Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

New from Manchester Metrology Ltd is the WENZEL CT scanner, the WENZEL exaCT® M

Posted on: July 28th, 2020 by Steven No Comments

The new powerful and flexible CT scanner, used for measuring and testing small to medium-sized components.

The exaCT® M was built around a workstation-concept. Its compact design with well thought-out ergonomics make it possible for this new CT scanner to combine more power and flexibility with less space requirements. It has an integrated evaluation unit which allows for easy loading and makes it ideal for automating measuring and testing processes.

This workstation is used for measuring and testing small to medium-sized components, with a measuring volume of 300mm in height and 200mm in diameter. It is particularly suitable to use in dimensional metrology and non-destructive testing (NDT) of components, assemblies, and materials.

This new CT scanner’s flexibility makes it possible to be used in a variety of other fields:

– Dimensional control

– Wall thickness analysis

– Actual-to-nominal comparison

– Tool and component optimization

– Development, rapid prototyping

– Reverse Engineering

– Material defect analysis

– Structural analyses

– Assembly tests

– Joining technology testing

– Electronics testing

The WENZEL Group is a market leader in innovative Metrology. WENZEL’s technology is used in all industries, including the automotive sector, aeronautics, power generation and medicine.

Manchester Metrology Ltd is the official re-seller of the WENZEL exaCT® M and is an industry-leading metrology company offering sub-contract engineering work and metrology equipment for hire or purchase across the UK and worldwide.

 

The new open source ventilator design

Posted on: July 20th, 2020 by Steven No Comments

A team from Smith College, based in Massachusetts, has won the Covent-19 Challenge design contest. The aim of this competition was to create a ventilator that could help with the shortages caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. This ventilator was to be viable and built in a way which would allow it to be deployed quickly. The competition was set up to find a way to easily manufacture cost-effective ventilators and help the developing world during the current pandemic.

The team had no knowledge of ventilator construction, but this did not stop them. Only 3 months after they entered the competition, their design and functional prototype was approved and could be deployed. The team reportedly assembled this ventilator for less than a tenth of the cost of traditional ones, using a combination of 3D printed and off-the-shelf parts.

Another great thing about this project is that the team’s ventilator enclosure, ISO fittings, and mounting blocks can all be produced using Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) or stereolithography 3D printers and the design is open-source, which means other researchers can work on it and improve it.

You can learn more about the innovative ventilator here. 

The 3D printing community has responded quickly to Covid-19, by producing a large number of face masks and shields. A lot of companies have shifted their usual production to help combat the virus by 3D printing millions of PPE items every month.

Manchester Metrology has been helping fight Covid-19 as well by using its 3D, the Snapmaker2, to print free of charge visors for local companies in need. With this 3-in-1 3D printer you can 3D print, Laser Engrave and Cut and CNC Carve all in one! 

We are a leading supplier of metrology equipment, including 3D scanners, 3D trackers and 3D printers. We have 4 top of the range 3D printers available to hire or use as a service – these include Project 460 Plus, Figure 4, Fabpro 1000 and Markforged 2. Learn more about this here. 

How can 3D scanning help with heritage preservation?

Posted on: June 11th, 2020 by Steven No Comments

Everyone knows the importance cultural monuments have, and many people’s dream is to travel the word and visit these places. The problem with this is how difficult it is to preserve these monuments, because of time damaging, natural disasters and sometimes even vandalism. Because of the risk of losing these monuments it is important to document them, and 3D technologies such as laser scanning or 3D printing, are used to capture detailed images of these landmarks.

The reality is, not everyone has the opportunity to visit or experience these places. And while it is important to maintain a record of them in case they get damaged, it is also important to consider cultural monuments preservation for those who might want to experience them from home.

The reason 3D technology is now so important for heritage preservation is because, until recently, replicas of historic structures (things like artifacts, statues, art and even architecture) were made using molds and casts. This is dangerous because they can potentially damage the objects. Using 3D technology can prevent damage, as it is done with lasers which are safe to use as they do not touch the original piece at all. With this technology even colour can be captured, which makes it safer to replicate things such as art pieces and paintings.

With 3D scanning it is possible to digitally record and preserve these objects, as they are capable of scanning the pieces features with high precision. This then transforms into an accurate 3D model that can be studied (or appreciated) by anyone without damaging the original. This allows for people to look at the piece with even more detail than they would be able to if the original was to be displayed in a museum for example, as analysing it digitally allows for zoom, for example. With 3D printing, we can use the data that was scanned to print a replica of the original. 3D printers can achieve an impressive level of detail, guaranteeing the safety of the original art.

