The Alspec R&D team utilised the latest in 3D printing technology to create a bespoke sliding door system that met the high-end and exacting specifications for a client’s project.

The brief for the Alspec team was to develop a high performance sliding door that could meet three key specifications: water penetration, wind load and disabled access.

Water penetration

The Building Code of Australia requires manufacturers to produce windows and doors that meet specifications set out in the Australian Standard AS2047 – Windows and external glazed doors in buildings. This standard includes water penetration and wind pressure testing. For this particular project, the doors were required to meet 700 pascal (Pa) testing.

Wind load

Wind load is the intensity of pressure that windows and doors can withstand – all Alspec products carry a certified rating. Given the high-rise aspect and coastal location of the project site, the doors needed to cope with the potential for extreme wind loads up to a pressure of 7.8 kPa.

Disabled access

To provide appropriate access for people with disabilities, the sill design had to meet Australian Standard AS1428.1 - Design for Access and Mobility. The flush sill gives building users a continuous accessible path when travelling between internal and external floor finishes.

Since this challenging combination of specifications could not be met by any product on the market, the Alspec team put together a design solution that would meet all three criteria. Using 3D printing technology, they created a model that could communicate the final design to the client in advance. This exercise also provided a clear idea of how the final product would look and operate, prior to cutting the final dies.

The end product was extruded in structural alloy 6106 T6, a higher grade of alloy, which also ensured the project’s higher specification needs were met.

View the 3D printer in action.