Leading workholding solutions – 3D PRINTING

3D printing from Brown and Holmes gives greater flexibility and more opportunities when designing and manufacturing complex parts.  We use the latest 3D printer technology from Stratasys for our additive manufacturing which produces parts and prototypes using a wide range of materials including carbon fibre, polymers, acrylics, thermoplastics and polyurethane.  As durable as traditionally manufactured parts, this gives our customers the ability to use lighter materials and produce more complex, thermally stable and/or heat resistant parts. To answer what types of parts and fixtures can be 3D printed, the simplest answer is that if our in-house designers can model it, we can 3D print it directly from our CAD data and modelling programmes! 3D printing also gives additional functionality to our workholding solutions, as it allows us to make hybrid fixtures and assemblies. This in turn allows Brown and Holmes to provide our customers with an enhanced level of customisation and enable them to quickly respond to market changes and make faster product improvements.  Design service for 3D parts The Brown and Holmes designers love a challenge and our 3D printers allow them to design and manufacture much more complex parts than conventional machining and traditional manufacturing allows. It has also means that we can reduce the number of parts within an assembly which enables customers to reduce their bill of material complexity. We start by designing parts using our CAD programmes then convert them into GrabCAD so they can be printed directly from our design office.  Our 3D Printers Brown and Holmes currently use a Fortus 450 mc and a F170 3D printer for the additive manufacturing of parts. Across the two 3D printing machines we are able to produce parts in 17 different materials. Whilst we offer a design service for 3D printing, we can also print parts from customers’ own designs from a variety of CAD formats.  3D Printing Capacity The capacity of our biggest machine is a 16” cubed envelope. However, we can print different parts and assemble or glue them together to make parts much bigger! Our machines are able to run 24/7 so depending on the process, we can turn jobs around quickly as the can continue to run overnight when necessary to reduce lead times and meet customer deadlines.  3D Print Services Some of our customers need one-off, individual parts printing, whilst for others we provide a sub-contract service to 3D print small batches of complex parts and assemblies. Hybrid fixture manufacturing 3D printed parts can be used as part  of a larger assembly that fits onto a traditionally manufactured fixture base and can also incorporate hardened bushes.  Many of our orders now use both conventionally manufactured parts plus printed ones that are then assembled together.  3D printing offers customers a wide range of flexibility and we welcome enquiries from companies looking for innovative  workholding solutions, ways to re-engineer components and/or a supplier for additive manufacturing. 3D printing is a very complementary service to the traditional machining and cutting services that Brown and Holmes provide and we are very happy to advise on which method we feel is most suited for our clients’ projects.