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We’re continuing to invest in the print farm at Midlands 3D and have now added the awesome Raise3D N2 Plus to the line up.  The new machine will enable much larger print volumes up to 305x305x610mm and greatly improve the number of available materials.Raise3DN2Plus
To-date, we’ve been focused on volume capability with a line up of 12 identical machines producing both PLA and ABS batches and 2 further machines dedicated to more complex print jobs.  Having previously needed to turn away work which would have required printing a part in multiple pieces, the new machine will enable larger print jobs to be completed in one piece.
Quality isn’t compromised either with layer resolution between 0.01-0.25mm and positional accuracy to XY-axes: 0.0125 mm, Z-axis: 0.00125 mm.
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Since mid 2016 we’ve listed 3d printing services on www.3dhubs.com, the worlds largest network of manufacturing hubs spanning over 140 countries. Recently 3D Hubs launched a new service ‘fulfilled by 3D Hubs’ which offers a seamless transaction process for the customer by letting 3D Hubs choose the most appropriate hub for your order from a limited list.
Only the very best hubs are invited to apply to become a manufacturing partner and even then must be able to deliver the highest quality and service expected. I’m pleased to say we’ve done it!
From today, we are now fulfilling orders directly for 3DHubs. It’s immensely rewarding to know our 5 start rating, fast turnaround and consistently highly rated print quality has been recognised by 3D Hubs and I can’t wait to see how this great opportunity will help drive continued growth for Midlands 3D.

reviews

3D printing is still a largely un-tapped resource and with companies often jumping to the conclusion that injection moulding is the only option, organisations are missing a huge opportunity.
“3D printing is for one-off prints or prototyping”….. well, maybe, but have you seriously considered the form vs function of the parts you need?  Do they really need to be perfect to the eye or would a more balanced view of form vs function (and cost!) equally suit its purpose?  Don’t get me wrong, 3d printers these days aren’t throwing out ugly looking blobs of plastic when printed correctly and I’m more and more blown away by the quality of even the budget end FDM printers on the market, but my point is, do you really need to make such a huge financial commitment to have your parts injection moulded?
I recently developed a camera bracket for a commercial vehicle telematics company.  The brief was simple, it needs to be strong, adjustable and small…..perfect!  The mass produced injection moulded brackets they’d been using were hit and miss, and not really tailored for the varying applications the company needed them for.  They were also too large for the job.  A few hours later and with some prototype prints in my hand, I sent a custom bracket to the client complete with their company logo embossed into the print and a quote per part.  A few refinements later and on-demand, the company receives 100 brackets within 48 hours….no stock commitment, no up-front investment other than the 3d modelling and ultimately no writing off of old stock when the new model camera comes out.
My point here is the part in question needed to work, look acceptable for the application it was to be used in, and not require the kind of investment that can cripple a small business without the funds to invest or hold large volumes of stock.  Although the part works out slightly more expensive than the injection moulded equivalent, these were universal un-branded parts not designed specifically for their application and requiring significant stock holding.
We’re actually talking about hyper-personalised manufacturing.  We are taking a specific requirement and making it viable to have that part manufactured on-demand, from one part to one thousand or more parts.  Whether it is personalisation of a product for marketing purposes, flexibility of design and investment for fledgling startups, or satisfying the growing demand for a product which hasn’t quite reached the volumes required for financial viability of injection moulding, 3d printing is increasingly seen as a viable solution.  Lets not forget too, that 3d print technologies are often enabling the use of designs and materials not possible via traditional manufacturing methods.
The message is simple, the balance of personalisation, on-demand manufacturing and low initial investment when compared to the ‘finish’ of the final product, may surprise you.  3d printing is increasingly used for production run part manufacture and not just prototyping.