Frequently Asked Questions

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

Cosmetics

How do I create the WOW factor with my exhibition models?

Why is it so important that exhibition models are not only visually stunning, but also give the impression of a fully productionised product? Because first impressions really do count! Research shows that we make an initial visual impression in about one tenth of a second and that first impression stays with us throughout all future interaction – whether it is an impression of another person or a product.  We take a look at how to create the WOW factor with your exhibition models.

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Fed up with layers? Need a better cosmetic finish without paying the earth?

Additive manufacturing, with all the technical advances and media publicity within 3D printing, is certainly booming! Prototyping through methods, such as Stereolithography (SLA) or Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), give obvious time advantages over some of the more traditional methods, such as CNC machining, but have their own limitations such as accuracy and material choice.

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If my primary goal is a visual model, which process will give the best substrate?

The immediate thought is not to separately source the constituent parts and the finishing. The finish derived is predominantly a function of the model makers skill and as such a lead should be taken from his experience. (This is probably not the time to introduce a new material unless there is a good reason).

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How can photo realistic rendering help my project?

Rendering software is an extremely powerful tool that is used to give realistic images of concepts. Created in 3D CAD (Computer Aided Design) software, it can help bring ideas to life at any stage of the development process and help to make decisions prior to proceeding to functional prototypes and production.

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Are vacuum castings painted or pigmented?

PU vacuum castings are typically used where small batch runs are required and frequently cross the line between prototype and production parts. As such their colour is extremely important and parts are usually supplied to a RAL or Pantone colour code.

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How can 3D labels be used successfully on my part?

These labels are tough, durable and can give that professional finish to your part. There are lots of reasons why 3D labels may be just what you need… 

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How do I get a metallic finish?

There are a number of processes that allow metallic finishes. Some seek to simulate the finish whilst others involve the deposition of a few micron thick metallic layer. Finishes in matt, gloss, brushed and satin can all be achieved and in a variety of metal ‘colours’.

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Can parts be metal plated?

Most RP parts (SLA, SLS, FDM, Perfactory) can be metal plated, or electroformed. Similarly a variety of plastics from ABS to PEEK can be plated, but it is worth checking first. 

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If I need a gloss/matt/textured finish, can this be done?

Textured finishes can be achieved either through the use of paint or through the application of a film that carries the pattern. A simple fine spark finish can be sometimes be created by lightly blasting the surface. This process is used to reproduce mould tool textures, typically in automotive applications.

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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
  • Plunkett associates always find a solution. Whatever we need to prototype, they have a great grasp on the technologies available, costs and lead-times so we get the right solution tailored to the project needs. Have always delivered and never let us down.
    Naim Audio
    Naim Audio
  • “I can’t recommend Tim and his team highly enough. We ended up with a design which can be produced and assembled quickly, efficiently and reliably, in volumes that make sense”
    Simon Leggett, Director, Olivewood Technology
    Simon Leggett, Director,  Olivewood Technology
  • "Tim's experience, expertise and supplier base have been fundamental to us getting this project off the ground."
    Sam Pearce, Jelly Products Ltd
    Sam Pearce, Jelly Products Ltd
  • “We were really surprised at how quickly they turned round such a high quality prototype and the parts certainly proved their worth. They were of high enough quality to provide a fantastic visual representation and to undergo rigorous testing."
    Stuart Wilson, Design Director, TRT Lighting
    Stuart Wilson, Design Director, TRT Lighting
  • “Accuracy, finish and delivery all first class.”
    Andrew Peters, JMDA Ltd
    Andrew Peters, JMDA Ltd
  • “We use Plunkett Associates because we want someone we can trust, that knows what they’re talking about, has all the contacts, will provide reliable advice and feedback and will get the right result for us.”
    Jim Copestick. Design Manager, Thorlux Lighting
    Jim Copestick. Design Manager, Thorlux Lighting
  • “We always know exactly what we’re getting and we know we won’t be let down on quality, price or lead times.”
    Mark Williams, Research and Development Director, Johnson Safety Products
    Mark Williams, Research and Development Director, Johnson Safety Products
  • “Plunkett Associates truly offer a complete turnkey solution with Speed, Effectiveness and Precision.”
    David Harden, Director, Enica Ltd
    David Harden, Director, Enica Ltd
  • “Kirintec were thrilled with Plunketts. They made a complex process simple and we were just amazed at the lead times achieved. Plus, every single deadline was met without any drama.”
    Penny While, Marketing Director, Kirintec
    Penny While, Marketing Director, Kirintec
  • “Thanks to Plunkett Associates flexible, bespoke and cost effective service I was able to produce the objects that I had originally had in mind.”
    Simon Ryder, Artist
    Simon Ryder, Artist
  • To create such a consistent quality finish in chrome was an amazing achievement and the prototypes really gave our stand the wow factor.
    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
  • "With their simple to understand language, willingness to go the extra mile and approachability, Plunkett Associates were a great partner for our company. We couldn’t be happier with the results of our project. (A working prototype that they got right first time, by the way). Thank you!"
    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
  • “Thanks for the present that arrived this morning, as promised. Parts look first class, as always.”
    Jon Todd, Design Manager, PHS Group
    Jon Todd, Design Manager, PHS Group
  • “Plunkett Associates have a fantastic supply chain, work with all sorts of production processes and will always do their utmost to solve a problem.”
    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
  • “Doing business with you has been an absolute pleasure. You have made my goals a reality. You have been patient, helpful and above all, responsive. Best service that I have experienced in ages. I consider Plunkett Associates to be an integral part of my business plan moving forward.”
    Jet Cooper, Sculptor
    Jet Cooper, Sculptor