Laser experts make their mark on Winter Paralympics

Cutting Technologies was chosen to engrave 55 brass arcs that were welded into an armillary sphere for the Stoke Mandeville ceremony.

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Barnsley, UK - Two years after laser and engraving specialists Cutting Technologies played a crucial part in the closing ceremony of the London Paralympic Games, the company has made its mark again: this time on Sochi’s Winter Games.

On March 1, the historic role of the UK’s Stoke Mandeville Stadium in Aylesbury as the birthplace of the Paralympic Movement was marked in the Heritage Flame Lighting Ceremony.

Barnsley-based manufacturer, Cutting Technologies, who laser cuts and laser engraves a variety of materials from wood and plastics to metal and fabric, was chosen to engrave 55 brass arcs that were welded into an armillary sphere for the Stoke Mandeville ceremony. The arcs were black laser engraved with a logo and the names of the cities that have hosted the Paralympic Games together with the year the games were held.

Weld Fab Engineering Services put the structure together that was used during the Paralympic flame ignition ceremony.

The Flame was lit by an iconic "Armillary Sphere,” a model of stars and planets in the sky more than six meters tall and six meters in diameter, and the spark of the Flame was generated from the chair of London 2012 Paralympics, gold medalist Hannah Cockcroft.

The spectacular model was designed by internationally acclaimed theatre designer Jon Bausor. It will be used for future Heritage Flame events.

“It was a real honor to be asked to play a part in this year’s Winter Paralympics, particularly after being involved in the summer Games in 2012,” said Jane Robinson, director at Cutting Technologies. “As well as celebrating this year’s athletes, it’s a project which will have longevity: the Armillary Sphere has a life span of 10 years so we'll have our little stamp on Heritage Flame events for years to come.”

The joining of the flames created the official Paralympic Flame of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, which was to be used in a final relay before the Opening Ceremony on March 7.

Photo: Hannah Cockroft creating the Heritage Flame at Stoke Mandeville in March 2014. Credit: Doug Southall

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