3D printing and rapid prototyping

We have excellent facilities for 3D printing and rapid prototyping, and pride ourselves on sharing this technology and the associated professional skills with our students.

The rapid prototyping area has a range of equipment linked to computers for digitally controlled output, including an EOS Formiga P110 Selective Laser Sintering system which makes direct use of digital CAD data to produce nylon polymer parts of high surface quality and strength.

This printer is a high level entry system for additive manufacturing, capable of cost-efficient small series production, customised products with complex geometries and rapid prototyping applications. It is supported by an Objet30 printer which prints in acrylic resin, and is capable of the highest surface finish.

The area also has 3 Ultimaker2 3D printers, which build models in PLA plastic. Prints can be cleaned using the Vibro-finisher or the jet wash, and there is a small air blaster for use with the EOS parts alone.

Evolution 60 watt and Speedy and Piranha 120 watt laser cutters cut paper, card and plastics up to 6mm thick and can engrave on a range of materials, from paper to stone. A Tryax 4 axis machine runs Mastercam post processing software and is ideal for machining small products and components, and there is also a Piranha CNC router with a bed size of 1200mm x 1200mm.

This is complemented by an MK vacuum casting chamber that allows us to produce highly accurate, bubble-free silicone moulds. From these moulds, we can batch produce components with a variety of properties using flexible or rigid resins.