A Large Plug For A Famous Hand!


Everyone at Coastal Enterprises Company liked this previous story so much we decided to share it again for our newer readers! Who do you call if you’re a discerning family-themed cruise line looking to build a state of the art water slide featuring a signature element from one of your most beloved and iconic characters? The answer is FormaShape 3D Architectural Design Solutions of British Columbia. The design called for a giant replica of the white-gloved hand from everyone’s favorite cartoon mouse supporting the main structure of the slide. Patrons had to immediately recognize the hand, so every detail of the larger-than-life appendage became important, right down to the fingers, 3 of them, and thumb….good trivia question!



Because of its strength, rigidity and ease of machining, FormaShape chose to machine the FRP tooling plug from Precision Board Plus (both PBLT-4 and PBLT-8). Once the CAD design was approved by the client, the toolpath was fed into their 5-axis CNC router to machine the segmented plugs that made up the hand. According to Sean Conneely, Custom Fabrication Manager at FormaShape, new systems were developed for both the segmented plug and moulding techniques used on this project. In addition, special fabrication techniques had to be developed for both the plug and moulded parts. The precise Open Moulded process used by FormaShape ensures that the final FRP panels that make up the finished hand are within +/- 1mm of the Precision Board Plus machined plug!



Having designed, engineered and manufactured the entire slide, the job of installation naturally fell to FormaShape – Whitewater West Industries. Check out their websites at www.formashape.com and www.whitewaterwest.com for more examples of their work.