Hopefully the answers to your queries will be below - if not get in touch and speak to one of our experts.
The simplest answer is to speak to us. Drumlord offer a wide range of processes which can be used individually, or in combination, to produce the perfect part for your project. Each process offers different characteristics and it may not be as simple as picking one option. If you have any questions regarding the most appropriate route then please contact us.
No. We recognise that small, or forgotten, parts need to be made and we are happy to accommodate enquiries of all sizes.
Most quotations are same day but complex projects that require a variety of processes, or external input, may take a little longer.
High resolution STL files are best for all 3D printed routes (and vacuum casting) while STEP/IGES and 2d drawings are preferred for CNC machined parts. Quantities required per part and any breakdown of textures, finishes, colours and material requirements etc. that you need also help to ensure we can get the right quote to you first time.
An STL (stereolithography) file is the most common file format used in 3D printing. It translates the surfaces of parts to a network of triangles and the more triangles the more accurate the design. If the file resolution is too low then the number of triangles is reduced which can result in heavily faceted parts and, in some cases, the loss of rounds and smooth curves. Higher resolution files generally result in higher definition, smoother parts.
This depends on a number of factors including: process, part size, and finishing requirement. Typical lead times are highlighted in each process section.
Unless otherwise directed we use a standard Next Day carrier.
We are able to make some modifications to parts, generally to aid production but, unfortunately, Drumlord do not offer a full design support facility. Our expert production team will be happy to advise on how to get the best prototypes to meet your requirements and support your project. However, we have worked with a number of excellent designers and engineers over the years and we would be happy to assist you.
Yes. Drumlord have built strong, long standing relationships with many designers and engineers over the last 40 years. We would be delighted to recommend a designer best suited to your requirements.
Fast, accurate and cost-effective models suitable for a wide range of purposes, from simple proof-of-concept models to fully finished exhibition standard models. Ideal for clear models or parts that require snap-fits and clips. SLA’s are also the ideal material to use as masters for vacuum casting. Often built overnight and despatched the next day.
From basic support removal and clean up to fully finished models and application specific coatings (RF shielding, metallising) SLA is a fantastic substrate material for a range of finishes. Our post-processing and paint departments can achieve a variety of finishes to suit your requirements.
SLA is a technology that utilises UV lasers to cure a liquid resin to create a 3d part while the SLS process uses sintering to turn a powder into a solid 3d part. SLA and SLS technologies are different but they display similarities in their additive process to create parts. Due to the raw materials that are designed for each process the resulting models have different properties with each presenting a range of benefits to the end user. Which process is better for your project can depend on a number of factors: speed, material properties, quantities, finishes and so on. Drumlord’s experts will be happy to talk through your project requirements with you to help determine which process is best suited to your requirement.
Yes, we can. Our standard procedure is to build parts at 100-micron build layers but we are able to build high resolution parts at 50-micron layers in both materials.
Not usually. However, where parts have trapped volumes of uncured resin, such as dished areas or hollowed out sections, then drain holes may be required to allow for the removal of the uncured resin. If this is necessary, plugs can be fitted to block the holes.
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) is an additive manufacturing process whereby the prototype is created directly from 3D CAD data. The model is built layer at a time by scanning and sintering the surface of a plastic powder with a computer-controlled CO2 heat laser.
While more difficult to finish than SLA it is possible to achieve a full range of finishes with SLS. The required build-up of primer coats can result in the loss of small features though while vibro finishing can smooth the surface but result in the ‘rounding’ of corners and features. Talk to us to see what is possible.
SLS is a technology that uses sintering to turn a powder into a solid 3d part while SLA utilises UV lasers to cure a liquid resin to create a 3d part. SLS and SLA technologies are different but they display similarities in their additive process to create parts. Due to the raw materials that are designed for each process the resulting models have different properties with each presenting a range of benefits to the end user. Which process is better for your project can depend on a number of factors: speed, material properties, quantities, finishes and so on. Drumlord’s experts will be happy to talk through your project requirements with you to help determine which process is best suited to your requirement.
Yes…and no. SLS powder is white in colour and while there are black powders available the risk of cross contamination means it is better to avoid switching materials in machines. However, SLS parts can be dyed and there are a range of standard colours available, including: red, blue, green, orange, purple, yellow and black.
Not usually but where large solid parts require hollowing out, holes will need to be added to allow for the removal of unsintered powder from the cavity. If they are required then plugs can be fitted to block the holes.
They may do but it depends on the design. Large flat surfaces or thick-walled areas can cause problems. These can often be overcome in production but please contact us if you have any concerns.
It is a process used to produce multiple, highly accurate castings of a part from a silicone tool. The tool is created by encapsulating a master (usually an SLA but can be CNC machined) in silicone and, once cured, cutting it open to remove the master and create a cavity. A wide range of PU resins are available to replicate different material properties as required.
There are a huge range of materials available and the most popular include: ABS, Clear, Flame Retardant, Elastomers (30A Shore to 95A Shore hardness), Semi-rigid/PP, High Temperature, Nylon/Filled and POM.
The process allows for the rapid production of highly accurate parts in a range of materials. Surface finishes, small features and colours can be replicated in a range of resins that can be used to simulate, or as a substitute for, production materials. Two-shot or over-moulded castings are possible. Parts can be produced in as little as five working days.
A wide range of finishes can be achieved including various textures, satin and gloss. Post-processing can allow for paint finishes, RF shielding and metal coatings. Clear resins enable the creation of clear and tinted parts. Most of the resins we use can be pigmented to match any colour requirements.
Yes. However, the condition of the supplied master may require us to carry out additional finishing work to ensure the surface finish is of a high quality that will be replicated in the castings.
We would normally expect around 20x castings from a single tool. Factors such as part geometry, surface finish and resin choice can impact on this figure. Where possible, multi-cavity tools will improve the number of castings achievable. Please contact us to talk through your project and we will advise whether this is feasible.
We look forward to working with you.
Give us a call and talk through your project with one of our experts. We’ll help you choose the best path to your perfect product.