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We are the 3D printing arm of a larger company called Express Group Ltd. Fixing printers since 1988, today we are a Specialist Parts Distributor and Experts in 3D Printing.
We take quality control very seriously, which is why we are audited for ISO9001:2015 certification, this helps ensure we provide great customer service.
3D printers have been in use in the manufacturing industry for more than thirty years, but it is only really in the last ten that the market has opened itself up to other applications on a large scale, such as mould making for investment casting and tooling. Applications are also emerging for the medical and dental fields.
All of which is to say, 3D printing is no longer constrained by manufacturing limitations or design complexity; and as a result, it is seeing incredible growth.
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New for 2019, the Ultimaker S3 can print an enormous range of materials including composites, engineering plastics and nylon.
It is engineered to print continuously, with maximum uptime, reliably. No other Ultimaker 3D printer packs so much capability into such a cost-effective package.
3D printing has long been synonymous with fabricating exceptional parts and models – but repeatability has always been a challenge. Not anymore.
Ultimaker has perfected first layer adhesion with the S3, which scans the build plate and corrects any microscopic discrepancies within the Z-height. The result is a perfect first layer for perfect adhesion and stability on the build plate.
Compact but powerful
The S3’s build area is 230 x 190 x 200 mm which is down on the S5, but you have to remember this is a more compact 3D printer. It has an assembled size of 394 x 489 x 637 mm, which is around the same size as a laser jet. In other words, it’ll fit on a computer desk quite comfortably - filament tubes and all.
The S3 benefits from dual extrusion technology with Ultimaker swappable print cores, which enable you to easily switch between abrasive, non-abrasive and low and high-temp materials. The S3 is compatible with the complete Ultimaker material library, including TPU 95A, CPE+, Tough PLA, PVA and Breakaway.
You can also print with glass and carbon fibre composites. All you need is the Print Core CC Red and you’ll be able to print up to 10kg of carbon fibre.
Overall, the S3 is an outstanding 3D printer. It’s suitable for any application -- industrial, educational and all. Feel free to contact us with any questions.
The best 3D printers fabricate models and parts that are true to design. In other words, models and parts that are a perfect physical representation of the digital model drawn in CAD. To achieve this high degree of dimensional accuracy, printers must produce a very fine edge across the build area. This is how we perceive parts to be high quality or not when we look at them and inspect them.
Of course, multiple variables determine how fine that edge is, and you cannot always rely on the quantitative values manufacturers place on their 3D printers. If we did, every printer on the market would be pinpoint accurate.
When you are shopping for your next printer, consider this: accuracy is the value that determines how close a 3D printed part is to its digital drawing. Precision refers to the repeatability experience of a printer, or how reliable the printing experience is. If you want a consistently good 3D printing experience, you need both.
The two most common 3D printer technologies are FFF and SLA.
The most common technology is fused filament fabrication (FFF), also known as fused deposition modelling (FDM). Both technologies are in fact one in the same.
These 3D printers are the lowest cost. They melt a plastic and extrude it layer-by-layer to build up models from nothing. This process is traditionally best suited to low-cost prototyping, but advancements in technology mean this is no longer the case. There’re more variables that can affect the quality of a print with FFF than SLA, but solutions like an enclosed build chamber and heated build plate reduce this.
SLA (stereolithography) 3D printers use a laser to cure resin (liquid plastic) onto the build platform in desired areas.
Unlike with an FFF 3D printed part, parts printed by an SLA 3D printer need to be post-processed with UV light. This cures the resin, causing it to solidify and reach the mechanical properties required for the application. The method of production is cure, peel, raise, with the laser curing the resin layer by layer; the peel mechanism lifting each new layer off the surface; and the raising action allowing new resin to flow under the build platform.
3D printers are available in all shapes and sizes to suit any project, but there are two common classes: desktop, and large-format.
Desktop printers do exactly what they say on the tin - they fit on a desktop (or most workspaces) and take up around the same footprint as a large LaserJet printer. Large-format printers are four or five times bigger, enabling you to manufacture models and parts like car bumpers and snowboards in one go.
You’ll find the bigger you go, the rarer photopolymer technologies like SLA and DLP (digital light processing) become. This is because they get very expensive as you scale up. Most large-format 3D printers are of the FFF variety because the technology is cheaper and easier to produce on a large, industrial scale.