TWI has purchased a 3D printer (Cube X Trio from www.3Dsystems.com) that is able to print ABS and PLA plastics material, fed by reel, to heated extrusion heads. The printer, which has a build envelope of approximately 250mm cubed, can deposit three different coloured materials and is capable of creating a range of 3D parts direct from a CAD model.
The printer is based at TWI's South Yorkshire office and its primary purpose is to aid the Lasers team with tool path generation and to send prototype parts to customers (e.g. medical implants and tool guides for the planning of surgical procedures) before transferring manufacture onto industrial laser systems.
TWI is also using the printer to provide a service for the manufacture of, and/or replacement of, non-critical brackets, jigs and fixtures on research equipment. Carl Hauser suggests that the Cube X acts as a great visual training tool to help explain the principles of additive manufacturing for visitors to the South Yorkshire office.
For further information on the 3D printer and its capabilities, contact us.