Our 3D Printed part that carried 8 Tonne!
One of the most common misconceptions of 3D printing is that its only suitable for prototyping. We come against this hurdle regularly, as customers don't realise the full capabilities of 3D printing and how it can be used in their business to reduce costs, reduce lead times and ultimately improve efficiency.
3D Printing is still an amazing tool for prototyping purposes, allowing designers to produce their designs in a short time frame with minimal costs. However, when it is time to have the 'actual' part produced, traditional methods are often used. On our Markforged printer, we can incorporate a choice of fibres within the print. This allows us to alter the end properties of the part to suit the intended application. These include Carbon, Kevlar and Fibreglass.
It is all very well explaining to customers about how strong our parts can be and their suitability for end use applications, however with the myths associated with 3D Printing it was time we got some hard evidence of our own to combine with our experience. At the University of Ulster, we had some testing done on a variety of parts, containing different fibres , fibre fill percentages etc. The results of these tests backed up what we had been telling our customers. One of the test specimens carried over 8 Tonnes in a tensile test before failing. When you consider the size of the chain link tested, this was impressive.
Having data to reinforce the capabilities of the prints we offer to customers has enabled us to work with some of the UK's top companies. We have helped companies such as Andor technology, a Northern Ireland based scientific imaging camera specialist, providing prints of our Markforged machine with fibre reinforcement. Some of the components printed were used within their end use product. Other uses include jigs and fixtures used during production assembly.
If you are unsure about the suitability of 3D printing for jigs, fixtures and end use applications for your business, please get in touch with us. We are confident that we can help you reduce lead times and costs through using our design and printing services.