S-CAN 3D Ltd, well known as a reverse engineering and 3D scanning company, also makes its own parts and components for automotive applications as well as accessories for precision measuring equipment. The company uses FELIXprinters’ 3D printing / additive manufacturing (AM) technologies for creating moulds and masters and manufacturing jigs.
FELIXprinters is established as one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of highly accurate, reliable, easy-to-use, and price sensitive industrial AM machines. As many industrial sectors have shifted their manufacturing workflow to incorporate AM, FELIXprinters has positioned itself and its portfolio to serve the changing needs of industry. This is achieved through careful attention to detail, listening to what customers say is important to them, and developing products and features to meet their needs. The company’s Pro 3 & Tec 4 series of AM platforms — and the newly introduced Pro L and XL models (with larger build envelopes) — have cemented FELIXprinters’ position in the industrial use of AM, and has opened up an array of options for manufacturers previously unavailable.
A customer of FELIXprinters is S-CAN 3D Ltd, based in Attleborough, United Kingdom offering a 3D scanning, CMM inspection, and precision manufacturing bureau service for international customers. The company specialises in 3D scanning for reverse engineering, but also has its own product range which include RetroSport (billet aluminium performance parts for classic Minis) and S-FIX (accessories for precision measuring equipment).
S-CAN 3D was founded in 2012, and over the last number of years has invested in a large arsenal of equipment to be able to take a customer’s component, reverse engineer it, and then re-manufacture it. The company uses FELIXprinters AM platforms for prototyping, creating casting moulds and masters, and manufacturing jigs.
James Senior, MD at S-CAN 3D says, “We have found FELIXprinters AM platforms to be very easy to use. You can be up and running within a few minutes of getting them out of the box. We run all of our printers through Simplify3D software so you load the profile, pick a material and you are ready to go. In-house we now have the first machine we bought from FELIX back in 2015 (the Pro 1), and a Tec 4.1, a Pro 3 and the new Pro XL. Our first Pro printer has paid for itself 10 times over.”
FELIXprinters has a range of machines that are aimed at industrial prototyping and production applications, key among these being the Pro 3 and Tec 4 machines and the more recently introduced Pro L and XL platforms.
The Pro 3 & Tec 4 machines are supplied with automated and intelligent features to maximize productivity and efficiency. The importance placed on intelligent 3D printing is really at the heart of these machines, with functionality that removes many of the time-consuming hurdles that characterize many 3D printers. To this end, Pro 3 & Tec 4 machines are characterised by automated motorized calibration; an innovative quick-swap print-head solution; extremely fast rotation of print-heads in the dual head configuration (less than 10 seconds); and a dedicated flexplate, supplied as standard to easily and quickly remove printed parts. Moreover, the Pro AM systems also offer extremely quick heat-up and cool-down of the print heads, meaning that the dual head print times are reduced by a factor of 2.
The more recently introduced Pro L and Pro XL machines cater for FELIX customers that want bigger build envelopes but without compromising on quality. Delivering on this was not just a case of scaling up the architecture of the Pro 3D printers. With the Pro L and XL, FELIX has used all of its experience in precision engineering to develop what it believes is an offering to the market that demonstrates te company’s commitment to robust and reliable 3D printers. These bigger machines can fit seamlessly into any workshop, lab or factory environment because they can fit through a standard doorway, to make the logistics of installation quick and simple too. The Pro L and XL have build envelopes up to 144 liters.
Senior discusses S-CAN 3D’s use of the FELIX 3D printers. “The Pro printers have been our workhorses for the last few years. The original Pro 1 has over 400 days of continuous build time logged on it.
We were interested in the Pro XL from when it was announced, and we certainly haven’t been disappointed with it since it has been installed. It’s averaged over 20 hours per day run time since we have got it, making everything from show display pieces to casting patterns. We’ve done week long and maximum build area builds so I can only really talk positively about our experience with it so far.”
Senior continues, “Internally, S-CAN 3D use FELIX 3D printers for prototyping designs. We might do five or more different concept designs of a particular part or component, as it’s much easier to visualise a part when it’s in your hand.
We are putting a lot of work through the newly purchased XL printer and it’s opening up things which we wouldn’t have been able to do before (at least to the same quality and size), so things are very encouraging.
We have found FELIX machines to be very repeatable which is our most fundamental requirement for any application, and we also haven’t noticed any accuracy degradation over time.”
It is specifically because of the gap between supply of lower cost, reliable and accurate 3D printers and the demand from companies such as S-CAN for affordable industrial platforms that FELIXprinters has developed it Pro series and L & XL machines. Throughout its history, FELIXprinters has achieved a strong reputation for developing and delivering robust, reliable and accurate machines, servicing a growing client base with solutions that are far in excess of their requirements in terms of accuracy but at a price that is comparable with inferior alternatives.