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Composites AM Market Opportunities

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3D Printing Service ProvidersAcquisitions & Partnerships

Jellypipe signs Plastech AM, its first large 3D printing service supplier

The international additive manufacturing web-based ecosystem Jellypipe now offers a large-scale 3D printing service on its platform through Plastech AM. Jellypipe, as its name suggests, is an easy-to-use interface that links all parts of the AM space that choose to link into the platform. The flexibility inherent in this model couples with a structure made possible by an intricate software engine. Jellypipe users can easily access a huge resource of knowledge, advice, and consultation to ensure that the correct materials, 3D printing technology, and finishing is selected, and then receive quotes from the most extensive network of 3D printing service providers based on the speed of delivery or lowest cost.

Plastech Additive Manufacturing, a Norwich company, Plastech AM uses “The Box” 3D printing equipment from Swedish vendor BLB Industries to satisfy client needs. The company uses a Box Medium system producing high-end, large-scale parts, and boasting a build envelope of 1500 x 1500 x 1500 mm. The machine comes with two extruders and a variety of nozzle sizes and uses the Fused Granular Fabrication (FGF) method of production using industry-standard granules. The use of granules means that material choice is greatly increased, and costs can be significantly rationalized for prototype or full mass production.

BLB's "The Box" Medium
BLB’s “The Box” Medium

Stephen Rundle, Director at Plastech AM said that: “We can offer everything from single prints to a short production run, we also have companies close by that can offer finishing services including milling, spray filling, sanding and painting. All we need from the client is an .STL or OBJ file that is approved for print. In some cases, the file may need some modifications in order to print in which case we would request an .STP which we can then modify before the client approves. Finally, a finishing specification would also be of benefit stating expected finishes and application. There is no real typical application except large! We have had applications from construction, oil & gas, marine, furniture, automotive, and displays & events to name a few, everything from composite moulds, foul drain pipework to giant theme park figures.”When compared with traditional production technologies, the Plastech AM Box Medium System has numerous benefits, but in nearly all instances the technology wins through on speed of manufacture and price. It uses some standard materials like ABS or PP both filled or unfilled, PLA, TPU, TPE and even a special PP with 50% wood fibre, but the real advantage of the FGF technology is that Plastech AM can work with almost any plastic pellet, all that is required first is a print trial to test suitability.

Scott Colman, Jellypipe Sales Manager for the U.K. and Ireland commented that: “We are delighted that Plastech AM has joined the Jellypipe ecosystem. The Jellypipe platform works so well as it allows users access to a huge range of different 3D printing technologies, which means that the best technology for each application is at users’ fingertips. However, with the BLB Box technology that Plastech offers it is a first for Jellypipe as this is the first truly large scale technology that we have introduced, and by so doing the platform can cater for parts and products that would until now have been too big to manufacture via 3D printing.”

Stephen Rundle concluded by saying that: “We are delighted to join Jellypipe. We have been impressed by the fact that it is a simple one-stop-shop, which is well publicized and where the process of quotation is simplified and therefore reduces the time and effort that goes into both advertising campaigns and quotations. This makes it easier for the customer and helps to develop the market. There is no doubt that Jellypipe makes the process of accessing good quality 3D printed parts speedily extremely easy, and this will undoubtedly help to develop the market for all.”

Adam Strömbergsson

Adam is a legal researcher and writer with a background in law and literature. Born in Montreal, Canada, he has spent the last decade in Ottawa, Canada, where he has worked in legislative affairs, law, and academia. Adam specializes in his pursuits, most recently in additive manufacturing. He is particularly interested in the coming international and national regulation of additive manufacturing. His past projects include a history of his alma mater, the University of Ottawa. He has also specialized in equity law and its relationship to judicial review. Adam’s current interest in additive manufacturing pairs with his knowledge of historical developments in higher education, copyright and intellectual property protections.

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