Turning plastic into metal

3D-printed-investment-cast-manafiold

Recently we have got more involved with producing plastic parts that will be used for investment casting in various metal from Aluminium to Titanium.  You may ask why do this when metal parts can be 3D printed directly?  The answer is somewhat layered,  Metal 3D printing is just the best thing for some applications but […]

Think big, print big

What happens when customers ask us to make parts that are bigger than our printers are? We do it anyway.  There are some advantages in breaking up big parts into smaller pieces and joining them together, you may be surprised to know the main advantages are often speed and cost. Take the below example of […]

FDM 3D printing – Real life cost and material advantages

Out of the main 3D printing methods FDM (Fused deposition modeling) is sometimes seen as the printing technology for the hobbyist.  (Endless prints of plastic rabbits and vases flooding the web don’t help this image!) The reality is however that all the different types of 3D printing have advantages and disadvantages and there is no perfect method […]

Robust rubber like parts now available

Today we are going to look a a rubber like material we are offering for production of end-use parts and prototypes.  It’s is a type of Flexibel PolyEster (FPE) , the great advantage of this material is it’s robustness when compared to materials available from multi-jet printers where the tear strength is not great.  It […]

This is the machine of the future

Not because of what it is but how it was made! Recently we custom designed and constructed two semi automatic machines destined for production lines in China,  yes that’s right we are exporting machines to China from NZ! The machines we recently built have virtually no machined components (excluding those that are “off the shelf” […]

What have we been printing lately?

We have enjoyed a great variety of work lately, with some very interesting projects.  Understandably we can’t share many of the things we are working on, however below are just a few examples: Scale model of an oil processing unit. Designed in New Zealand by ITL engineering (http://www.itnz.co.nz/) This model was made using MJP (Multi-jet printing) […]

3d printed Jigs for industry

A few years back when I was in the mass manufacturing business designing parts and production lines.  Jigs and fixtures were always needed but often expensive and time consuming to make.  As a consequence they were not used as often as they should have been.  Current 3D printing in engineering materials would have certainly made […]

PDM gets it’s sea legs

It seems lately we have been working on a number of projects relating to to the sea and I thought we would share a few in this update. Lures Bite sensor Surfboard fins (see last article)   Lures: Recently Aotealures approached us to see if we could help them with molding their top-notch lures by […]

3D printed surfboard fins commercially available now

Link to NZ Herald article:  Designer on board with 3D From 2D sketch to 3D printed product selling in two months, this is a story of success! Photo / Alan Gibson For many years Roy Stuart has been handcrafting surfboards and fins with the more complex  fin designs taking 38 labor hours, finished products are […]

Mass Manufacturing to Mass Customization: a boon for small- to mid-sized manufacturers

Posted 10/24/2013 How many hours have employees and owners of small companies spent looking for standard components they can adapt to their products? Small companies are often more focused, more passionate and more inclined to customize their product according to customer feed-back, but are often restricted by a lack of capital and other resources. They have […]

Is additive manufacturing a good name for 3D printing?

For my business, I don’t think so. When I tell people I have an additive manufacturing company they don’t know what I’m talking about. To the layman, additive manufacturing could be the creation or development of ingredients for petrol or jam! So, personally, it’s really not that great in this context. So where did the […]

3D printing brings new life to mechanical engineering

Ever sent the apprentice out to buy a corner drill or a long weight? Well be careful, these days they may just say, “OK, I can print holes around corners and a long weight should print up in a few hours while I do something else.” Mechanical design engineering went out of fashion a long […]