New copper material
The 3T RPD stand was full of exciting news at this year’s TCT Show. From new materials, colours to finishes, the stand was buzzing with the latest in 3D printing developments.
Visitors to TCT Show 2014 got an exclusive UK first look at 3T RPD’s copper material. Demonstrated by two striking pieces that showed 3D printing’s ability to play with structure and form, the samples provoked some encouraging reactions from the public. To quote one fellow visitor, ‘it is very pretty’. I would certainly agree, whether you’re there for the technical element or simply because it looks great, it could open up a lot of possibilities for future applications.
Flame Retardant nylon
New to TCT this year was a Flame Retardant material which contains a halogen-based flame retardant. Lynn Painter, Marketing Manager at 3T RPD explained the process to me in a way that would make the technology accessible to anyone. Essentially, in the event of a fire, the halogen is released which starves the flames of oxygen and extinguishes them. This new nylon which launched this summer will provide suitable parts for a range of industries including transport, electrical and construction.
Research and development into full colour printing.
The company says that about 15% of their business is research and development and one of the freshest developments to come from that is printing solid parts in colour. Unlike standard colour prints where parts are painted after printing, 3T RPD has the ability to produce a range of eye-catching shades and tones that allow much more freedom in the production of bespoke items such as the famous Makie Dolls the company works with.
Lynn says the company are not simply saying to customers that they have these products available right away but what they are communicating to developers is: “look at what we can do, come work with us.”
3D printed glasses with improved surface finish.
Whilst on their stand I couldn’t resist trying on some oversized 3D printed sunglasses, which had a noticeably smooth finish and were surprisingly comfortable. Finishes are a key focus point for the 3T RPD, particularly in products like these where texture is very important. I can confirm that the difference in the standard finish and the new process, which is yet to be named, was quite remarkable. It’s definitely one to keep your eye on.