Rapid Prototyping / 3D Printing

Rapid prototyping is a great way to quickly fabricate a scale model of a physical part or assembly by using three-dimensional computer aided design (CAD) data. Our facilities includes rapid prototyping on CubePro - ABS 3D printer. ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) is a thermoplastic which is very useful for functional applications because it matches 80% of the properties of the real injected production material. ABS models are very accurate and have an intermediate level of printed details. However, the surface quality of the models is rougher compared to other materials.

3D Printer - CubePro

CubePro Technical specification:

Z AXIS RESOLUTION:  0.100mm (0.004" / 100 microns);
LAYER THICKNESS: 70 microns, 200 microns and 300 microns for fast mode. Available for all three models;
PRINT TOLERANCES:  X and Y axis ± 1% dimension or ± 0.2mm (0.008" / 200 microns) whichever is greater. Z axis ± half the processed z resolution. Shrinkage and warpage can occur on models and is purely geometry dependent;
PRINT SPEED EXTRUDED VOLUME: Maximum 15mm (9/16") per second and polymer dependent;
SUPPORT MATERIAL: PLA / ABS / dissolvable natural PLA;
SUPPORT REMOVAL: Break away supports with pliers or cutters or just fingers where appropriate. PLA plastic is soluble in sodium hydroxide solution used with a heated ultrasonic cleaner (care is required with this option).

For more technical information, please visit the CubePro website.

Printing cost (£ per Gram)

 Regular quality High Detailed quality (see printer secification)
Cost £ per Gram£1.05£1.55

Rapid prototyping includes the next basic steps:

1. CAD model converted to STL format. The resolution can be set to satisfy the quality of the model;
2. The 3D printer processes the .STL file by creating sliced layers of the model;
3. The first layer of the physical model is created. The model is then lowered by the thickness of the next layer, and the process is repeated until completion of the model;
4. The model and any supports are removed. The surface of the model is then finished and cleaned.


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