Find out more about our manufacturing processes below
Fused Deposition Modelling
ESD – ABS
Electrostatic Discharge Safe (ESD) Materials are semi-conductive, these materials are used especially in electronics manufacturing for jigs and fixtures. Our ESD ABS is a high grade material that gives the correct resistance for Electrostatic dissipation.
Use ESD – ABS for water based conformal coating, See our ESD – PET material for Solvent based coatings
ESD – PET
Electrostatic Discharge Safe (ESD) Materials are semi-conductive, these materials are used especially in electronics manufacturing for jigs and fixtures. Our ESD PET is a high grade material that gives the correct resistance for Electrostatic dissipation.
Use ESD – PET for Solvent based conformal coating, See our ESD – ABS material for water based coatings
In the vertical (z) direction, features should be kept above 0.5mm thick, but ideally above 1mm. horizontally features should be thicker than 1mm or they will not print.
Wall thicknesses should ideally be 1mm, 2mm, 3mm, etc. (rather than 1.5mm, 2.5mm, 3.5mm etc.). These thicknesses are most efficient for our nozzle sizes.
The orientation of the part being printed effects both the surface finish, resolution, and strength of different features of your part.
Parts are prone to breaking along layer lines, however, our industrial heated chamber printers ensure that inter-layer bonding is much stronger than desktop FDM printers.
If you want your part to be strong in a certain direction and are unsure how to orientate it, just pop a comment on your object describing the application and we’ll orientate it for you.
Overhanging features of your part require support when printing. The printer will create a break-away structure underneath, which is later removed. Sometimes where the support touches the part, the surface finish is affected.
When designing a part for FDM printing, use overhang angles of 45 degrees and above where possible to reduce the necessary support. Your parts will be cheaper, look cleaner, and print faster.
For moving parts, threads, and other joints we recommend 0.2mm clearance so that parts fit and slide together.
For press fits, size for size works well in most applications, otherwise a light sand often fixes any issues.
General purpose SLA resin
This is our most economic material, it comes in three colours: black, white, and semi-transparent. The clear when polished, becomes almost glass-like. This material is similar to acrylic and will be suitable for many prototyping applications, it is however more brittle than our ABS like and glass filled material
SLA parts can be painted with any pantone colour of your choice. This not only improves your parts visually, but also increases their lifetime as the paint blocks UV light from turning the plastic brittle over time.
Features and walls should be kept above 0.5mm thick. They can be made thinner, however, due to the brittle nature of SLA resins, they will be prone to snapping.
It is not recommended to use SLA materials together as moving parts as the material binds to itself easily. However with a clearance of 0.2mm or greater and some grease, parts do move well enough for demonstration purposes.
Multijet (or Polyjet) Printing
In any direction (x, y, z) features should be kept above 0.5mm thick, below that the walls occasionally don’t appear in the print. Even if they do appear, the clean up process can be rough and thin features may break.
Polyjet parts are homogenous, so the orientation doesn’t affect strength like it does for FDM parts. However it does affect print time and cost.
The print head sweeps back and forth depositing a whole layer of plastic each sweep, so flat and wide is faster than tall and skinny. Our quoting software optimises your part orientation for the lowest cost.
Polyjet materials are naturally slippery, making this process a great choice for fitment testing.
It is still recommended to give threaded or moving parts 0.2mm clearance for best results.
Two-part Resin Casting
The vacuum casting we offer for rigid parts always starts with a polyurethane base. Usually it’s mixed with additives to change it’s properties, however it is possible to use plain polyurethane which gives a translucent finish as seen on the left.
The great surface finish and strength makes vacuum casting a perfect choice for final prototypes, prior to injection moulding.
We frequently cast silicone parts for custom seals and gaskets, but there is a wide variety of hardnesses available. Anything from the softness of a jelly baby right through to the hardness of a car tyre, all able to withstand 200degC or more.
The level of detail matches that of an injection moulded part.
Vacuum Casting gives a naturally smooth, matte surface finish on every type of polyurethane we offer.
A polished surface is necessary when parts need to be transparent, but also possible for opaque parts that need a gloss appearance.
Vacuum cast parts have a smooth finish and can easily be electroplated with chrome or various other metals.
In the vertical (z) direction, features should be kept above 0.5mm thick or they risk being snapped during the moulding process.
Wall thicknesses should ideally be 1mm or greater for to ensure your parts don’t get damaged during shipment.
Drafted surfaces aren’t a necessity for vacuum casting, however they are crucial for injection moulding which is a common next step.
Often drafted surfaces are tricky to implement into a model after it’s finished. So if you intend to go into production and eventually injection mould your product, we recommend considering drafting from the start!
Again, this is optional for vacuum casting, but recommended if proceeding to injection moulding.
Corner radii allow plastic to flow through your mould better and are fairly easy to imlpement after a CAD model is finished.