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Our 3D Printer Support Service

18.06.2019

Here at CDG, we offer support services for 3D printer owners across the UK, for clients including Games Workshop, DCA Design, John Cullen Lighting and more. If your machines’ downtime is costing you too much time and money, our service will give you priority access to our team of highly-trained engineers.

We pride ourselves on offering an open, professional and efficient 3D printer support service, and the following are hallmarks of our support service.

 

1. Proactive

Our case system ensures that whenever there’s a support enquiry, those involved will get a full record of the problem and the steps taken to solve it. We take great care to respond to every single enquiry, and when time must be taken for problem diagnosis or the arrival of spare parts, we make sure to be proactive at keeping you informed.

“Alisha popped in yesterday and did some troubleshooting, as ever with your team super polite, helpful and great company.”

2. Transparent

We pride ourselves on offering the most transparent 3D printing support service in the UK. We’re open about every stage of the support process, and we don’t want to tie our customers in knots with obscure language or confusing small print.

“The service was impeccable as expected… CDG have been pro-active and in fact gone above and beyond.”

3. Efficient

Often, when a machine requires servicing, most time is lost waiting for the arrival of spare parts. We get around this by also stocking spare parts. For common issues, that enables us to begin working on your machine much sooner. We also stock a wide variety of consumables, allowing us to offer next working day delivery so long as a material is in-stock and ordered by 3 pm.

“All good, all done, Luke is great. Will be printing tonight and sending log files tomorrow. ... very happy.”

Which 3D printers can you service?

Our team of engineers are able to service a wide variety of 3D printers. We are partnered with 3DSystems, Omni3D, Sinterit, Intamsys, Fusion3 and ZMorph and so we are particularly experienced with their range of products. Why not give us a call and ask about your specific machine?

How can I find out more?

If you’d like to find out more about the packages we offer or request a quote, feel free to give us a ring at 01420 88645 or email our support team at support@cdg.uk.com.

Why the Biggest Benefit of 3D Printing is Hidden Under the Surface

18.06.2019

How Lattices are Pushing the Boundaries of Design in Numerous Industries

Imagine you’ve been tasked with designing the perfect motorcycle helmet. You’ll need it to be strong, with significant impact protection, but you’ll also need the structure to be lightweight enough for the user to wear it comfortably without straining themselves. And to top it all, you have to stay within budget.

This challenge of compromising between strength, weight, and cost has long been a key driver of innovation within engineering. In recent years, one particular innovation has emerged as an exciting solution, poised to transform manufacturing across many industries: the lattice structure.  

Lattice structures are micro-architectures made up of a network of nodes and struts. Products made with lattice structures are incredibly robust, but also extremely lightweight, thanks to their partially hollow interiors. In some cases, the overall part mass can be reduced by as much as 90%. Since they require less material than fully solid structures, lattice structures are naturally resource-efficient and energy-efficient. However, owing to their complex structure and small components, lattices are extremely difficult to create using traditional manufacturing methods. The only way to mass-produce them is through 3D printing.

Lattices occur naturally in the world around us. Crystals owe their strength and damage-resistance to a lattice-based hierarchical structural. Furthermore, the use of different materials to achieve multi-functionality can be observed throughout nature. For example, the bark of a tree is hard and resistant but the material underneath is spongy, providing the tree with thermal insulation and reducing moisture loss. Similarly, an insect’s cuticle provides it with armour protection, while its exoskeleton provides the underlying structural support.   

This nature-inspired multi-functional design has wide-reaching implications across a range of industries, from saving millions in the aerospace sector, to improving treatment outcomes in medicine.

Formula 1

Engineering in Formula 1 is geared towards losing as much weight as possible without impeding the power - or safety - of the car. Here 3D-printed lattice structures can play a critical role in lightweighting the metal in the car. Thanks to their high surface area, lattices can be used as part of heat exchangers and intercooolers, helping to reduce the overall heat of the car. Similarly, the low stiffness and resilience of lattices allow them to dampen vibrations, which is very useful in reducing the amount of energy going into a car’s manufacturing system.

Medical Devices

Amputees often come up against the challenge of finding a prosthetic that’s comfortable and lightweight. With an internal lattice structure, prosthetics can be made much closer in weight to human bones, and could also be produced much more cheaply. Lattice structures could also help to reduce the cost of producing surgical instruments.

Furthermore, lattice structures have incredible applications for medical implants, one of the fastest growing areas of 3D printing in the medical industry. Porosity is an important factor in such parts, as this reduces stiffness and improves bone cell growth, and a lattice structure can increase porosity by 80%. We’ve already seen improved treatment outcomes and a reduction of rejection rates in 3D-printed spinal, hip, and knee implants.

Aerospace

Every gram of extra weight matters when creating an aircraft. A significant increase in lightweightedness can, therefore, save an aerospace company millions. Lattice-like structures have particularly significant implications in metal engine components or plastic cabin partitions, where they could significantly reduce the weight of the plane without compromising strength.

