Frequently Asked Questions

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When something more robust than an SLA is required, or you require a ‘quick look see’ part. As no support structure is needed, SLS is great for producing parts with very complex internal and external geometries and also multiples of the same part. The material properties lend themselves to low volume production parts.

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Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) is a process by which nylon powder is heated to just below its melting temperature and then the part is drawn layer by layer using an argon laser, the laser raises the temperature enough to melt where it draws to sinter the material. Unsintered powder acts as the support structure during the build, allowing for complex geometry and full utilisation of the build volume, giving a route to additive manufacturing.

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At the moment, flexible SLA resins simply do not live up to their hype. With low fracture toughness and tensile strength and no elasticity, the parts produced in this way can, and do, tear very easily. As an alternative we offer flexible PU rubbers in a range of Shore ‘A’ hardnesses through vacuum casting. These provide structures of a higher integrity, resulting in much better functional performance and longer lasting parts.

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Support removal only, bead blast, hand finishing, painting, vacuum metalising, electroplating.

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SLA’s are unsuitable for robust parts or parts used in high temperature applications.

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Resins: Clearvue, Xtreme White & Xtreme Grey.

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SLA should be used when high accuracy or crisp detail is required. SLAs produce great aesthetic prototypes or a ‘quick look to see’ part or part of an assembly to check fit and form and in some cases function. Clear parts can also be produced using our ClearVue resin.

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Stereolithography (SLA) is a process by which a UV laser cures an epoxy photopolymer resin layer by layer to create a solid three dimensional part. This process is highly accurate and provides crisp detail. A support structure is created to strengthen the part during build. Ogle also has the option to produce high resolution parts.

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Support removal only, hand finishing (material dependant) painting.

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FDM is much more time consuming (therefore costly) to finish than any of our other 3D printing processes. This is an important consideration if a smooth finish is necessary.

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Currently we have ASA (ABS), PC-ISO (Polycarbonate) and ULTEM 9085. Other materials are available.

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FDM should be used when you require the properties of the ‘real’ production materials, when functionality is key. There is also no need for tooling, minimising cost and leadtimes.

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Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) is where a plastic filament is heated and extruded through a computer controlled nozzle to produce a part layer by layer. Our Industrial FDM machine uses an atmospherically controlled chamber to increase accuracy of parts.

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Minimum part cost is £75 excluding delivery and VAT

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We stock brass Tappex inserts ‘hi-mould’ and  ‘trisert’. See tappex.co.uk

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We require graphics in 1:1 scale vectored pdf and EPS format and/or .ai files and colourways, again as either Pantone or RAL.

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It is very difficult to be specific for all geometries. Taking a typical 3mm wall section part and +/- 0.25mm per 100mm in line of casting corner to corner. Small parts will come out better than this, so we would suggest more like +/- 0.15mm. Longer parts can come out worse than this. Thick wall sections will create more shrinkage.

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For high res SLA we would say +/- 0.1mm per 100mm, normal res +/- 0.15mm per 100mm. For SLS +/- 0.15mm plus +/-0.15mm per 100mm.

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High resolution SLA will build down to 0.2mm vertically, but this isn’t a practical thing to handle after build unless it is over a small area. Normal resolution will build down to 0.4mm vertically, this is still very dificult to handle on anything other than a small area. In practical terms 0.8mm is quite easy to handle and there is enough material for us to hand finish. Horizontal surfaces are affected by different process factors; again it is best to stick to 0.8mm. For SLS, high resolution minimum is 0.4mm and for normal resolution it is 0.5mm. For strength, it is best to have a minimum of 0.8mm, but full strength is not achieved until 1.2mm

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If given the opportunity we would prefer individual part files correctly named and in position. This saves time as the parts files do not have to be separated out of the assembly and then creating part names. Sometimes it can take as long to do this as to quote the job, especially if the assembly is a large one.

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