3D Printing

To aid the development process we offer an on-site facility to manufacture 3D printed samples. Our machine is a HP Designjet Colour 3D which was purchased to enhance our capabilities.

The 3D Print service will transform a CAD file into a three dimensional product in a short period of time without the need to manufacture potentially expensive mould tooling. The machine will build usable, durable and reasonably precise products in fused layers of ABS. This can be of particular benefit at the concept stage to see a finished component, prove a design or for some fit and function testing to evaluate a part’s effectiveness.

Your 3D Cad data will be converted into the correct file type (STL) and then be loaded into our software to create a program to build the prototypes.The parts are built within a 200mm x 200mm build envelope in 0.25mm layers with a mixture of support material; to ensure features will not collapse during the build and ABS as the base material or the component.

After the print is completed the build tray is removed and the product is washed in a solution to dissolve the support material leaving a quality prototype.

To support internal requirements we print parts to assist our Toolmakers during the mould tool manufacture process and they are also used by the Setters and Quality to give a greater understanding of new products being produced.

  • HP Designjet Colour Printer
  • Processes STL files
  • Builds in 0.25mm fused layers of ABS
  • Build tray 200mm x 200mm

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Want to know more about 3D Printing?

3-D printing is making it easier and faster to produce complex objects with multiple moving parts and intricate design features. However, consideration does have to be given to the feasibility of injection moulding the part and the constraints surrounding the manufacture process.

Additive manufacturing (AM) is the family of manufacturing technology that includes 3-D printing. AM is the means of creating an object by adding material to the object layer by layer

You can see some of the basic principles behind AM in caves; over thousands of years, dripping water creates layers and layers of mineral deposits, which accumulate to form stalagmites and stalactites. Unlike these natural formations, though, 3-D printing is much faster and follows a predetermined plan provided by computer software. The computer directs the 3-D printer to add each new layer as a precise cross-section of the final object.

Additive manufacturing and 3-D printing specifically, continues to grow. Technology that started out as a way to build fast prototypes is now a means of creating products for the medical, aerospace and marine industries for example.

The earliest use of additive manufacturing was in rapid prototyping (RP) during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Prototypes allow manufacturers a chance to examine an object’s design more closely and even test it before producing a finished product. RP allowed manufacturers to produce those prototypes much faster than before, often within days or sometimes hours of conceiving the design. In RP, designers create models using computer-aided design (CAD) software, and then machines follow that software model to determine how to construct the object.

Direct 3-D printing uses inkjet technology, which has been available for 2-D printing since the 1960s. Like in a 2-D inkjet printer, nozzles in a 3-D printer move back and forth dispensing a fluid. Unlike 2-D printing, though, the nozzles or the printing surface move up and down so multiple layers of material can cover the same surface. Moreover, these printers don’t use ink; they dispense thick waxes and plastic polymers, which solidify to form each new cross-section of the sturdy 3-D object.The 3D printer here at Pentagon dispenses ABS material to build the product.