An Important Milestone for Additive Manufacturing in Bexley
The Engine House is a thriving creative ecosystem in the heart of Bexley. With over 50,000 sq. ft of flexible studio and office space, The Engine House has more than 50 modern studios & fixed desk spaces with an in-house business development team that can provide a professional place for a range of Entrepreneurs.
Since opening in 2008 The Engine House has been a light house for local business and entrepreneurs in need of studio & workshop space, business advice from our team. Working with partners such as London Borough of Bexley & Peabody we have consulted on a variety of projects and start-ups over the years and have always been able to make the right connections to help projects come to fruition by making the right connections with local fabricators.
As technologies advanced and business models changed the need for rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing had become an essential need for the development on new products.
The Engine House Launch 3D Printing Bureau
In 2020 not only did The Engine House undergo an extensive facelift to create beautiful open plan spaces designed perfectly for local free lancers, start-ups, and small businesses, but this was also the year it invested in new equipment such as laser cutters & engravers for light fabrication on sheet materials such as wood and acrylics to manufacture jigs and designs.
After our great success with the “X, Y”, it was imperative The Engine House added the “Z” by procuring the latest in 3D printing/ Additive manufacturing technology from FormLabs.
Meet The Fuse 1 Printer
Our Fuse 1 3D Printer is a compact selective laser sintering (SLS) machine that brings industrial production-ready nylon 3D printed parts. The finished result is a component that combines strength, flexibility, and detail, Fuse 1 prints are ready for rigorous functional testing, or to ship ready-to-use products to customers.
Previously 3D printing was a great way to make a single item or part to test its strength or to get a good idea of the look, feel and size of the something you are wanting to make large amount of without having to order 1000+ units of beforehand.
The flaws in the older technology meant that large amount of post processing was needed such as acid washes, removing supports, sanding & polishing, and still the end product may sometimes exhibit undesired flaws such as being too brittle.
The SLS 3D printer uses a laser as an energy source which selectively melts powdered nylon plastic material, fusing them together into a 3D printed part, the results can easily be compared other manufacturing methods such as injection moulding.
Other features such as being biocompatible materials allow designers to create end use products such as custom wearables.
How Much Does 3D Printing Cost?
For Example, let’s take a phone case you have designed and want to manufacture and compare to having 100 units 3D printed vs 100 units injection moulded.
3D Printing Method: Printing 100 cases may cost £15.25 per unit however, there are no extra costs, you simply upload the file and as you are using additive manufacturing there are essentially no tooling costs.
TOTAL UNIT COST: £15.25
TOTAL 100 units: £1,525
Injection Moulding: Using injection moulding you may be able to get the unit cost to as little as £2.50 you need in account for the tooling costs of making the casts for injection moulding which in some cases could be more than £5000 this would increase the actual unit cost to £52.50.
TOTAL UNIT COST: £52.50
TOTAL 100 units: £5,250
The Engine House specialise in “Low Batch Production Runs” the machines and process we use make us experts of on-demand production using SLS 3D printing, depending on the number of units ordered, the example pricing above will eventually show that injection moulding would be a more cost-effective way of producing parts and a total of 500 injection moulded units would need to be ordered for the prices to intersect.
Unveiling Our Online Instant Quoting Systems
Our new 3D print quoting portal allows users to easily upload and order parts with a centralised ordering portal, saving time and cost in the production workflow. Status updates, including current stock levels and lead times, are displayed directly on the website giving customers transparency into their orders. Users can also track their orders through the production workflow in real-time.