Prototyping

PrototypingPrototyping is a vital part of the product development process providing direct feedback with regards technical or user issues. As part of CISD’s services we can provide a range of prototype materials and processes, specialising in plastic parts.

Accurate Detailed Plastic Parts

Our primary prototyping machine is a 3D Systems Viper which uses the Stereolithography (SLA) process. SLA is one of the original forms of 3D printing technologies developed and is widely used today to produce finely detailed parts. The Viper has a resolution of up to 0.075mm. Its maximum build envelope is 250mm X 250mm x 250mm.

The SLA resins we are currently running on the Viper are:

•    Accura 60 – Simulates the properties and appearance of polycarbonate with this clear, tough plastic.
•    Bluestone – A high stiffness, thermally resistant material, Ideal for functional components that might be used in aggressive environments. It is a material that is often used in wind tunnel testing where high stiffness is required, Renault Formula 1 team have used it extensively for their wind tunnel testing programme.
•    GP Plus – A water resistant, durable and accurate white material that simulates ABS and PBT production plastics. With USP Class VI and ISO 10993 approval, this material may also be used in certain biomedical, dental and skin contact applications.

Basic Plastic Parts:

For simpler or less detailed parts CISD uses a 3D Systems CubeX which utilises the Fused Deposition Modelling process (FDM). Parts can be produced in a range of colours using either PLA or ABS filament. The build envelope is 274mm x 265mm x 241mm with a resolution of 0.125mm. The parts produced on the Cubex are cheaper than the Viper and less accurate so are more useful in the early stage design process when fine details and issues like fit and function are not vital.

Silicon Parts:

CISD have developed an in-house silicon moulding process which utilises the SLA process to build plastic moulds which 2 part silicon can then be injected into to produce detailed and accurate silicone parts. Colours can be added to the parts and a range of shore hardness are available.

Metal Parts:

CISD can produce metal parts for prototypes with machining/cutting/welding either through partnerships with external companies or utilising AIT’s extensive metal workshop facilities.

Other Materials/Prototyping Methods

If there are any specific prototyping services we can not provide in-house, CISD has relationships with specialist prototyping bureau’s to provide and manage a complete solution to any prototyping need i.e. Vacuum Casting, Prototype Tooling etc.