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The challenge

Photocentric manufactures light-curable resins and 3D printers. It was looking to expand its range to include ceramic and metal printing. The challenge was how to prepare each new build layer for the printing process, given that the particle loading makes a very viscous, paste-like, resin and the weight of the added materials makes very heavy printed parts, compared with plastic technologies.

  • Applied Expertise
  • Research & strategy
  • Human factors
  • Industrial design
  • Packaging
  • Technology development
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Electronic engineering
  • Software engineering
  • Wireless & connected
  • Short run manufacturing
  • Manufacturing processes
  • Supply chain management

The solution

We started by helping Photocentric generate potential printer concepts. Experiments with early resin formulations identified the key challenges that would have to be overcome in handling these materials.

A key design decision was to use a disposable cartridge to handle and meter the resin, and further development with a test rig (pictured) was used to iterate the resin and spreading system to create even, reproducible build layers.

The benefits

We enabled the Photocentric materials science team to accelerate its development programme and focus on resin chemistry – knowing that we would deliver a working solution for the printer concept.

With the 3D printer sector developing rapidly, it was vital for Photocentric that product innovation was delivered as quickly as possible.

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