Hi-tech metal mouldings company invests in 3D sand printer

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Published:
7:00 AM July 21, 2022



Up-to-date:
5:54 PM July 25, 2022

An engineering company is celebrating the arrival of a subtle new 3-D printer which is so precise it can make elements for nuclear energy stations and submarines.

Woodbridge-dependent Brafe Engineering is set to use its hi-tech sand-printing device to create professional moulds into which it will pour molten steel to make the elements.

The £10m business, which employs 95 staff, had to clear and repurpose a whole area at its headquarters to accommodate its new kit, which it mentioned represented “a considerable expense”.


Brafe's new sand 3-D printer


The device prints levels of sand, a great deal like an Inkjet printer, to develop advanced shapes and moulds

– Credit: Brafe Engineering

Head of machining Chris Pritchard mentioned the printer would cut the time it can take them to create a mould, which will necessarily mean considerably less waiting time for shoppers to get their crucial areas.

“All the parts are built by the buyer and printed with wonderful silica sand with a extremely superior melting position,” he stated.

“The 3D printer is really a lot like an inkjet printer – it applies layers of sand right up until the mould is established.

He added: “In the competitive markets we supply areas to, time is of the essence.”


Some of the intricate shapes the machine can create out of silica sand


Some of the intricate designs the new device at Brafe Engineering can make out of silica sand

– Credit rating: Brafe Engineering

The big, hi-tech device was delivered a number of months back. Engineers at Brafe have been putting the new package by its paces, producing a host of intricate types and sculptures.

It is at the moment jogging education periods for employees throughout the business to support them comprehend what the equipment is capable of.

Running director Adam Dalby explained: “At Brafe, we are normally looking to see what the subsequent leap in know-how will be.

“Innovation is essential to a organization like Brafe, and we are dedicated to pushing the field forwards.


Brafe head of machining Chris Pritchard demonstrates how the 3-D printer machine works.


Brafe head of machining Chris Pritchard demonstrates how the 3-D printer machine performs. Credit history: BRAFE

– Credit score: Brafe Engineering

“The new 3D printer will drastically lessen the time it can take to make even the most sophisticated of moulds, meaning we can supply solutions to our clients even a lot quicker.

“It has been terrific to see the 3D printer in motion and it will be fascinating viewing what this piece of technology can do.”

Brafe is an Employee Ownership Trust.

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Ellen C. McGowan

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