Graphite Additive Manufacturing on slashing lead times in SLS 3D printing

Graphite Additive Manufacturing on slashing lead times in SLS 3D printing

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Graphite Additive Manufacturing on slashing lead times in SLS 3D printing

UK 3D printer materials company and service bureauGraphite Additive Manufacturinghas invested in a further selective laser sintering (SLS) 3D printer as part of a new EXPRESS fast-track service for its customers.

The Aylesbury-based company, which offers materials, rapid tooling, prototyping and consultancy services, purchased the3D Systems Vanguard 3D printerto help cut growing lead times when SLS 3D printing.

Graphite Additive Manufacturings Marketing manager Jonathan Warbrick spoke to 3D Printing Industry about the companys decision to invest in a Vanguard, and how it will rapidly manufacture end-use parts for the companys customers across a range of industries.

Graphite Additive Manufacturingcurrently develops its own carbon fiber and graphiteSLS 3D printer materials, to use them for end-use parts.

The company states that it has been receiving increasing demand for SLS 3D printed parts, and it recently produced over 3000 parts in one SLS build. However, prior to purchasing the Vanguard at the end of November 2017, lead times were too long.

When you have F1 companies requiring parts on demand, and you quote them a lead time of seven to ten days, unsurprisingly you end up losing business, said Warbrick in a phonecall today. We are very pleased with the internal build, accuracy and surface finish Vanguard, and it is considerably faster than our other SLS 3D printers.

With a build volume of 370 x 320 x 445mm, the Vanguard 3D printer is helping the tam slash lead times in half. The bureau is now capable of manufacturing multiple graphite and carbon parts in a week, with production times for some parts now under 24 hours.

Graphite AM haspreviously 3D printed radio-controlled carsusing its carbon fiber material, and has increasingly been producing parts for professional UAV drone technology.

The new Vanguard 3D printer will be running graphite and carbon reinforced nylons, producing lightweight and durable performance parts.

Customers have been especially pleased with our graphite reinforced Nylons, because of its high impact resistance, Warbrick explained. We are really excited about the future potential of SLS.

While the earliest users of the technology were F1 companies, Graphite AM is now producing parts for general automotive, UAV, and aerospace applications, with, according to the company, further projects in these industries on the way.

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Featured image shows ReHook 3D printed graphite parts from Graphite AM. Photo via Graphite AM.

Rushabh Haria is a writer at 3D Printing Industry. Hailing from South London, he has a degree in Classics. His interests include the application of 3D printing technology to art and its popularisation.

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