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3D Printing Engineering is exhibiting for the first time at the TCT Show 2015, one of the world's foremost events dedicated to 3D printing technology, taking place at the NEC, Birmingham at the end of this month.

3D Printing Engineering will use the event to debut its new 3D colour modelling, tooling and rapid manufacturing services. The company now provides a customised end-to-end service, from initial CAD modelling and design engineering, through to manufacturing 3D printed direct tooling, prototypes and small pre-production batches of 3D printed finished parts.

The company will also showcase its latest developments in rapid build 3D printed direct tooling blocks, for low and high temperature/pressure autoclave moulding of glass and carbon fibre reinforced composite parts, or for ambient temperature moulding or casting rubbers and engineering thermoplastics. The full RBR tooling range will include advanced production tooling with the same cure cycles as are typically used for aluminium and carbon tools. This new 3D printed tooling range is currently under development and will be available later in the year. Recently secured innovation support funding is being used for a collaborative project with the Centre for Engineering Research at the University of Hertfordshire, to help develop, test and independently validate the new 3D tooling block products.

The 3D Printing Engineering team is led by co-founders and directors of the business, Roberto Paduano and Brett Rust, who both started in the automotive industry in design engineering and production roles. Their extensive engineering and materials knowledge has enabled them to develop their own in-house processes and techniques for a range of advanced materials using the latest additive manufacturing technology and software systems. This enables 3D Printing Engineering to cost-effectively custom produce tooling solutions and high quality 3D printed components to the exact properties and finish required by customers. Both new product development and reverse engineering projects are undertaken, with full project management support provided where needed.

Initial investments have been made in a number of 3D Systems machines. The Z510 has the capability to print pattern tooling blocks and finished parts within a 250mm x 350mm x 200mm build envelope. For larger requirements, in-house CAD/CAM software enables assembly dowels and flanges to join sections and so create bigger parts. This capability has proved particularly useful for larger pattern making, as split pattern blocks can be assembled, join lines filled and a mould tool can be laminated or cast. For 3D colour model making, the Z510 full colour inkjet printer produces multiple colours in one part, with the ability to take a 2D image and accurately texture map a full colour 3D printed model.