MNL Frequently Asked Questions

How long have MNL been providing a 3D Printing service?

We were one of the early pioneers of using 3D printing for prototypes and development models, we had our first 3D printing machine installed in September 1996.

With more than 20 years experience of 3D printing, we have an enviable reputation in the marketplace especially for quality of parts and excellent customer service.

What 3D Printing technologies do MNL provide?

We provide the following 3D Printing Services:

 

  • SLA or Stereolithography; The original 3D printing service technology. The resin based one. The best offering for accuracy and surface finish. More extensive details and SLA related case studies follow me.
  • SLS or Selective Laser Sintering; The powder based one. A great blend of strength accuracy and surface finish. More extensive details and SLS related case studies this way please.
  • FDM or Fused Deposition  Modelling; The filament one. Lots of strength, and material choices. More extensive details and FDM related case studies click me.
  • Full Colour; The powder based inkjet one. Full colour aesthetic parts. More extensive details and Full Colour related case studies over here.
What expertise do MNL possess?

With over 48 years of 3D printing experience, operating in many different market sectors and producing many different model types, our experience is both deep and varied.

 

Our technology consultants are on hand to evaluate your requirements and advise the best 3D printing service technology to suit.

Their down-stream processes of finishing and painting, short-run polyurethane resin production, and other specialist finishing touches; add dramatic and often essential additional services to the product development and low volume manufacturing marketplace.

Do you have any examples of 3D printing projects?

There are over 100 different case studies on this site covering many market sectors, model types and using different technologies.

 

What is the simple three tier costing system?

The popularity of our 3-tier costing system has led to the purchase of an additional SLA machine, the 3rd in as many years.

The philosophy of the tiered costing system is thus:

Premium – We organise these so that customers can utilise an entire machine solely for their project. This means that parts are built in the shortest amount of time possible. In some cases multiple machines may be used to spread the load, reducing lead time once again.

Standard – Builds are organised so that several jobs are built at once with a good balance of efficiency and speed.

Budget   Builds are organised by MNL so that machines are stacked out for maximum efficiency. Whilst these are longer builds, 30% off standard pricing in exchange for a few extra days is often strongly utilised.

What size machines do MNL utilise?

MNL utilise the following machines and sizes:

 

SLA – Stereolithography

Standard Resolution machines – 2 off as follows

Build envelope 508 x 508 x 580mm

Layer thickness 0.1mm as standard. 0.15mm for turbo mode

Laser beam size 0.4mm (features smaller than this will not form properly or at all)

Standard Tolerances ±(0.1+0.075%) suited to most components that intend to be injection moulded.

Non-standard components with differing wall thicknesses or thick sections need to be assessed before an idea of tolerances can be given.

Hi Resolution Machines – 2 off as follows

Build envelope 250 x 250 x 250mm

Layer thickness 0.1mm

Laser beam size 0.25mm  (features smaller than this will not form properly or at all)

Standard Tolerances ±(0.05+0.075%) suited to most components that intend to be injection moulded.

Non-standard components with differing wall thicknesses or thick sections need to be assessed before an idea of tolerances can be given.

Ultra-High Resolution Machine

Build envelope 125 x 125 x 250mm

Layer thickness 0.05mm

Laser beam size 0.075mm (features smaller than this will not form properly or at all)

Standard Tolerances ±(0.05+0.05%) suited to most components that intend to be injection moulded.

Non-standard components with differing wall thicknesses or thick sections need to be assessed before an idea of tolerances can be given.

SLS – Selective Laser Sintering

Standard Resolution Machine

Build envelope 380 x 330x 457mm this gets seriously reduced when thermal borders and shrinkage are accounted for.

Practical envelope for Nylon:- 320 x 270 x 400mm

Practical envelope for GBAL:- 330 x 280 x 400mm

Practical envelope for CastForm PS:- 340 x 290 x 420mm

Layer thickness 0.1mm (0.15mm for CastForm PS)

Laser beam size 0.35mm (features smaller than this will not form properly or at all)

Standard Tolerances ±(0.15+0.15%) suited to most components that intend to be injection moulded.

Non-standard components with differing wall thicknesses or thick sections need to be assessed before an idea of tolerances can be given.

FDM – Fused Deposition Modelling

Fortus 450mc

Build Envelope 406 x 355 x 406mm

Layer thicknesses include:

0.127mm

0.178mm

0.254mm

0.330mm

Standard Tolerances Parts are produced within an accuracy of ± .127 mm or ± .0015 mm/mm whichever is greater).

Note: Accuracy is geometry dependent. Achievable accuracy specification derived from

statistical data at 95% dimensional yield.

Fortus 900mc

Build Envelope 914.4 x 609.6 x 914.4 mm

Layer thicknesses include:

0.178mm

0.254mm

0.330mm

0.508mm

Standard Tolerances Parts are produced within an accuracy of ± .089 mm or ± .0015 mm/mm whichever is greater).

Note: Accuracy is geometry dependent. Achievable accuracy specification derived from

statistical data at 95% dimensional yield.

What materials do MNL utilise?

Stereolithography – SLA

 

Watershed 11122XC – Data sheet

Selective Laser Sintering – SLS

Exeltec 1550 XS – Superior Finish Nylon – Data Sheet

Exceltec 2550 GBAL – Glass & Aluminium Filled Nylon – Data Sheet

Fused Deposition Modelling – FDM

Nylon 12 – Data Sheet

Ultem 1010 – Data Sheet

Ultem 9085 – Data Sheet

PPSF – Data Sheet

PC ISO – Data Sheet

PC ABS – Data Sheet

PC – Data Sheet

ABS Plus – Data Sheet

ABS M30 – Data Sheet

ABS ESD7 – Data Sheet

Got a project we could help with this minute?

Ask Us A Question

    Subscribe me to the mailing list; we won't bombard you with tons of spam, honest. Just the odd news, or general marketing email 🙂