These days, many companies rely heavily on 3D printing technology and it is now crucial to the production activities across many sectors. The precision, complex geometries, repeatability and different materials on offer mean it is a viable production technology across many industries. Quality, finished products such as headphones, phone cases, instruments, tools and even artificial skin in the medical field can be produced. And as popularity increases so does the creativity and technical know-how. Today almost any artist, designer, engineer or hobbyist can turn their ideas into a reality.
So rapid prototyping is the most common use of 3D printing at the moment, which is especially useful for marketing material and sales pitches. But it is likely that 3D printing will fast become the end production technology for a vast array of products, opening up endless business opportunities in the future.
Bring any project to life
Since its inception 20 years ago, 3D printing has only revolutionised the world of design and manufacturing. It’s enabled businesses worldwide to thoroughly test new products before bringing them to market, increasing confidence in their end product and reducing manufacturing costs and risks.
3D printing enables actual working models with moving parts to be created from a digital format: normally an STL or a CAD file. This is due to the additive method of manufacturing where successive layers are laid down to build an object.
So who really benefits?
3D printing can provide a range of benefits across a variety of industries including engineering, aerospace, education and medical care, to mention just a few. Below is a short summary on how some of these sectors have transformed their strategies following a move into the 3D printing arena:
Education: 3D printing is a cost efficient approach which enhances education as students can learn through trial and error by testing and amending their designs.
Architecture: architects can bring their vision and design to life through 3D printing, allowing them to combine form and function to create something completely new and unique. With 3D printing, it is possible to quickly create a tangible model.
Engineering: engineers can not only use 3D printing to design or make prototypes, they can also print parts that are fully functional due to stronger and more resistant materials.
Medical care: it is possible to 3D print an organ that looks very life-like so that doctors can practise operating on a specific organ before the actual operation. More recently, even artificial skin and ears are being printed this way. In addition, drugs can also be 3D printed, which means that medicine can be adapted for the individual.
Dental: 3D printing can help create moulds that are more durable and resistant to high pressure and temperatures. Furthermore, with a very high resolution and a small layer thickness, it is possible to create perfect teeth!
Where do Central Scanning come in?
Trading since 2006, Central Scanning are a team of dedicated and experienced engineers with vast knowledge in the world of 3D printing offering full colour, multi-polymer printing. From teeth-sized objects to complete cars and more, we can provide a full service for 3D printing along with scanning, digitisation, reverse engineering or inspection as required.
With a selection of the latest in-house printers and team of skilled and passionate 3D print geeks, Central Scanning can provide a number of solutions from simple printing to full colour in a variety of polymer-based materials:
- Polyjet – Vero Gray, Vero Pure White, Vero Black Plus, Vero Cyan, Vero Yellow, Vero Magenta, Tango Plus, Tango Black Plus, Rigur
- FDM – ABS M30 Black, White, Grey, Red, Blue, ABS ESD7, PC-10, PC-ISO, PC-ABS, Nylon 12, Ultem 9085 Natural, Black
- PLA – Large amount of options – please call for details
- Onyx, Fibreglass, Carbon Fibre, Nylon, Kevlar, HSHT (High Strength, High Temperature) Fibreglass.
Sizes we can print your models to:
- In a single print, sizes – UP TO 500mm * 500mm * 750mm (Prints can be joined together and we can vapour smooth ABS prints if needed to enhance surface finish).
Originally a request from one of our long-term customers, Central Scanning have increased its in-house capability to seven 3D printers capable of a vast array of capabilities. At the moment, we offer polymer based 3D printing in-house but are closely watching the metals market to decide when to jump in! We have the following equipment in-house:
- Stratasys 400MC FDM
- Stratasys Eden 500v Polyjet
- Stratasys J750 Full Colour, Multi Material
- Stratasys Mojo FDM
- MarkForged Mark2 FDM
- Ultimaker 3 Extended FDM
- Printer McPrintyface – in house designed and built FDM 3D printer
- Prusa Mk3 i3S.
The experience of the staff at Central Scanning together with the contacts that have been made over the years have enabled us to offer a “trimming” and “tooling” service via third parties, when required, to complement our digitizing and reverse engineering services, thereby providing a full service solution. The quality of our equipment and hardware, together with highly skilled engineers, means we can provide you with the highest level of service.
The proof is in the pudding
At Central Scanning, we have helped numerous businesses and institutions to lead the way within their sectors such as aerospace, automotive, creative, education, energy, medical, plastic parts and toolmaking. Below are two case studies which demonstrate how we have really helped our customers:
3D printing at the University of Sheffield and Liverpool John Moore
Educational institutions are competing to provide the cutting edge 3D printing technologies and tools into their teaching to attract the brightest and most ambitious students and differentiate themselves in the digital space. They can explore recreating an idea in a number of fabrications and materials and the object doesn’t have to be created from scratch in CAD or other design package.
With the help of Central Scanning, the University of Sheffield and Liverpool John Moore University digitised fossils in 3D so that the originals could be kept safe in storage. 3D Printing replicates the porosity and density of the fossils creating amazing teaching aids for learners to experience such objects with the same touch and feel. This process also enhances public engagement in Anthropology and Archaeology.
3D printing for Animation Studios, Birmingham
Animation Studios in Birmingham specialise in stop-motion / frame animation and needed a specialist printer to help them create elements for their short film. Due to Central Scanning’s impressive portfolio, generosity and enthusiasm for the project, not only did they create a 3D version of their lead character which was a perfect replica, but due to their extensive scanning expertise were also able to create a 2D hand-drawn character and a CG version too from the puppet version. Find out more in our case studies.
How can Central Scanning become your go-to 3D printing service?
Central Scanning provide a comprehensive service whereby they can not only do your 3D printing for you but can advise on the best models to rent or buy along with full training if you prefer to go it alone.
New 3D printing techniques and methods are reaching a point where it’s hard to distinguish a 3D print from the original and this is the standard service you will get from Central Scanning with our cutting edge full colour J750 polyjet 3D printer from Stratasys. “We pride ourselves on a good, honest, secure service,” explained Godfrey. “Of our top ten customers we’ve had half of them since inception, and they keep coming back. The level of service we offer is also reflected in the fact that 60% of new customers come through referrals.”
However, if you’re looking to do it all by yourself, that’s not a problem either. At Central Scanning we are a team of dedicated and experienced engineers with vast knowledge in the world of 3D printing along with 3D scanning and CAD/CAM and because we use the equipment every day, we can offer training to get the best out of your investment and team no matter where you have purchased your equipment.
So if you’re looking for a team of specialists who will get it right for you and your business, no matter what – let the experience of the Central Scanning team lead you forwards.
For more information or to speak to one of our experts about your next project, call 01527 558 282 or fill out our contact form.