BEEAs winner designs Baton for Commonwealth Games

The Baton for this summer's Commonwealth Games was designed and produced with the help of 2013 British Engineering Excellence Award winner, Young Design Engineer of the Year, Michael Aldridge.

Working at Glasgow based 4c, he began forming ideas 18 months prior to the Games about the design and the materials suitable for such an auspicious occasion and unique item.

There are four key design engineering challenges to the Queen's Baton; The Gem, The Puzzle, The Lattice and The Handle. The Gem was made from granite mined from the Isle of Ailsa Craig. The puzzle forms the top of the baton and kept the Queen's message locked away. The puzzle was mechanically the most complex section of the baton with 53 parts, some of its complexity is illustrated in the clear 3D printed prototype above. It is based around an old Japanese puzzle but was modified to work in a circular shape.

It was found that by rolling up The Queen's Message and using internal lighting, it was visible but not legible. Wanting to protect the message inside a lattice work cage, 4c used a titanium Selective Laser Sintering Process to achieve a shape that would have been impossible using traditional manufacturing methods.

The handle houses electronics and uses the 'bird-mouth' technique often used in boat building for the construction of masts. It relies on multiple lengths of wood that are assembled and bonded together. The wood was elm, locally sourced from a park in Glasgow.

Justin Cunningham

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