MOD & Defence Prototypes

Cutting-Edge Prototyping Solutions for MOD & Defence Requirements

Rapid Prototyping Services for the Ministry of Defence (MOD)

At Malcolm Nicholls Ltd (MNL), we understand the unique challenges faced by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) in developing equipment that meets the stringent demands of modern warfare. Our rapid prototyping services are specifically tailored to fulfil the exacting standards of the defence sector, providing innovative solutions to complex engineering challenges.

JFD Agile Submersible Military 3d printed scale model
JFD Agile Submersible Military 3d printed scale model

Advanced 3D Printing Technology:

 The defence sector demands materials with exceptional strength and durability, and 3D printing has emerged as a game-changer for meeting these requirements. MNL utilises state-of-the-art additive manufacturing technologies to produce customised prototypes and production-grade parts with unparalleled precision and reliability. From ultra-strong, ruggedized materials to intricate designs, our 3D printing capabilities ensure that your equipment performs optimally in the toughest environments. With over 50 years of experience in providing highly detailed and accurate scale models to the defence sector. We have leveraged this expertise to become a leading provider of rapid prototyping services for the MOD.

Scale Model Expertise:

With our highly detailed scale model experience within the defence sector. Our craftsmanship and attention to detail are unparalleled, allowing us to accurately replicate military vehicles and armaments for training and promotional purposes. Whether you need engineering models, training aids, or ruggedized prototypes, MNL delivers precision-engineered solutions that meet the highest standards of quality and authenticity.

Confidentiality and Security:

We understand that product development in the defence sector often involves sensitive information, which is why confidentiality is our top priority. MNL guarantees the utmost discretion and security throughout the prototyping process, ensuring that your proprietary data remains protected at all times.

Single Source Solution:

With all capabilities housed under one roof, MNL is your secure and reliable ‘single source solution’ for all your prototyping and promotional requirements. From concept to completion, we offer end-to-end support, seamlessly integrating advanced manufacturing systems with traditional craft skills to deliver exceptional results that exceed expectations.

SLA 3D Printing Service

Stereolithography (SLA) also often referred to as SLA is the most widely used resin 3D printing technology. it is generally considered to provide the greatest accuracy and best surface finish of any prototyping or 3D printing process.

SLS 3D Printing Service

SLS can build functional parts, casting patterns and tooling inserts from your 3D CAD data. Our HiQ Sinterstation system (SLS 3D Printing machine) represents the future of Instant Manufacturing Technology.

FDM 3D Printing

Manufacturing FDM known as fused deposition modelling is the most widely available form of 3d printing. It is an additive manufacturing technology that selectively deposits molten plastic to build parts layer by layer.

Large Format

Large format 3D printing service, utilising our large format SLA 3D printers with their impressive build platforms of 800 x 800 x 600mm.


We can produce large transparent 3D printing without the need for sectioning and fabricating back together, by utilising our large format SLA 3D printers.


Carbon has proven itself for its reliability in the toughest of environments, whether your looking to use it in low volume production or rapid prototyping Carbon 3D Printing is a great option.

1,8Metre Model of type 45 Destroyer

The Benefits of Rapid Prototyping and 3D printing services for the MOD

  • Fast turnaround times: Get prototypes quickly into your hands for testing and evaluation.
  • Cost-effective: Reduce development costs by avoiding expensive tooling.
  • Highly detailed and accurate: Create prototypes that accurately reflect your final design.
  • Functional prototypes: Test the form, fit, and function of your design before committing to production.
  • Confidentiality guaranteed: We understand the sensitive nature of your projects and guarantee complete confidentiality.

Crafting the Perfect Defence Scale Models: Prototyping at its Finest

Our Services

MNL offers a wide range of rapid prototyping services, including:

  • Engineering models: Test the form, fit, and function of your design.
  • Training aid models: Create realistic training aids for your personnel.
  • Ruggedized prototypes: Develop prototypes that can withstand harsh environments.
  • Functional prototypes and devices: Test the functionality of your design before production.
  • Low-volume production-grade parts: Produce small quantities of parts without expensive tooling.

Contact us today to discuss your Defence prototyping requirements.

Mid-Ship with plenty of Hand-Made Detail
3D Printed Helicopter and Hull

We’re often asked…

How long does it take to create a rapid prototype?

The timeframe depends on the complexity of the design and the chosen technology. We can often deliver simple prototypes within days, while more complex projects may take weeks.

What 3D printers do you use?
We are home to two of the UK’s largest 3D printers – the NEO 800 with an impressive build platform of 800 800 x 600mm. It’s highly precise and produces first-class quality parts. With exceptional part sidewall quality and a scanning resolution of within 1 micron, the NEO 800 significantly reduces finishing time by up to 50%. 

NEO800 has a variable spot-size laser. It goes small for intricate detail on the boundaries of parts and then it goes larger for filling in the rest of the section. This combination of intricacy and super fast build speeds produces excellent quality components in super quick time frames. As we have two of these it has rubber stamped our commitment to turnaround. We can now produce both low volume manufactured parts also known as batch production 1 – 1000’s of parts printed or large parts utilising the build platforms of these impressive printers.

What is the cost of rapid prototyping?

The cost varies depending on the size, complexity, and materials used. We offer competitive pricing and work with you to find a solution that fits your budget.

What areas do you serve?

We are based in Warwickshire and cover the UK and Internationally.

How it works

Upload your files

For unfinished, straight-off-the-printer 3D parts, upload your 3D CAD files and get an instant quote.

For larger projects where quotes for multiple parts are needed, get in touch.

Get your quote

Get your online instant quote for straight off the printer 3D printing, or for more intricate/complex projects our technical team will be on hand to quote you.

Printing starts

From our 3D printing facility near Worcester, we start producing the parts immediately.

Every single item is quality-checked by our engineers before heading out for delivery.

Delivery/ Collection

Our intricate 3D printed parts can be produced in days, even hours for smaller projects and delivered with our secure couriers.

Prefer pickup? Our headquarters are in Bidford-on-Avon, just contact us ahead to arrange a collection time.

Case Studies

See how Malcolm Nicholls
has helped other businesses like yours

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