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CDG job vacancies

05.01.2018

To apply for any of the following job vacancies, please send your CV to grant.cameron@cdg.uk.com with all relevant experience and qualifications.

We are recruiting for the following positions:-

  • Sales for 3D Printers, Additive Manufacturing (South)
  • Technician (Alton)
  • Field Service Engineer (North)

Strictly no agencies.

Figure 4 is launched by 3D Systems

13.12.2017

3D Systems have announced the availability of its new Figure 4™ platform, the industry’s first modular, scalable, fully-integrated direct 3D production platform. Available in standalone and production configurations, the Figure 4 platform combines services, technology, materials and software designed to revolutionize manufacturers’ production environments -- helping customers bridge the chasm and move from rapid prototyping to full production.

Figure 4 3D Systems

The Figure 4 platform incorporates high speed digital molding, a process that speeds and simplifies the production of plastic parts -- enabling manufacturers to match the accuracy, reliability, repeatability and uptime of traditional injection molding. 

Figure 4’s ultra-fast print technology combined with production-grade materials enables up to 15x throughput improvements versus competitive offerings, at up to 20 percent lower cost of current manufacturing processes.

While 3D Systems’ Figure 4 platform represents an innovative approach to manufacturing, the technology behind Figure 4 has roots in the early days of the company. In 1983, 3D Systems’ co-founder and current Chief Technology Officer Chuck Hull filed a patent for the first stereolithography (SLA) printer, which included many of the processes and ideas found in the new Figure 4 systems.

Figure 4

A Modular Platform That Grows with Manufacturing Needs

Figure 4 is a flexible production system with models designed to meet the needs of various production environments, from standalone units to factory solutions for Aerospace, Automotive, Healthcare, Dental, Durable Goods and Service Bureaus. The Figure 4 hardware lineup includes four models:

  • Figure 4 Production is completely customizable and provides customers with the ability to scale the technology as their business and manufacturing needs grow. Completely automated, the same or similar functional production parts can be built in high volume via an in-line production configuration, with integrated post-processing. Automated material delivery and integrated post-processing reduce labor requirements -- increasing productivity and lowering total cost of operation.
  • Figure 4 Modular provides customers with an upgradable and affordable direct 3D production solution which includes automated materials-handling and centralized post-processing.  As with all Figure 4 units, it is designed to grow with a customer’s business as they move from prototyping to production.  With operation from a master control box, each modular unit is capable of producing multiple unique parts simultaneously – saving customers time, money and resources, while speeding time to market.
  • Figure 4 Standalone is an affordable, industrial-grade single engine solution for low volume production and rapid functional prototyping. Ideal for small design shops and OEMs, it provides industry-leading economical print volume at the lowest cost compared to other printers in its class.
  • Figure 4 Dental is a single-engine, independent 3D printer with centralized post-processing designed for dental production, prototyping and sacrificial casting. 3D Systems’ portfolio of biocompatible materials makes Figure 4 Dental the only printer on the market to address more than 10 indications.

Figure 4 solutions are designed to break down barriers found with traditional manufacturing processes, giving customers streamlined and efficient access to superior quality parts with minimal effort. In order to help customers increase productivity and efficiency, all Figure 4 configurations come integrated with 3D Systems’ 3D Sprint™ and 3D Connect™ software. 

3D sprint helps customers address all aspects of print preparation from CAD model repair to automatic placement and support of the part on the print platform – while being able to submit and monitor jobs in the print queue.

Groundbreaking Technology at an Incredible Price

In addition to offering versatile capabilities to disrupt the traditional manufacturing landscape, each printer model in the Figure 4 lineup is affordably priced, making the platform attractive and accessible to any sized business.

“Figure 4 is a game-changing production solution for additive manufacturing that will help CEOs bridge the chasm and move from prototyping to production,” said Vyomesh Joshi, president and chief executive officer, 3D Systems. “Leveraging this platform approach helps us protect the investment of our customers and smooth the transition as they scale their operations.”

The Figure 4 solutions will range in price from approximately $25,000 to over $1 million. General availability for the various Figure 4 configurations is planned to be staged across 2018:

  • Figure 4 Production and Figure 4 Dental are planned for Q2 2018.
  • Figure 4 Modular and Figure 4 Standalone are planned for Q3 2018.

