Norgren Valve Blocks
Malcolm Nicholls Limited (MNL) used enhanced rapid prototyping techniques to aid a valve manufacturer develop a safety valve system for controlling air pressure in various machines.
STL files were provided as design source. 3D printed masters were built at the ultra-fine layer thickness of 0.05mm via Stereolithography (SLA). The silicone tooling needed to produce the 30 sets of polyurethane castings was enhanced with high precision metal inserts to maintain the tight tolerances required in some of the bores. (Tolerances as tight as ±0.05mm can now be repeatedly held.) As the components were required to link to each other within a specific tolerance band, repeatability within castings was vital.
The prototypes were put to use in engineering evaluation, fit and function tests and regulation approval.
Graphics were produced and applied, giving the prototypes the finishing touch they deserved.