Print City is equipped with a large range of facilities that will allow you to bring your ideas to reality in a variety of coloured resins, fibre-reinforced nylon, metal alloys and fully-coloured gypsum.
When most people think of a 3D printer, they imagine an artefact being built-up in tiny layers, each adding further geometry to the previous. This is known as Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) and you will have access to a large number of these printers including the latest Ultimaker 3 and Ultimaker 3 Extended Dual Nozzle printers. These printers can also print in two colours or with a dissolvable support material. This reduces the post-production time of complex parts.
You will also be able to print your models using Stereolithography (SLA) which begins with a pool of ultra-violet sensitive resin which is cured by a laser, layer by layer while the build-plate is slowly drawn upwards. You will have access to many of these Form2 printers using a number of different materials such as white, black, clear and grey, flexible and high-temperature resins.
If your work needs something a little stronger then you can realise your design using our MarkForged Onyx and Mark Two printers which uses a reinforced nylon to make very strong parts. The reinforcement can be carbon fibre or fibreglass.
All of these 3D printers have a 'build-volume' of about 21 cm3 which are perfect for scale models but if you need something larger, we have a two-colour Axiom Dual-Head printer which will print on a larger scale, again in a variety of materials and colours.
For truly colossal prints, we have a state-of –the-industry 3D Platform Workbench printer which will produce 3D prints at 1m x 1m x 0.5m!
For higher speed and quality, we have a 3D Systems ProJet multi-jet printer which works similarly to an inkjet printer, but prints with resin supported by wax. Once your print is completed, simply steam away the wax to greatly reduce the post-processing time.
For full colour, photo-realistic models in gypsum, we have a large volume 3D Systems ProJet CJP 660Pro which will produce fast prints such as the one seen below.
Whilst most work will begin with a CAD model, we also have a scanning and Photogrammetry system to capture existing objects. In addition, we have an industry standard ‘structured light’ hand scanner which produces incredibly accurate data from any size object. These are used extensively in film, medical and science industries. Captured scan data can then be manipulated and refined in software.
The jewel in our crown is our metal printer which underlines the investment that the university has put into Print City; and the importance it affords. This is a state-of-the-industry machine produces actual working parts in solid or trabecular surfaced metal as opposed to prototypes.
A separate, fully equipped and dedicated laboratory is provided to facilitate all post processing techniques that each of the above processes may require in a safe working environment.
Equipment in the post-production laboratory includes a laser welder for metal parts, micro-motors, burnout furnaces and casting facilities for use when making 3D printed jewellery items. We also have precision blasters to remove surface irregularities and polish metal parts.
Designs don't always require 3D printing. We have a laser-cutter which will both cut and etch onto a range of materials to allow multiple, interconnecting sections to fit together with great accuracy.