OakTec has recently purchased an FDM 3D printer in order to aid design and produce prototype parts before final manufacture. The printer uses PLA filament to create both visual and functional parts, PLA is a bioplastic produced from plant starch and sugar cane that will degrade, when exposed, in months rather than conventional plastics millennia. This allows OakTec to reduce design time and waste from design iterations without adding to the global plastic waste problem.
The printer has been used almost 24/7 since its arrival! Producing a range of items from parts that are functional, parts that demonstrate a fitting and even some branding! Printed parts have even found their way into the new engine test cell control suite.
Producing parts in this way has allowed for much faster production of test parts for work such as flow bench testing giving OakTec the power to quickly develop working solutions. Potential uses and opportunities keep emerging from this technology and OakTec looks to expand its utilisation.