Rapid Prototyping Services
As a Rapid Prototyping company with over 50 years of experience, we can turn your 3D CAD data into reality
Our Rapid Prototyping Experience
Vacuum Casting & Prototyping
Strong, durable polyurethane (PU) resin components can be produced from silicone tools. Malcolm Nicholls Ltd produces silicone tools from 3D printed masters, which have been surface-finished to replicate the desired production finish.
There are many PU resins to choose from, they differ in their physical properties and are often chosen to closely simulate an engineering plastic or elastomer.
Product Development & Prototyping Company
We work alongside you and your product development process to produce your prototypes, utilising our 50 years of experience in new product development and prototyping we turn your concept into a tangible prototyped part.
Our team’s knowledge and expertise in rapid prototyping will ensure your prototype part is analysed and checked before it is built so we know it’s built to the very best standard – the Malcolm Nicholls Standard.
Are you looking for a small production run?
Did you know we can manufacture 1 – 1000’s parts?
Perfect for smaller production runs, 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 can also act as a bridge between initial prototypes and mass production.
Prototype Finishing Services
It’s All In The Details Enviable Prototype Finishing Reputation
We pride ourselves on our 3D Print and Prototype finishing; We offer all the finishing touches you could ever need to bring your prototype to life.
At Malcolm Nicholls, we employ time-served finishers to ensure the appearance and look, suit your requirements.
How Can We Help You?
Transparent 3D Printing
However, in many cases, optical performance is not required everywhere to achieve the desired visual appearance.
At MNL we employ time-served finishers to ensure the appearance and look, suit your requirements. Here we explore how to get the highest level of clarity for your 3d printed part.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Rapid Prototyping?
The advantages of our rapid prototyping service in the product development cycle are endless. Not only can rapid prototyping open new opportunities for innovation, it now means that designers can incorporate complex shapes, surfaces and structures into their designs which would have been impossible in conventional prototyping.
Rapid prototyping gives you the ability to create realistic three-dimensional scale models and utilising our paint spraying and finishing gives your product the edge. We often get told how close to the real thing our products are.
What Are The Different Types Of Rapid Prototyping?
With additive manufacturing techniques constantly evolving we take a look at the different types of rapid prototyping.
Stereolithography – SLA
Stereolithography (SLA) is the most widely used 3D Printing / rapid prototyping technology. It is generally considered to provide the greatest accuracy and best surface finish of any prototyping / 3D printing process.
A computer-controlled UV laser beam scans across the surface of a vat of photosensitive resin instantly turning liquid to solid wherever it touches. Successive layers or slices of cured resin are gradually built up into a solid version of the intended CAD model.
Selective Laser Sintering – SLS
The use of SLS 3D printing allows MNL to automatically build functional parts, casting patterns and tooling inserts from your 3D CAD data. Malcolm Nicholls Limited, HiQ Sinterstation system,(SLS 3D Printing machine) representing the future of Instant manufacturing technology, directly produces end-use plastic or metal parts, tooling inserts, or casting patterns from your 3D CAD data files. Eliminate the need for machining, tooling, casting or other secondary processes — saving you time and money.
Functional high-strength components – without the need for tooling
Whats the difference between Rapid prototyping and 3D printing?
Rapid prototyping is an application used in additive manufacturing giving you the ability to produce a model faster than conventional prototyping. 3D Printing is a method of additive manufacturing, whereas Rapid Prototyping is an application of additive manufacturing.
The original additive manufacturing process is stereolithography and Malcolm Nicholls Ltd was one of the first service providers to offer Stereolithography (SLA) back in 1999. Rapid Prototyping has always been the original “buzz word” for SLA and over the years SLS and FDM have fallen under the same umbrella of Rapid Prototyping.
Since the introduction of SLA, new processes and technology have entered the marketplace, including selective laser sintering (SLS) and (FDM) fused deposition modelling.
As technology continually advances, additive manufacturing is finding its way into more applications in engineering and manufacturing – a continually evolving process that’s become critical in new product development for many businesses.
3D Printing and Rapid Prototyping are two very similar terms so they can be easily confused. A lot of industry leaders will agree to disagree between the terms as they are so closely linked!
Get in touch
Waterloo Industrial Estate, Waterloo Cres, Bidford-on-Avon, B50 4JH
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