By perfectly combining strength with lightweightedness, lattice structures have incredible potential to improve performance, cut costs, and reduce environmental impact across a myriad of industries. Through 3D printing, organisations can move beyond the inefficiencies of traditional manufacturing and unlock the huge benefits of multifunctional materials.  



Introducing the Figure 4 Modular

18.06.2019

The Figure 4 Modular is among the most groundbreaking technologies to emerge from the 3D printing world in recent years. It is the first of its kind to bring together ultra-high speed printing with the latest in materials science, along with easy scalability.

WHY MODULAR?

As your prototyping and 3D production needs increase, the Figure 4 Modular system allows you to easily scale up to mass-production. A scalable, semi-automated 3D production system, the Figure 4 Modular has the capacity for up to 24 print engines and can print up to 10,000 parts a month, allowing you to rapidly expand your production capacity, from smaller scale batch production all the way up to large-scale factory operation.

The technology had been patented by 3D Systems’ co-founder Chuck Hull back in 1984, but it’s only now, 35 years later, that the technology is advanced enough to realise his concept.

THE BENEFITS OF FIGURE 4 TECHNOLOGY

The Figure 4 Modular system provides an end-to-end digital manufacturing workflow, tackling everything from automated print job management and queuing, through to automated delivery and centralised post-processing, which includes cleaning, drying and curling. Each individual printer module can run different materials, allowing for the printing of multiple parts and resulting in a 15% higher throughput.

The system also offers an incredibly fast turnaround of parts, providing same-day prototyping and direct 3D production. As a result, this technology allows businesses to revolutionise their manufacturing floors, producing high-quality parts within hours, as well as providing them with the agility to rapidly expand their operations.

APPLICATIONS

— Fast prototyping

— Low volume bridge manufacturing

— Casting patterns

— Elastomeric parts

FEATURES

— Automated material handling

— Individual printer modules can be dedicated to individual materials

— Centralized post-processing (cleaning, drying, curing)

BENEFITS

— Six Sigma quality and repeatability

— High throughput and productivity

— Same day print and ship

— Manufacturing agility

LEARN MORE

If you'd like to find out more about this ground-breaking new technology, you can reach out to our team:

• Email info@cdg.uk.com

• Or give us a ring on 014240 88645.

Using the ZMorph's CNC Mill with Metal

17.06.2019

The ZMorph is a multi-tool 3D printer that’s known for its versatility: it provides both subtractive and additive manufacturing in one, offering FFF 3D printing, laser engraving and CNC milling. This makes it a brilliant all-in-one solution for producing custom 3D products at a low cost, completely in-house.

It’s relatively well known that CNC milling can carve wood, but it can also engrave metal. In this post, we’ll share some tips and tricks to get the best out of the Zmorph’s CNC mill when working with metals:

Ensure the metal is properly mounted. It’s best to use a reliable workholding solution so that your material isn’t at risk of flying off.

Use heat resistant materials. Metal milling generates a lot of heat, so when using 3D-printed fixtures, use only those printed from heat resistant materials like ABS or PET-G.

Watch out for the cutter. Make sure your cutter doesn’t hit your fixture, or else you could damage both your fixture and your product.

Use the correct cutter. The cutter needs to be sharp and of the correct shape to effectively shear through the metal. Look for cutters designed for the specific material you’re using and also make sure that the cutter is not blunt or damaged before using it.

Safety first. Always take the necessary precautions when metal milling. Wear protective glasses, make sure the machine has closed covers at all times when it’s in operation, and occasionally check your workspace for excess shavings to vacuum off and clear away.

If you’d like to find out more, you can view the printer on our sister site, Replik8.co.uk: https://www.replik8.co.uk/products/zmorph-vx-multi-tool-3d-printer.

Geomagic Essentials software launch

31.05.2019

3D Systems and SHINING 3D have partnered together to bring you an all in one solution for your 3D scan to CAD needs.While modern CAD software is still quite limited in its ability to make use of 3D scan data, Geomagic Essentials brings you the tools needed to use the CAD system as part of your scan-based modeling workflow. Converting your 3D scans to CAD has never been easier. Geomagic Essentials is the bridge software that extracts all the necessary elements of a scanned part for immediate use in your CAD software.

• Bridging the Gap between 3D Scanning and CAD
• Low total cost of ownership
• Improving customer journey and experience

 

Features


Geomagic Essentials provides the tools needed for processing 3D scan data. (scan to print, downstream reverse engineering workflows in your native CAD)

-Scan processing allows you to directly edit scan data

-Manage file size through decimation for faster processing

-Scan-native application for better performance and efficiency

-High quality automatic CAD conversion

-Feature extraction allows for the extraction of CAD perfect shapes from scan data

-Precise geometry allows you to compare design features to scan data for accuracy analysis

-Convert your 3D scan data to a solid format

-Import all geometry into the native CAD package for a familiar modeling environment

Complete Scan to CAD Workflow

Scan and capture real-world geometry with the upmost precision at unrivaled speeds with the Einscan Pro 2X series Multifunctional Handheld Scanner. Create rich 3D models that can be used in a multitude of digital formats. Export your scan data directly to Geomagic Essentials. Enhance your creativity and streamline your design process like never before.

