Prototype Projects offers a wide range of solutions, but how can these solutions be applied? We have pulled together a selection of applications to demonstrate how solutions can be used, but this is by no means an exhaustive list. Please contact us to discuss your next prototype project. 

Surface texturing

What: applying surface texturing to SLS and SLA parts before printing 

Which processes: SLS and SLA 

Why: to achieve the same surface finish you can get from injection moulding, to give them the look of leather or other natural materials, for example 

Benefit: significant cost-saving over other techniques such as injection moulding 

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Dyeing of parts 

What: print-to-product cleaning, surfacing and colouring of SLS parts 

Which process: SLS

Why: to add precision-colours to SLS parts in virtually any required colour 

Benefit: add value to your 3D printed parts to look more like an injection moulded part 

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Parts that require strength

What: rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing of parts with complex shapes and geometries 

Which process: SLS 

Why: process uses Nylon (PA12) to print complex shapes applicable across a range of industry sectors 

Benefit: reduced costs as no tooling is required, high quality, accurate parts achievable in short timescales – Express Service Next Day Dispatch 

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Combining metal with resin

What: combining additive manufacturing processes with subtractive manufacturing processes, such as CNC machining combined with vacuum casting 

Which processes: CNC and Vacuum Casting 

Why: to test manufacture-like prototypes of a product or part 

Benefit: test how effectively metal and resin elements can be combined before manufacture 

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Parts that require a high level of detail

What: production of parts that need to show a high level of detail during the design process 

Which process: SLA 

Why: with a wide range of materials available, it is a fast method to produce parts 

Benefit: a very fast way to produce parts for testing and developing products reducing time to market 

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Medical devices 

What: prototyping of new medical and drug delivery devices, and non-implant devices which will have limited contact with the body 

Which process: SLA 

Why: we use 3D Systems Accura ClearVue material in our dedicated medical devices area 

Benefit: an extra level of confidence for clients during their medical device product development process and clinical trials 

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Model making – developing your concepts 

What: prototyping which requires multiples skills, technologies, processes and finishing options 

Which processes: Skilled craftsmen – SLA, SLS, FDM, Vacuum Casting, CNC machining, finishing, painting 

Why: when automated prototyping technologies or processes alone won’t do the job (for example, due to size or complexity), or where the nature of the model requires the use of different components produced by different means 

Benefit: one-stop prototyping model making service, flexibility, rapid turnaround, high level of quality and finish 

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Production of polyurethane prototype parts – before you go to injection moulding

What: production of small numbers of highly accurate polyurethane prototype parts with characteristics and quality comparable to the final product 

Which process: Vacuum Casting 

Why: to produce parts for pre-production testing or product evaluation 

Benefit: short lead times and low cost compared to injection moulding 

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Parts, jigs and fixture assemblies

What: low-cost production of small numbers of strong, durable prototype parts, jigs and fixture assemblies 

Which process: FDM 

Why: to produce early concept prototypes, jigs and fixtures 

Benefit: production grade polymers available 

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Combining multiple materials into a single part 

What: producing a part which uses multiple materials simultaneously 

Which process: PolyJet 

Why: to achieve a 2-shot (hard & soft) part before expensive injection mould tools are required 

Benefit: wide material choice including the blending of digital materials to further enhance your product development 

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Ready to start your prototype project? 

Talk to us about which solution is most suitable for your next prototype project on 01763 249760. We can advise you on your choice of prototyping technology and can also help you optimise your designs for prototyping. 

We offer next day dispatch for SLS, SLA, FDM and PolyJet parts. We also offer a surface texturing service for SLA & SLS prototype parts and a dyeing service for SLS parts.

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