Ashford 3D printing

Our 3D Printing In Ashford Service

Looking for 3D printing service in Ashford? Looking for high-quality functional parts? Then let Surface Scan Help.

We use the latest SLS 3D printing technology equipment on the market today to create truly functional parts straight from the printer.

Our 3D printing services are perfect for single prototypes or batch production.

All our 3D prints are strong, and we mean STRONG. They are 3D printed from Nylon PA12 and fused with lasers to create almost zero layer lines. Making the parts strong across all axis.

Unlike FDM printing which lays plastic down layer by layer, this can make parts weaker in the Z-axis and leaves visible layer lines. 

We aim to provide a cost-effective 3D printing service in Ashford. We want to provide customers with functional 3D printed parts ready for end-use. 

If you live in and around Ashford and need a prototype or 1000’s of 3D printed parts, please get in touch, we’d love to hear about your project and how we can help. Maybe you need something 3D scanned first?

Look below for more detailed information on SLS 3D printing.

3d printing service in ashford

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We’re ready to answer any questions you have…

3D Printing FAQ's

SLS 3D printing is a fantastic technology. It can print moving parts in one go, and there are no support structures needed.

The parts are strong because of the way they are printed and the process they go through. 

Let us answer some of the questions people have when it comes to 3D printing. If we don’t cover all your questions, you might have, please check out our full FAQ’s page for more questions and answers.  

Selective laser sintering or SLS uses lasers to fuse PA12 nylon powder; it’s a bit like painting with lasers. We take your model, slice it with our software and build it up layer by layer.

You can save money with our 3D printing service by nesting your parts. What is nesting? 

Let’s say you have a bowl and you printed that on its own, that’s not an issue, but what about all the space inside the bowl? Why not stack the 2 bowls together with a 1.5 mm gap or place another model that fits inside the bowl? That is nesting. Our prices are worked out by the square cm, not by the shape of the model.

We recommend a tolerance of around 0.2 mm for moving parts, any closer and running the risk of the parts fusing.

2 mm is around the right size.

1 mm wall thickness is good, but we can go down to 0.5 mm. The thinner your parts are designed, the greater the risk of your parts, not printing.

Our current maximum print size is 300 mm.

In the Z-axis it is + or – 0.075mm, in XY axis it is + or – 0.1 mm. These figures can change depending on the complexity of the model.

If we haven’t answered all your questions please get in touch.  We will be happy to discuss your project.

How SLS 3D Printing Works

We use SLS for our 3D printing services, but what is SLS?

SLS stands for Selective laser sintering, what is that? It basically uses high powered lasers to fuse and melt nylon particles to create solid parts, with little to no layer lines visible.

In simple terms, the printing process works by spreading a very thin layer of nylon powder across a platform in the heated chamber. Using the laser, it fires the pattern of the print onto powder and fuses it all. The platform then drops and completes the whole process again until the part is complete. 

SLS allows you to nest your parts and utilise the entire volume of the print area.

Is 3D Printing Expensive?

It all depends on what you need? SLS printing is generally more expensive than FDM, but FDM can not produce the same quantity in one go as SLS. 

SLS can use nesting, meaning the whole square printing area can be used. With FDM printing, you can only use the flat area of the bed. SLS requires no support material; it uses the surrounding powder as it supports. Any unused powder can be recycled and used again.

SLS produces a more injection moulded finish and truly functional parts. If you need fast batch production, ready to use parts then SLS is the only solution. Other than cost injection moulding

3d Printing vs Injection Moulding

First off, both produce fantastic finishes for parts and prototypes. But they both have their advantages and disadvantages.

3D printing is generally better for very complex parts. 3D printing allows instant changes to your design; this means you don’t need to reinvest in new tooling. 3D printing is perfect for bridging the gap between millions of parts or just needing 1000’s and allows you to create a functional one-off prototype.

Injection moulding is great for high volume production runs and can be the most cost-effective solution for needs. It also leaves a perfect finish, our 3D printing services can get close with Vibro polishing, but it will never match injection moulding. Injection moulding does come with much higher startup costs, but if you’re making millions of parts, this is the right choice.

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We’re ready for your enquiry. Please fill out the form, and someone will get back to you as soon as possible or give us a call, which ever suits you best.

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