Rapid prototyping for Mono Pumps
Thu, 26 June 2014
The first commercial rapid prototyping component was recently produced by Tameside College’s Engineering Centre. The component was made for Mono Pumps, a local manufacturing company, to help with the design of a prototype product.
Jordan Thomas has been studying with the College for over four years on day release, whilst serving his time as a Production Engineer at Mono Pumps in Tameside. Jordan explained how Tameside College’s latest 3D printing is helping his company develop a new engineering component for its international markets.
“We were given a typical product design problem and needed to develop a part for a prototype, but we were unable to produce it using our normal prototype procedure and CNC equipment as there were specific requirements with the materials and the design of the prototype. We needed a solution that would provide the strength and stability to enable the prototype to be fully engineered.”
Jordan went on to explain the rationale and benefits, “We knew the College had just invested in high-end 3D print technology for its students and we knew it was looking to provide a rapid prototyping service for engineering companies in Tameside, so we developed a 3D model using a CAD system and we asked if Tameside College could help. The locality of the College has cut the time we’d normally have to wait for this type of work – it’s very convenient for us.”
Once completed, it took just five hours to produce a fully working component. This particular prototype was made up of over 1,122 layers of resin, the material used to provide the accuracy required in rapid prototyping. However, larger prototypes could be produced.
“We have run several tests and even produced fully adjustable spanners with integrated moving parts using this technology during tests but it was a privilege to engineer the first commercial rapid prototyping component using our 3D printer at Tameside College” commented Pete Redfern, Curriculum Manager of Engineering Technologies.