Borrowmeadow Road, Springkerse Industrial Estate, Stirling, Scotland, FK7 7UW
CA Models 3D printed an optical enclosure in Aluminium CL31 using our metal additive manufacturing technology. Tight tolerances and an internal component fitting required post-machining to achieve sizes that were not possible from the metal additive manufacturing process alone.
Our CAD engineer executed extensive modifications to the original CAD data to accommodate the manual finishing and post-machining processes.
Bespoke jigs and fixtures were made to clamp the components in preparation for post-machining. 5-axis machining was then carried out on the aluminium 3d printed parts to achieve the necessary tight tolerances and precision fit of the mating parts.
The enclosures were treated with an Alochrome coating to seal the surface, thus preventing the parts from tarnishing.
Our CMM inspection service was used to verify sizes and ensure specific drawing tolerances were met. Detailed inspection reports were prepared and supplied to the customer as per their request.
More images below.
With the addition of a second metal additive manufacturing machine, we will be exploring the ability to manufacture medical grade implants. More information on this exciting development will be revealed soon.
CA Models 3D printed the double water inlet/outlet components in Aluminium CL31 material using metal additive manufacturing technology. This method guaranteed component strength as well as being lightweight. Another vital benefit of metal additive manufacturing is that the components would be hollow, as required in this instance.
This process firstly involved choosing the optimum build orientation to achieve the best possible build quality. The CAD was then altered to provide additional stock on the component. This alteration is essential when a component requires post-machining.
Once the build was complete, the components were carefully hand dressed then passed to the CNC department. Bespoke jigs were made to hold the components in place while they were post-machined to exact tolerance specification. All components were inspected for dimensional accuracy using CA Models CMM Inspection equipment.
CA Models has been supplying the oil and gas industry with sales, marketing and training models since the early 80s. Our very highly skilled engineers and pattern and model makers whose experience is founded on traditional techniques and materials, subsequently adapted to the introduction of rapid prototyping (RP) in the 90s.
Today, the industry benefits from integrating and combining numerous manufacturing technologies - multi-axis milling and turning for the manufacture of precision machined components, as well as 3D printing parts in a variety of materials.
One of the most exciting advances in RP for CA Models is the development of metal additive manufacturing - 3D printing metal parts from CAD data.
The distinct advantage we have is the ability to build and post-machine RP components in-house. The post-machining process is essential to achieve tightly toleranced bores or features, capable of being interfaced with other machined components and assemblies.
1:6 scale Subsea Structure Training Models
These models were manufactured using a combination of our multi process and multi material services.
The main structure and all load bearing components were fabricated from machined parts for strength and stability. This method allowed main interfaces to be represented accurately, essential to ensure trouble free connection and alignment with other related equipment.
Inboard and non-load bearing equipment were manufactured from RP components. The customer’s CAD data was used to ensure these parts had all of the details and features shown on the full size equipment.
Individual components were spray painted, assembled and fitted with markings to resemble the full size equipment. The final assembly was then secured to a custom-made base resembling the seabed.
SES Satellites approached CA Models to produce three very unique, fully functioning prototypes of design winning satellite dishes. Each of the three prototypes required components to be 3D printed in SLA and SLS. CA Models’ iPro was chosen to build the SLA components due to its large platform size 750mm x 700mm x 650mm. Also, the surface finish of the SLAs allow for a high end painted finish necessary for these models. The SLS components were built in Nylon materials with strong durability for the parts that required structural integrity.
The Blossom and Dragon designs required components to be CNC machined in CA Models’ machining department in aluminium, stainless steel and alloy materials. Perspex platforms were also CNC machined at CA Models so that all three designs could be mounted once assembled.
All of the components were then hand finished in the Workshop, before being painted and lacquered with two-pack paint/lacquer in our professional paint room. Finally, each prototype was assembled and mounted onto their perspex platforms.
Prior to shipping, the prototype satellites were packed into bespoke shipping cases which were also built at CA Models specifically to ship the models safely to the customer in Luxembourg.