So what really happens at the Play Creations factory?
Of course each of these words entails a long list of what happens within but for each category we will try to really break down what goes on from start to finish.
Where it begins…
We are going to start right at the beginning. A client is looking at opening a jungle gym play area and is wanting a Softplay frame designing.
Whenever a client enquires about a job the first thing we do is talk the client through everything needed for the early stages. Some new business ideas can feel a little daunting so we like to help by just giving the information needed at the time. It's common that we arrange to meet the client in person either here at the factory or an alternative desired destination. If the client has already secured the building we also send out a designer to measure up. The meeting is not just about business we like to really get to know the client. We understand that understanding someone’s idea can really help with the overall process involved from start to finish. Next we try to get an idea of the customers expectations and ideas, colour schemes, age ranges, budget and size. Once we understand this we can set to work on the design.
The design process can be broken down into 5 main parts
1. Scale Drawing (using Auto Cad)
2. 3D Model (3D Studio Max)
3. Breakdown & Costings
4. Presentation (Adobe In-design)
5.Technical Drawings for manufacturing (Auto Cad)
The first 4 points can be repeated several times due client feedback.
The designing process has to take into every consideration presented by the client, Colour schemes, Branding, Themes, room shape, overall look, age ranges and neighbouring areas e.g. café & seating. Once the client is happy and gives the thumbs up for the final design, all technical drawings are drawn up and passed on the rest of the factory team to begin manufacturing.
- Build -
Time to build
Once all technical have been passed, the team can set to work on the different tasks included in the process. This includes:
-Building all wooden carcasses and cutting timber to size
- Foaming all boards and features
- Sewing all the vinyl need to wrap the boards and features
- cutting and welding all steel needed
- & finally putting it all together.
From floor boards to climbing walls
All softplay features need to be three things. Strong, Soft, and Safe. So to ensure this we use the best materials on the market. 18mm Sheeted Ply is used for all deck boards and load bearing features. 6mm sheeted ply is used for floor boards to prevent foam abrasion. 50mm, 6lb recon foam is used for any surface that a child can walk on and 25mm, 6lb recon foam is used for everything else that a child/ toddler can come into contact with (e.g. underside of deck boards, the sides of features).
Once the boards and features are made the next stage is to head upstairs to the sewing department.
- Stitch -
From flat to functional
All soft play equipment needs to stand up to the test of time. From Softplay shapes to board covering we use the best vinyl on the market. We stay away from printed vinyl where possible and prefer to applique any detail directly. This helps both with a longer life and an easier surface to maintain. With over 10 years experience our sewing department ensures all the vinyl is cut and sewn to millimetre perfection. Zips and eyelets are added to finish off the skin then its back downstairs to finish the process.
- Wrapping and final touches -
The vinyl skin comes back down stairs and is paired with the ready made foam carcass. Working as a team we then staple the vinyl covering with the factory's high pressure staplers thus completing the board or feature. We trim away any unnecessary material to give a greater aesthetic look and send back upstairs to be wrapped in protective covering and stored.
Play creations does accept that we cant do everything (yet). So for most features with electric we have a dedicated list of suppliers who provide the necessary goods. Of course we do give out own touch to each.
Once all the manufacturing is complete and the client is ready for the build to start, the next stage can begin.
To see more of the softplay design with before and after photos, please contact us directly to receive a copy. Click here to see more examples of our softplay designs.