Rutland Plastics, a UK-based supplier of injection molding machines, has bought a Stratasys Fortus 380mc Carbon Fiber edition (CFE) 3D printer from SYS Systems. The machine has been specifically acquired to help the company further develop fixtures and tooling for its robotics, though it can also be used for functional prototyping.
In addition to the Fortus 380mc CF, Rutland Plastics has also used a Stratasys Objet350 Connex 3D printer for its in-house prototyping service since 2011.
Simon Grainger, Design and Project Engineering Manager at Rutland Plastics, said:
“3D printing gives us greater design flexibility. It allows us to design end-of-arm tooling and jigs and fixtures for their specific purpose, and complexity doesn’t increase cost.”
Founded in 1956, Rutland Plastics is a privately owned company based in the East-Midlands, England. It offers a range of plastic injection moulding services for a wide variety of industries, such as medical, consumer goods and utilities.
The Stratasys Fortus 380mc CFE is capable of working with ABS-alternative ASA and FDM Nylon 12CF, a carbon-fiber reinforced thermoplastic of high fatigue resistance and stiffness, containing thirty-five per cent chopped carbon fibers.
FDM Nylon 12CF has become a critical part of Rutland Plastics’ manufacturing process due to its strength and lightness. The material can be used for functional prototyping, end use parts and rugged tooling, even replacing low-volume metal parts.
“The Fortus 380CF is ideal as it can print 30 per cent carbon filled nylon, which is excellent for producing end-of-arm tooling,” explains Grainger. “It’s strong and durable but also lightweight meaning our robots can run faster and we can maximize payload.”
The Carfulan Group
The Fortus 380mc CFE was acquired from SYS Systems, a platinum partner of Stratasys that distributes its 3D printing technology. SYS Systems is a division of the Carfulan Group, a reseller and service provider comprising three precision measurement (metrology) companies alongside SYS.
SYS Systems Sales Manager Rob Thompson said, “We’re delighted to have been able to tailor a specific 3D printing solution for Rutland Plastics’ needs and look forward to seeing them build on their already considerable success.”
The Carfulan Group specializes in providing advanced manufacturing technology solutions to streamline company processes. It has clients from a wide selection of sectors, including aerospace, medical and education.
In December 2018, 3D Printing Industry was invited to the Carfulan Group open house event, which showcased a variety of manufacturing technology in its showroom. Manufacturing experts, potential customers and local academics attended the event.
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Featured image shows end-of-arm tooling produced on the Fortus 380CF in action on a robotic arm. Photo via SYS.