Q2 2021

64 | Q2 2021 Aug20520 Best CNC Machining Firm 2020 – Berkshire With over 15 years’ manufacturing experience, Express Prototype Ltd rapidly delivers great quality prototypes and production parts using the latest in 3D printing technology. It offers a range of services including CNC milling, CNC turning, CNC plasma cutting, FDM printing, SLA resin printing, and SLS nylon printing, all within its Caversham facility. This year, Express Prototype has been investing in brand new equipment to achieve its goal of saving customers time and money. The Haas ST-10 CNC lathe is a 12 tool station turret for the purpose of CNC turning with precision and reliability, allowing for a large range of machine tools to complete even the most complex of components, with a maximum diameter of 350mm and 400mm length. Another addition to the company’s equipment is the Haas mini mill for CNC milling which has a 10 station tool holder and maximum work piece sizes of 300 x 250 x 300mm. And with its latest CAD/CAM software, Express Prototype is able to produce complex parts from simple 2D milling to full 3D milled components. The CAD/CAM machinery of choice for Express Prototype is Fusion 360, offering full 3D machining along with the latest updates in new techniques in CNC machining, meaning it is able to offer quicker production and increased precision. Express Prototype offers a variety of SLA resin 3D printing materials with different purposes. A selection of these include grey scale resins for prototypes and models with a matte surface finish, opaque appearance and precise details – the neutral undertone makes a great base for parts that will eventually be painted or undergo other finishing practices; clear resin for transparent applications, great for moldmaking, optics, lighting, and any parts requiring translucency; rigid resin for stiffness and precision, ideal for turbines and fan blades, jigs, fixtures and tooling, manifolds, and electrical casings and automotive housings; durable resin for low friction and wear for consumer packaging, bushings and bearings, snap fits and flexures, and living hinges; tough resin for rugged prototyping such as sturdy prototypes, interference and press fits, and assemblies; elastic resin for soft flexible parts such as wearables and consumer goods prototyping, medical models and devices, compliant features for robotics, and special effects props and models; flexible resin for hard flexible parts such as cushioning and damping, wearables and consumer goods prototyping, and handles, drips and overmolds; and high temp resin for high thermal stability, ideal for hot air, gas and fluid flow, heat resistant mounts, housings and fixtures, and molds and inserts. In terms of FDM 3D printing materials, Express Prototype offers PLA for easy-to-achieve highresolution prints when aesthetics and fine details are key; ASA for rigidity and high outdoor weather ability; ABS for enhanced strength for functional prototypes and manufacturing end-use parts; PETG which is the most commonly used form of PET (polyethylene terephthalate), with the G version being glycol-modified PET, which is a widely used industrial thermoplastic with strong, durable properties and good heat resistance just like EBS, but easier to print – Parts printed with PETG are not only widely used in the prototyping stage of product development, but also in later stages of function testing and parts assembly; Nylon is durable and has industrial-grade impact and abrasion resistance, and has good corrosion resistance to alkalis and organic chemicals; and polycarbonate has high toughness, resists temperatures and retains form up to 110oC, allowing printing of translucent parts for lighting applications with a transparent filament option. While 3D printing isn’t the normal go-to service for manufacturing, Express Prototype has shown that it can save customers thousands of pounds just on one project at a time, with it being faster and more flexible on cost. Express Prototype is working hard to show local companies how making a small change to their current working standards can increase productivity and save money. Company: Express Prototype Ltd Contact: Liam James Website: www.expressprototype.co.uk