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Flashback: Does Anyone Recognize This Device?

Image courtesy of Mike Waters
Image courtesy of Mike Waters

By Mike Waters 2018-12-01 18:51:35

Does anyone remember this device?

It was a device invented and used in the early 1960's to develop expanded ship plates. Prior to this they were only developed by building full size mock-ups of the 3D part in wood, so this worked for a short period as an intermediate stage before computers.

The device worked at 1/10th scale and pointers were set at each frame position to represent the shape of each frame.

A special sheet of material was inserted between the pointers and when all was correct, an electrical current was passed through and the sheet of material then had burn marks that could enable the required sheet to be expanded to full size.

In Canada, the last person known to have managed this machine just passed away at 91.

Mike Waters N.A., retired Director of Engineering and Ship Design, was responsible for the design of some 60 ocean-going vessels while at Marine Industries Ltd until it was purchased by a Quebec competitor in 1988 who then closed the yard. Now in retirement, Waters returned to his passion of small sailboats and is currently author of the website www.SmallTriDesign.com.

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.