Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to get in touch 01452 386608

Additive

How can 3D Printing support Production Schedules?

Tight production schedule? Imagine production quality parts delivered the next day!

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How quickly can I receive my 3D printed parts?

The simple answer is, it is possible for parts to be shipped the same day we receive your data (depending on geometry and availability of course)!

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How do I improve the surface finish of my AM component?

One of the drawbacks of Additive Manufacturing (AM) or 3D Printing (3DP) is the quality of the surface finish. Building parts layer by layer will naturally result in visible layering or ‘stair stepping’ as it is often known. Let’s take a look at three options to improve the surface finish of your AM components.

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What are the post finishing options for Additively Manufactured parts?

When producing parts through additive manufacturing processes, it often becomes necessary to post-process and finish components in order to get the desired cosmetic finish required. 

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What information do I need to get the ball rolling on my project?

What do I need to know“The engineer’s first problem in any design situation is to discover what the problem really is.”

This pretty much sums up the challenge we face when we speak to a client for the first time on a new project!

We want to help get your part(s) made the best way we can. Thus knowledge of what you want from the part(s) is very useful and helps us select the most appropriate option.

Hence we thought it might be helpful to put together a checklist, which will help us give you a more accurate quote in as short a time frame as possible. 

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What is the difference between Polyjet and Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM)?

For those that do not recognise Polyjet, this is the process name behind the Objet line of printers. Today both processes are supplied by Stratasys and are not likely contenders to put against each other. That said there are some unexpected similarities!

Process choice, as is so often the case, hangs on your objectives.

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What are my options for micro resin-based parts?

Micro resin-based parts – we’ve got it covered! Ideal for those situations where high resolution is just not enough. 

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How do polymers actually behave at high temperatures?

One of the questions we sometimes get asked is ‘How do polymers actually behave at high temperatures?’ or ‘What do the quoted thermal properties mean in reality?’

To answer these questions we thought we would describe what the tests are and how it is easiest to interpret them. Then we had a look at a practical example, testing the effects of temperature on the mechanical performance of a clear Stereolithography resin. 

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Which software can help generate lattice structures?

You have your new and improved design, but when you run it through simulation it is over-engineered, and a lot heavier than you'd like. So you just hollow it out...right?

The problem with this approach is a dramatic loss in mechanical strength. That key central material that made your part so effective at distributing load is no longer there, and subsequently you are in a bit of a bind.

The easiest solution would be to plough on with the inefficient design, but that would incur larger material costs, and more importantly would (to all intents and purposes) be giving up. You’re not ready to give up yet, so you are left with two choices: painstakingly create an internal structure by hand or use some form of magical software to generate this structure for you.

Recently there has been a large increase in the number of software packages available for such operations, due to the increasing ease with which such structures can be built care of additive manufacture.

"But which software should I use" you cry in confusion, "there are so many and they look terribly complicated?" Okay then…let's talk about lattice generation software.

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  • “Plunkett Associates have excellent breadth of experience, work with high quality partners and have a flexibility that we have found enables challenges to be met successfully, cost effectively and in a timely manner.”
    Nick Skaer, CEO, Orthox Ltd
    Nick Skaer, CEO, Orthox Ltd
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    Naim Audio
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    Simon Leggett, Director, Olivewood Technology
    Simon Leggett, Director,  Olivewood Technology
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    Sam Pearce, Jelly Products Ltd
    Sam Pearce, Jelly Products Ltd
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    Stuart Wilson, Design Director, TRT Lighting
    Stuart Wilson, Design Director, TRT Lighting
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    Andrew Peters, JMDA Ltd
    Andrew Peters, JMDA Ltd
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    Jim Copestick. Design Manager, Thorlux Lighting
    Jim Copestick. Design Manager, Thorlux Lighting
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    Mark Williams, Research and Development Director, Johnson Safety Products
    Mark Williams, Research and Development Director, Johnson Safety Products
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    David Harden, Director, Enica Ltd
    David Harden, Director, Enica Ltd
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    Penny While, Marketing Director, Kirintec
    Penny While, Marketing Director, Kirintec
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    Simon Ryder, Artist
    Simon Ryder, Artist
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    James Clark, Group Commercial Director, The Airdri Group
    James Clark, Group Commercial Director, The Airdri Group
  • Interestingly, people who look at it in its own right with little knowledge of what it does, just like it! It’s tactile and it looks good…
    Tim Collings, Operations Director, Troika Systems Ltd
    Tim Collings, Operations Director, Troika Systems Ltd
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    Carolina Ballon-Forrester, Director, Kittyrama Ltd
    Carolina Ballon-Forrester, Director, Kittyrama Ltd
  • Plunkett Associates worked on the design and production of titanium frames for an artificial heart valve where precision and consistency was paramount. Communications were efficient and productive with concepts readily incorporated into the final design, and suggestions for improvements all highly appropriate. The quality of the end product was ideal and I have no doubt that I will use the advice and expertise of Plunkett Associates again.
    David Wheatley, Wheatley Research Ltd
    David Wheatley, Wheatley Research Ltd
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    Jon Todd, Design Manager, PHS Group
    Jon Todd, Design Manager, PHS Group
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    Naim Audio
    Naim Audio
  • “ Plunketts developed a solution that met our precision requirements at a cost significantly lower than alternative manufacturing approaches we had investigated”
    Nick Skaer, CEO, Orthox Ltd
    Nick Skaer, CEO, Orthox Ltd
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    Jet Cooper, Sculptor
    Jet Cooper, Sculptor