3D PRINTING

What is it?

A very quick way to visualise your design. Check that parts fit to ensure there are no problems during mass production.

 

Need your parts quick, accurate and fit for function? Here at Rapid Solutions, we have established quality, cheap manufacturers  around our base in China. We provide the most commonly used 3D printing technologies;

  • FDM, Fused Deposition Modelling – The most widely used and available forms of 3D printing, the type that is recent years have been produced in affordable “hobby” versions to be used at home.

  • SLA, Stereolithography – The lion’s share of our 3D manufacturing utilizes this cheap, accurate and quick method of 3D printing in resin.

  • SLS, Selective Laser Sintering – Is the fastest additive manufacturing technology for functional, durable prototypes, that uses a laser to sinter powdered plastic material into a solid structure based on your 3D model. More accurate than the layer deposition methods of FDM and SLA.

  • DMLS, Direct Metal Laser Sintering – The metal alternative to SLS printing, another additive manufacturing technology, DMLS parts are strong with almost no internal porosity are manufactured from a wide range of metal alloys, from aluminium and steel to high-strength superalloys.

FDM 3D PRINTING

These machines deposit thermoplastic filaments through a heated nozzle onto a build plate literally "drawing" one layer at a time until the full model is completed and ready for clean-up and supports removal.

ABS

+ Good Strength

+ Good thermal resistance

- Prone to warping

NYLON

+ Food Safe

+ Good strength

+ Easy to manufacture

PLA

+ Excellent visual quality

+ Easy to manufacture (hobby type material)

- Low impact strength

TPU

+ Very flexible

- Difficult to print accurately

PETG

+ High strength

+ Excellent wear and chemical resistance

- Low humidity (porous)

PEI

+ Excellent strength to weight

+ Excellent fire and chemical resistance

- Expensive Material

SLA 3D PRINTING

SLA is a fast prototyping process. Those who use this technology are serious about accuracy and precision. It can produce objects from 3D CAD data (computer-generated) files in just a few hours. This is a 3D printing process that’s popular for its fine details and exactness. Machines that use this technology produce unique models, patterns, prototypes, and various production parts. They do this by converting liquid photopolymers (resin) into solid 3D objects, one layer at a time. The plastic is first heated to turn it into a semi-liquid form, and then it hardens on contact.

Standard Resin

+ Smooth Surface Finish

- Prone to warping

Tough Durable Resin

+ Closer to ABS-like properties

- Low Thermal resistance

Clear Resin

+ Transparent material for presenting internal mechanisms

- Requires slow post-processing for a very clear finish

Rubber-like Resin

+ Rubber-like flexible material

- Lower dimensional accuracy

Castable Resin

+ Used for creating mould patterns (See Vacuum Casting)

SLS 3D PRINTING

 SLS technology uses a laser to harden and bond small grains of nylon and elastomer materials into layers in a 3D dimensional structure. The laser traces the pattern of each cross section of the 3D design onto a bed of powder. After one layer is built, the bed lowers and another layer is built on top of the existing layers. The bed then continues to lower until every layer is built and the part is complete.

 

If you’re worried that SLS is expensive, recent advances in machinery, materials, and software have made SLS accessible to a wider range of businesses, enabling more and more companies to use tools previously limited to a few high-tech industries.

Common SLS Materials & Characteristics

 

One of the major benefits of SLS is that it doesn't require the support structures that many other 3D printing technologies use to prevent the design from collapsing during production. Since the product lies in a bed of powder, no supports are necessary saving cost in materials and allowing faster 3D part production.

PA 12

+ Good mechanical properties

+ Good chemical resistance

- Matte, rough surface

PA-GF

+ Food Safe

+ Good strength

+ Easy to manufacture

PA 11

+ Fully isotropic behaviour

+ High elasticity

PA-FR

+ Excellent stiffness

+ High weight-strength ratio

Alumide

+ Metallic appearance

+ High stiffness

DSLM 3D PRINTING

Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) is a direct metal laser melting (DMLM) or laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) technology that accurately forms complex geometries not possible with other metal manufacturing methods.

Common DSLM Materials & Characteristics

 

Produce complex geometries in one fluid build that would be impossible to compose with traditional manufacturing processes. Additive metals deliver dense, corrosive resistant and high strength parts which can be further treated through heat, coating and sterilization.

Material

Benefits

Applications

17-4 PH

  • Pre-alloyed, precipitation hardening stainless steel

  • Good welding and machining characteristics

  • Good mechanical properties

  • Excellent weldability & corrosion resistance

  • Cost effective

  • Parts requiring post-production processing

  • Oil and gas industry

  • Parts requiring ductility and high strength

  • Parts requiring high corrosion resistance

AISI 300 Series

  • Good strength and creep resistance

  • Excellent weldability due to low carbon

  • Molybdenum gives improved corrosion resistance

  • Excellent weldability, corrosion resistance & ductility

  • Parts requiring post-production processing

  • Consumer, automotive & aerospace

  • Parts requiring ductility and high strength

  • Parts requiring high corrosion resistance

Aluminium

  • Low weight

  • Good thermal properties, strength and hardness

  • Fast building

  • Excellent machinability

  • Thin walls

  • Complex geometries

  • Lower cost prototypes

  • Aerospace and automotive

AISI 300 Series

  • Corrosion resistant

  • Non-Magnetic

  • High tensile, creep and rupture strengths

  • High heat applications

  • Turbine engine components and fuel systems

  • Oil well, petroleum, and natural gas industry

Titanium

  • Excellent mechanical properties

  • Corrosion resistance combined with low specific weight

  • Biocompatible

  • Motorsports and racing applications

  • Structural and engine components for aerospace

  • Biomedical implants

Copper

  • Excellent electrical and thermal conductivity

  • Mechanical and material properties stable up to 700°F

  • Age Hardening

  • Excellent thermal and electrical conductivity

  • Conformal induction coils

  • Regeneratively cooled nozzles

  • Plastic mould components

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