 

Please speak to Grant Cameron at CDG for more information.

Conformal Cooling success at Bastech

17.11.2017

New shapes for Conformal Cooling - Full posting in Plastics Engineering Blog By Jan H. Schut

Conformal cooling channels in injection molds have been built by additive manufacturing, or 3D printing. Unlike conventional straight drilled cooling lines, conformal cooling channels curve around deep shapes in a mold, equidistant from the mold surface, which is the source of heat. They can only be built by additive manufacturing (eg. 3D metal printing) and are designed with cooling line requirements secondary only to part and parting line requirements, unlike traditional drilled cooling lines which are located where space is available late in the design process.

All that makes “100% metal mold inserts possible with reasonably smooth surfaces, providing a rock solid tool for mold makers,” explains Scott Young, engineering manager at Bastech Inc., Dayton, OH, a service bureau for additive manufacturing since 1994 and a reseller for 3D Systems. Bastech has built molds using additive metal manufacturing since 2000 and using pure metal additive manufacturing since 2015.

GOING BEYOND ROUND CHANNELS

Conformal channels themselves, however, haven’t changed much in two decades of development. Primary cooling channels can transition to small capillary channels and back to primary trunk lines again to get cooling closer to the mold surface or to cool small mold details. Capillary channels can be closer together than large channels. (The cross section of the supply channel has to be equal to or greater than the sum of the cross sections of the capillaries, and the cross section of the return line has to be equal to or less than the sum of the cross sections of the capillaries.) But conformal cooling channels themselves are still typically round like drilled water lines.

 Conformal Cooling with 3DSystems

State-of-the-art conformal cooling channels.

But round may not be the best channel shape, according to a recent study by Bastech, presented at the AMUG 2016 conference in April in St. Louis, MO. Bastech compared cooling efficiency of round, square, diamond, tear drop, triangular tear drop, and triangular channels, based on surface cooling area calculated from channel perimeter. So for channels with the same length and volume, the channel with the longest perimeter will have the most surface area and cool best.

Using 3D System’s Cimatron 13 software, Bastech compared a round channel with a 1.374 inch perimeter to the other shapes and found that a tear drop has a 1.454 inch perimeter; square has a 1.474 inch (rotating the square into a diamond shape has the same perimeter but is structurally stronger in a mold); triangular tear drop has a 1.574 inch; and triangular has a 1.587 inch. So a triangular channel cools 16% more efficiently than a round one. “More important, triangular channels have a long flat surface that can be oriented to parallel the mold surface,” Bastech’s Young points out.

Bastech simulated five cooling channel shapes—round, square, tear drop, triangular tear drop, and triangle–rotating some shapes for better mold strength and orientation to the mold surface. Triangular channels have 16% more surface area than round, which are the least efficient. 

Conformal Cooling shape chart
Shape Chart comparing cross-sections

Bastech simulated five cooling channel shapes—round, square, tear drop, triangular tear drop, and triangle–rotating some shapes for better mold strength and orientation to the mold surface. Triangular channels have 16% more surface area than round, which are the least efficient.

THE ‘X’ FACTOR

The most complex conformal channels Bastech has built so far were done this year for a mold core for an in-house promotional product, a 5-inch-tall cold drink sleeve. The 8-inch high mold core, also presented at AMUG 2016, is cooled by two inter-twined helical flow channels with X-shaped cross sections (X’s have even more surface area than triangles). The supply side channel splits to start one helix at the base of the core and the other helix and the top, creating counter flow, shorter channels, and more even cooling. The helical channels then reconnect into the return line to exit the core.

Bastech built this highly unusual conformally cooled mold core with two X-shaped helical cooling channels. One runs straight to the top of the core and coils down. The other coils up, intertwined with the first for counter flow, shorter channel length, and better cooling.

Complex conformal cooling
Bastech built this highly unusual conformally cooled mold core with two X-shaped helical cooling channels. One runs straight to the top of the core and coils down. The other coils up, intertwined with the first for counter flow, shorter channel length, and better cooling.