 

Directly edit and process your scan data to be used in familiar and native CAD platforms. Manage file size, multiple scans, and orientations in one complete easy to use solution. Prepare your scan for your native modeling environment.

 

Import your processed scan with ease raising the overall efficiency of your design workflow. Analyze, design, and reverse engineer your scan with all of the CAD tools at your disposal.

 

Applications 

 

 

Figure-4 Modular 10,000 parts PM now available

27.05.2019

3D Systems has announced the general availability of its "Figure 4 Modular" scalable 3D printing solution, as well as the release of five new materials. Revealed at Rapid+TCT, the Figure 4 Modular will be made available in June 2019, with an entry cost of $49,900 (including controller and single printer engine), whereas the materials will be rolled out over the next few months by the company, with the aim of extending its production workflows.

The Figure 4 Platform

3D Systems’ Figure 4 Modular is a scalable and semi-automated digital light printing (DLP) 3D printing solution that can be tailored to the customers needs. The system can range from a single print engine machine, to a fully automated system, reportedly capable of producing up to 10,000 parts per month. The scale of the Figure 4 can expand up to 24 or more print engines with integration of centralized post-processing, automated materials-handling, job management and queuing. Each engine is capable of processing a different material and printing job simultaneously using 3D Systems’ 3D Sprint software, as part of a single production line.

The Figure 4 Modular forms the core of 3D Systems’ Figure 4 platform, consisting of two other products: the Figure 4 Standalone, a single engine solution, and the Figure 4 Production, a tool-less manufacturing solution that provides automated material delivery and integrated post-processing.

Figure 4 Modular package

The setup of the 3D Systems Figure 4 Modular. Image via 3D Systems.

Expanding the Figure 4 material portfolio

Furthermore, the company has announced the immediate availability of a new material in its Figure 4 line – the Figure 4 FLEX-BLK 10. The new material has flexible and durable properties, designed to be used in functional assemblies and prototypes, master patterns for RTV/silicone molding, short-run production, and concept and marketing models.

Figure 4 FLEX-BLK 10 is the first of five new Figure materials from 3D Systems designed for DLP and SLS 3D printing, released with the aim of expanding the company’s plastic 3D printing solution portfolio. The other four will be released throughout 2019, and consists of the Figure 4 TOUGH-BLK 20 for production applications, the Figure 4 MED-AMB 10 and Figure 4 MED-WHT 10 for the medical industry and the Figure 4 HI-TEMP-AMB 250, designed for use cases requiring high thermal resistance.

“The newest additions to our plastic 3D printing portfolio demonstrate our commitment to driving the adoption of digital manufacturing,” said Vyomesh Joshi, president and CEO, 3D Systems.

“WITH THE INDUSTRY’S FIRST, TRULY SCALABLE PLASTIC PRODUCTION PLATFORM AND OUR ROBUST SELECTION OF MATERIALS, 3D SYSTEMS ENABLES CUSTOMERS TO RETHINK MANUFACTURING AND REALIZE IMPROVED AGILITY, REDUCED COMPLEXITY, AND LOWER OVERALL TOTAL COST OF OPERATION.” 

A part produced with the Figure 4 FLEX-BLK 10. Image via 3D Systems.
A part produced with the Figure 4 FLEX-BLK 10. Image via 3D Systems.

Accelerating time to market with Figure 4 Modular

3D Systems has demonstrated the capabilities of the Figure 4 Modular by providing examples of three different companies that have employed the 3D printer: Decathalon, a global sporting goods manufacturer based in France, has used the Figure 4 Modular to reportedly create parts 19x faster than existing SLA solutions. Julien Guillen, AM leader at Decathalon, explains “using an existing desktop SLA solution, it would take 29 hours to produce our tensile test for material validation. With the Figure 4 Modular using the Figure 4 TOUGH-GRY 10 material, we were able to print the same quantity in 90 minutes”.

Wisconsin-based service bureau Midwest Prototyping on the other hand has been able to offer same-day delivery of parts with different materials, and D&K Engineering, a product design and contract manufacturer based in San Diego, CA, has achieved a shorter time-to-market employing the Figure 4 Modular.  

“The quality of the final parts we are able to produce using the Figure 4 Modular is excellent,” said Chris Nicoll, prototype lab manager, DK Engineering. “Many of our engineers have commented ‘this looks as good as a molded part’ due to the excellent model conformity, surface finish, and physical properties.”  

“THE FIGURE 4 MODULAR IS REPLACING OTHER TRADITIONAL TECHNOLOGIES WE CURRENTLY USE, DECREASING OUR DEVELOPMENT CYCLE, SHORTENING TIME-TO-MARKET, AND DRAMATICALLY INCREASING OUR PRODUCTIVITY TO BETTER SERVE OUR CUSTOMERS.” 

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