The brainchild of a Chartered Surveyor who saw a need for an effective learning tool in building and construction has been brought to life by a plastic injection moulding company and received enthusiastic praise from those offering training, qualifications and apprenticeships in the industry.
After 25 years in the construction industry, Richard Winson has achieved a long-held ambition to help students following his footsteps into the construction industry.
‘I spent many years training to become a Chartered Builder, then Surveyor, and have always believed there was a more practical, effective approach to teaching the necessary skills,’ he explains.
His invention, ‘Bimbrix’, is a precision engineered, plastic ‘active learning’ tool, consisting of 1:5 scale building components designed to teach a variety of elements of construction technology including setting-out; estimating and tendering; construction programming and sequencing; facade detailing; centre-line calculations; and space planning.
‘The idea is to help students understand the concepts of 3D design and introduce them to BIM (Building Information Modelling),’ explains Richard, whose passion in education for construction has led to invitations to lecture at a number of colleges and universities across the UK.
‘The bricks are compatible with 3D printing techniques, but bespoke components can be created to compliment any model. Other CAD/CAM/CNC techniques can be used to create 1:5 scale components and Bimbrix is an ideal way of encouraging collaboration between different departments and design disciplines.’
Bimbrix was created by Amey Plastics, a plastic injection moulding company in Hampshire owned and run by brothers Ken and Phil Scott who planned and designed the tool making equipment needed for the individual components.
‘We started working together last summer, and Amey Plastics has been absolutely fantastic,’ says Richard. ‘I had little knowledge of manufacturing and they guided me through the entire process from design and prototypes, through modifications and adjustments, to the finished product. It if it weren’t for their support and warm reception every time I went into the offices to discuss and work with them, I doubt Bimbrix would be here now.’
Having already received orders from respected education centres such as Highbury College in Hampshire and Chichester College in West Sussex, Bimbrix is now attracting great attention from those in the building and construction industry and people interested in manufacture of the plastic components.
‘The idea had been in my mind for many years, but I started seriously sketching the idea and raising funds in 2013. Meeting Amey Plastics last year was the final piece of the puzzle and made Bimbrix a reality. I can’t thank them enough.’