Malcolm Nicholls Ltd utilised 3D printing and 3D scanning technology to reproduce and 3D print trophies – 18 replica trophies to be exact! For an Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship-associated golf tournament.
An exciting project that saw Malcolm Nicholls Ltd utilise 3D printing and 3D scanning technology to reproduce 18 3d Print trophies (replicas) for an Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship-associated golf tournament.
On the Abu Dhabi golfing circuit, the Falcon Trophy has long been synonymous with the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. The Pro-Am tournament serves as a supporting competition which precedes the main event. Event organisers wanted smaller versions of the Falcon Trophy to award winners of the curtain raiser tournament and briefed isodo3D about producing 18 quarter-size replicas, six for each of the next three tournaments.
Isodo3D worked along with Malcolm Nicholls Ltd when they found that the most cost-effective and non-compromising method was to print the falcon and golf ball and then hand turn the wooden plinths. A HP 3D Structured Light Scanner Pro S3 was used to scan the trophy and create the data required to print the trophy. Using our latest SLA technology a master model was printed.
With the growing demand for Low Volume Production also known as low volume manufacturing and small batch production Malcolm Nicholls Ltd can produce 1 – 1000’s of parts.
If you’re looking for a one-off bespoke top-quality part such as a trophy, or you require 1000’s customised parts such as widgets, we have the solutions to suit your needs.
It is an increasingly popular option as it allows for a smaller investment in tooling and materials while providing fast access to the market. It also acts to bridge the gap between initial prototypes and mass production.
Historically, manufacturing components in low quantities has always been a costly exercise. With the advent of 3D printing and vacuum casting many constraints previously faced can now be significantly reduced. Technologies such as SLS (Stereolithography) and FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) can now be used (especially for non-seen parts), to produce components in quantities as low as 1s and 2s and up to thousands, but still with exceptional material properties such as flame retardancy and high-heat requirements. Traditional design constraints, usually associated with injection mould tooling for example, can now be ignored enabling designers to be more efficient and reduce part count within assemblies.
We can produce anything from one to thousands
Malcolm Nicholls Limited (MNL) loves a challenge. For this project a 3D printed Stereolithography (SLA) model was produced. These 3D printed models were given to MNL’s finishing department where the build lines were removed and worked until a smooth surface finish was achieved.
Theses printed parts were to be used as master patterns for MNL’s soft tooling (silicone tooling). Once tooling was completed MNL cast the end products in a highly durable material, also colour matched to the customers supplied pantone reference. Maximum castings from this tool for a rigid material were 20 castings.
The handle also had a clear window produced in the exact same way but the level of initial finish was a perfect high gloss due to needing a water clear casting. This window was to be used for advertising.
For most of the clear components, these were 3D printed using MNL’s Stereography (SLA) 3D print large frame machines. Once built each clear component was hand finished by MNL’s highly skilled models makers to a perfect high gloss. These were then used as patterns for MNL’s soft tooling to yield water clear castings.
Other processes used were Selective laser Sintered (SLS) masters in a PA Nylon, again hand finished to that perfect gloss.
It has been said that MNL prototypes look better than production parts as the component will have no evidence of mass manufacture. All of the processes used were durable so that they could be used in there correct environment, also letting the end customer see their vision come to life in a very short timeframe.
Graphics were applied to the finished prototypes to give it a more realistic look.
MNL were supplied with completed 3D files (in this instance a STL file), enabling MNL to 3D Print using Stereolithography (SLA).
Once initial printed components were built these were then given to MNL’s highly skilled model makers to give it that perfect glasslike finish.
Using these finished masters MNL was able to produce sets of silicone tools. Despite the complex nature of certain areas of the design of the component, the silicone tool was able to be cut and flexed open to enable the mouldings to be released where the complex undercuts existed.
Castings from these tools were produced in a water clear resin that emulates clear Perspex. Many sets were cast in only a matter of days, reducing that all important timeframe of concept through to market.
SATcase™ is a revolutionary device that transforms the common smartphone into a sophisticated satellite phone. SATcase approached Malcolm Nicholls Ltd to see if we could manufacture 20 sets of vacuum casting components.
After placing their smartphone into a durable, ruggedized case and installing the SATcase™ application, users can stay in touch with others no matter where they are in the world.
Throughout the development of the SATcase, the team of designers went through a typical new product development design cycle involving multiple iterations of the “3D printing/design review/implement changes” once the design had been frozen, we produced 20 sets of vacuum casted components from the 3D printed masters of the approved data. Malcolm Nicholls Limited (MNL) provided the “3D Assistance” by 3D printing the prove-out masters at the initial stage followed by the finishing required to produce 3d printed water-clear parts. This high level of finish was carried out by some of the most experienced members of the finishing team to provide the high gloss surfaces necessary. The high gloss surfaces ensure that the clear castings produced from the masters at the silicon tooling stage are optically clear similar to the final production mouldings.
The team in MNL’s vacuum casting department produced 20 sets of tightly tolerance components all fitting together into a pre-checked assembly, ready for trials using smartphones from various brands.
Steam cleaning allows you to deep clean and disinfect without the use of chemicals or abrasive materials. A diverse steam cleaning system is a must have home essential, this is the modern way to clean. The 3 in 1 Steam Caddy utilizes technology to minimize steam-up time so cleaning can begin in less than a minute. Steam is the natural way to clean and sanitize your home. It can kill germs and dust mites as well as loosen dirt and grease without the use detergents or chemicals. This is a unique “3-in-1” steam cleaning system that uses an innovative docking system and a large assortment of attachments so the unit can be used as a mobile cleaning station. This was the first and only system in the world at that time that has all these features in one unit.
Malcolm Nicholls Limited (MNL) were approached direct by the design department of a leading provider of HVLP (high volume low pressure) paint sprayers with the SprayStation® range of products. From 3D data (STL file) supplied by the MNL’s customer. MNL produced a full set of models utilising there in house 3D print process. For this project Stereolithography (SLA) was used built on MNL’s large frame SLA 5000 machine. All parts were built within a two day period. The end customer approved all the models produced, giving full sign off allowing the next stage of prototyping to begin. There were various finishes applied to the 3D printed models as theses were to be used as master patterns for a subsequent soft tooling process called Silicone tooling. This tooling process will completely emulate the surface finish of the master pattern, by using MNL’s highly experienced team of model-makers the full set of components went through a wide variety of finishes from satin, light spark through to a perfect high gloss.
Castings were also produced in multiple materials, most being in a high temp material that can withstand on or above 140° – 175° C, these material also need to withstand high pressures.
Key processes used
When timescale and cost are critical speeding up that that all important time to market is critical.
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