Packaging is no exception; Link Design Development Ltd specialise in the production of prototypes in hollow plastic and glass, developing and designing 3D structures and solutions.

Working Practices

With over 40 years experience the company has evolved from product/industrial design roots to an innovator of structural packaging and prototyping, offering a variety of services to its customers.

Link’s knowledge of packaging technology and training as designers has helped shape the company’s philosophy, which provides the ‘Link’ between three dimensional design and production.

The company can generate concepts; take a thumbnail sketch/technical drawing/3D file; advise on feasibility, manufacturability, labelling, process capabilities; outline the most cost effective route to develop an idea; and resolve aesthetic, functional and technical issues.

Link prides itself on its flexibility, the quality of its work and its ability to react to short deadlines. Creatively working to give the maximum for a given budget.

CAD Services

Part of Link’s offer is the creation of 3D model (IGES) from 2D data or outline sketch, correct for product volume, fill height and glass weight. Using this data in conjunction with the company’s CNC capabilities, Link can also produce photorealistic 3D glass renders or 3D PDF’s for presentation purposes. Fullydetailed technical container specification drawings suitable for production can be produced from this information as required.

When a bottle or glass is handmade due to an organic or spontaneous shape that cannot be economically 3D modelled, Link utilises reverse engineering technology. Once the 3D data capture is complete the object can be re produced via CNC or rapid prototyping.


One of Link’s core specialisms is the production of seamless, one piece, photo realistic resin hollow bottles and glasses to simulate glass and PET. Models can be filled and sealed, preferably with waterbased liquid, and matched to any colour with simulated or actual closures applied.

Ranging from 50ml to 5ltr sizes and wall thickness to suit the production material, process, and application, these models can be produced crystal clear, tinted, or sprayed to any colour required, suitable for a wide range of applications, including photography, marketing, advertising, market research, client presentations, concept proving and pre production approval. Volume batch production for multiples of models can be achieved to suit clients’ needs.

Solid resin and acrylic prototypes can also be produced where required; clear and opaque repeats can be cast from rubber moulds but will suffer greater shrinkage than hollow route. Where line trial models are required Link incorporates some shrinkage values to achieve the correct tolerances.

Bespoke Production

Hand blown bottles and glasses are another speciality. Embossed details can be post applied to the surface. Other ‘rub down’ surface decoration can be sealed in to protect the graphics and standard/special finishes/colours sprayed over. Changes can be made to existing production glass bottles. Embossings can be removed and subsequently replaced with new updated detail where the existing bottle form is being retained. This provides a highly cost effective route for design evaluation prior to laying down tooling.


Many standard closures exist which Link can use ‘off the shelf’, however some designs are unique to the bottle design and require bespoke modelling either by traditional ‘craft’ methods or using SLA modelling using data files. Wood, metal and resin materials are generally used with varying surface finishes and colours.

Link Design Development

Limited, 17- 21 Brownfields,


Hertfordshire, AL7 IAN

Telephone: +44 (0) 1707 331991

Fax: +44 (0) 1707 327918

Web: www.lddltd.com

Email: enquiries@ddltd.com

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