Bastech also used additive manufacturing to reduce the mass of metal in molds, but it wasn’t to increase cooling water volume. It was done because less metal in the mold means faster mold start up and shorter additive manufacturing time. “We only need 0.25 inches of tool steel for mold walls, plus an inch or so for the cooling channels. Everything outside of that we don’t need,” Bastech’s Young explains. For the drink sleeve core instead of a solid metal mold, Bastech built a structure of trusses and supports, leaving diamond shapes of metal out and removing roughly 25% of the metal. The drink sleeve core took only 38 hours to build vs. 42 hours for CNC programming and machining to build the same core out of solid tool steel with conventional spiral baffles.

For more information on Conformal Cooling, Mold Design and Additive Manufacturing of the Mold, please contact Grant Cameron at CDG. Tel 01420 88645.

Three new ProJet 2500 MJP materials

10.11.2017

Three new exciting materials are now available for the ProJet 2500 Plus MJP 3D printer:-

  • VisiJet Armor - clear ABS like material
  • VisiJet Grey - Class VI medical grade material
  • VisiJet ProFlex - Polypropylene like material

VisiJet ARMOR, clear ABS-like engineering plastic

VisiJet Armor is ideal for applications requiring a balance of strength and toughness in a clear material. A tough, ABS-like clear performance plastic, VisiJet® Armor M2G-CL material for the ProJet MJP 2500 Plus exhibits an exceptional mix of tensile strength and flex. Versatile across a wide range of applications, VisiJet Armor delivers advanced prototyping performance to meet almost any engineering need.

ProJet 2500 ABS material

VisiJet GREY, USP Class VI & ISO10993 certified material

VisiJet GRY material exhibits rigid function with a rigid primer grey finish. The high visual contrast of VisiJet M2R-GRY makes it ideal for functional applications requiring accurate detailing. As a USP Class VI certified material, it enables use in medical applications such as surgical guides. High contrast rigid grey plastic is exceptional for viewing details.

3d systems projet mjp 2500 visiJet m2r gry diag case snap-fit closure

VisiJet PROFLEX , strong Polypropylene-like material with pliability

VisiJet® ProFlex M2G–DUR material is ideal for living hinge applications as well as a range of applications requiring durability and extreme pliability. This polypropylene-like semi-rigid clear plastic delivers an effective combination of high impact resistance and extreme flex to provide robust engineering-grade performance.

ProJet 2500 flex polypropylene material

Class VI medical certified materials for ProJet MJP

10.11.2017

New materials for ProJet 2500 and 5600 MJP are now USP Class VI and ISO 10993 certified material, enabling use in medical applications such as surgical guides.

Approved materials include: M2R-CL (clear), M2R-WT (white), M2R-GRY (grey).

ProJet MJP 2500 5600 medical dental grade material     

for Dental applications

ProJet MJP 2500, 5600 medical grade material 

for Surgical applications   

FabPro 1000 SLA printer

10.11.2017

The FabPro™ 1000 is an entry-level production printer created for engineers and designers, as well as jewellery artisans and fabricators. The FabPro 1000 easily fits on a desktop and delivers exceptional part quality and speed with lower total cost of operation. At less than £4,000, the FabPro 1000 is up to 4x faster and delivers up to 40 percent lower part cost versus similar solutions.

Ideal for engineering and jewellery applications, the FabPro 1000 excels at low-volume, small-part prototyping and direct 3D production across a wide range of high-quality materials.

  • Productivity, Redefined

    Compared to competing systems, the FabPro 1000 features up to four-times-faster high-throughput print speeds for higher-quality parts with precision and smooth surface finish.

  • Lower Costs, Delivered

    The FabPro 1000 is engineered for material efficiency and consistent, repeatable runtimes, making desktop 3D prototyping and production more accessible and affordable than ever before.

  • Start-to-Finish Simplicity

    Prepping, printing and monitoring jobs is easy with 3D Sprint™ software. Plus, material loading, file configuration and post-processing have been streamlined for a simplified user experience.

  • Materials Made for Quality

    From tough engineering plastics to castable resins, the FabPro 1000 materials are designed for accuracy and quality.

  • Industrial Strength

    This desktop powerhouse packs industrial durability and reliability into a rugged yet compact platform, delivering the professional quality businesses need, day in and day out.

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