Rapid prototyping of plastic parts, from a variety of technologies, helps our clients with their product development. You might need to check a design for fit and function, or test a component made from the correct material and manufacturing process.
“Prototype: an early sample, model, or release of a product built to test a concept or process.” – Wikipedia
From additive manufacturing to precision injection moulded parts, our service will allow you to benefit from a shorter time to market. Whether you require a handful of components to verify a design or modification, or 50,000 parts for a pre-production run – we can meet your demands.
The Different Prototypes We Offer
A prototype can be interpreted many different ways, it is dependent on who and how it is used. Ultimately the expectations of the client, and the requirements for the prototype, will determine the optimal method of manufacture.
4P – Precision Prototype Plastic Parts
Injection moulded components with all the features of the final design. These can be used to accurately verify fit, form and function of a design using the exact material specified. We can provide parts with the same surface finish, draft angles, fine detailing and functionality of the final production part. We only use steel moulds, so there is no compromise on part quality.
The benefits of using this service is unrivalled, and with parts that can be delivered to your door in just 10 days, why compromise on the real thing?
Advances in Additive Manufacturing have enabled it to become one of the most widely recognised technologies of this century. It is more commonly, although sometimes incorrectly, referred to as a 3D Printing Process.
Fused Deposition Modelling, also known as FFF (fused filament fabrication or filament freeform fabrication) uses a continuous thermoplastic filament, with a heated extrusion head, to build a 3-D cross section geometry in layers. This is one of the most widely used technologies in the World, it is very popular with home users as equipment prices have fallen in recent years. There are a wide range of materials that can be used, however the size of the build layers restrict the accuracy of parts that can be produced. Support materials or structures can be required for some complex geometries or features, these have to be removed when the model is completed.
The Stereolithography process take place in a bath of resin, using a UV laser beam to trace the cross-section pattern of the geometry in layers. After each layer is built, the special photopolymer is cured and the platform used for the build is lowered ready to repeat the process and trace the next layer. As with FDM, support materials or structures can be required for some complex geometries or features, these can be removed when the model is completed
The Selective Laser Sintering process fuses small particles of plastic, metal, ceramic or glass using a high-powered laser. In similarity with SLA, the laser traces a cross section of the geometry, then by lowering the build platform the model is created layer-by-layer.
Unlike FDM and SLA technologies, support material is not needed as the build is supported by unsintered material.
The High-Speed Sintering process uses an inkjet based 3D printing method with a light-reactive binder to solidify powdered plastic. This allows functional prototypes in material such as polypropylene, nylon and polyurethane to be produced and closely replicate the properties of injection moulded components.
Whilst additive manufacturing processes can deliver representative parts in very short leadtimes, they are limited in their purpose when it comes to final part verification.