Things like time-damage, erosion or climate change are unpredictable and even though these things cannot be prevented, 3D technology can make sure that there will always be data for backup replicas. These could, in the future, be accessible to everyone, teachers, scholars and even people in their own homes who are interested in them.

Manchester Metrology is an industry-leading metrology company offering sub-contract engineering work and metrology equipment for hire or purchase. Through continuous investment in the latest metrology equipment, Manchester Metrology is also a leading supplier of metrology equipment including 3D scanners, 3D trackers and 3D printers. Manchester Metrology has 4 top of the range 3D printers available to hire or use as a service – these include Project 460 Plus, Figure 4, Fabpro 1000 and Markforged 2.

Manchester Metrology’s Snapmaker has 3-in-1 software which allows your stunning creation to be just a few clicks away. Helps entry level users to complete the work quickly. The Snapmaker updates regularly with new features to enable users have great experience on using it. For more information please call us on 0161 637 8744.

What is reverse engineering and how does it work?

Posted on: April 22nd, 2020 by Steven No Comments

Reverse engineering is a process in which software or products are deconstructed to extract design information from them.

This is useful because over the years, manufacturers have developed a long list of machine products and parts for these machines. When one of these parts breaks or needs replacing, people want to avoid replacing the whole thing and replace only the part they need instead. With reverse engineering you can work with sophisticated equipment and it allows you to determine how a certain part was designed and recreate it. Companies sometimes use this when looking to replace a part as to go to the original manufacturer is no longer an option.

The reverse engineering process is named this way because it involves working backwards on a product, to rediscover certain functions and bring them up to date. In some situations, reverse engineering might be the only solution to obtain the original product design. The challenge in this is that you will, most likely, have very limited knowledge of how the product was built in the first place.

It is useful as well to help connect the old and the new. By dismantling an old piece of equipment that has functions which are no longer used, reverse engineering allows manufacturers to work with products which are in some cases 20 or 30 years old, with the original 2D drawing no longer being available.

Manchester Metrology Ltd offers a Reverse Engineering service to produce true to form 3D data in .stl file formats. We are pioneers and innovators of metrology offering specialist contract measurement services using the latest metrology technology and equipment. Offering support across the UK and worldwide our attention to detail and helpful attitude towards our customers are among the many positive attributes which distinguish the company as a benchmark metrology company.

Manchester Metrology Ltd is a leading supplier of metrology equipment including 3D scanners, 3D trackers and 3D printers. Manchester Metrology has 4 top of the range 3D printers available to hire or use as a service – these include Project 460 Plus, Figure 4, Fabpro 1000 and Markforged 2.

Manchester Metrology Ltd also supplies a new generation of scanners. The HandySCAN BLACK™ | Elite hand-held scanners continue to be the reference stand in professional, metrology grade portable 3D scanning. Now in its 3rd generation, the new HandySCAN BLACK™ | Elite has been optimized to meet the needs of design, manufacturing and metrology professionals looking for the most effective and reliable way to acquire 3D measurements of physical objects anywhere.

You can read more about all our products and services here, or please call us on 0161 637 8744.

Snapmaker -3D Printing, Laser Engraving and Cutting, CNC Carving all in one!

Posted on: April 1st, 2020 by Steven No Comments

New from Manchester Metrology Ltd is the revolutionary Snapmaker, the modular 3-in-1 3D printer that allows you to unlock your full creative potential from 3D printing to laser engraving, cutting and CNC carving.

The Snapmaker 3-in-1 3D printer will come with everything you need to start your maker journey including:
• CNC carving & cutting module
• Laser engraving module
• 3D printing module
• Heated bed
• Touchscreen
• PLA filament

3D Printing

The Snapmaker allows you to print almost anything for your creative projects from applications to objects with specific mechanical properties such as toughness, durability and flexibility.

Laser Engraving & Cutting

The Snapmaker can engrave or cut a wide variety of materials including paper, plywood, leather, acrylic, cardboard, paper and fabric.

CNC Carving

CNC carving is normally associated with precisely carving or cutting hard materials but with Snapmaker there will be no limitation with the options of plastic or soft materials such as hardwood, PCB, Acrylic, POM, Carbon fibre sheet and many other materials.

Free 3-in-1 Software

With the 3-in-1 software, your stunning creation is just a few clicks away, which allows entry level users to complete the work quickly. The Snapmaker updates regularly with new features to enable users to have the best possible experience when using it.

The Snapmaker has high precision with its all metal build as the all metal frame allows high quality prints. Snapmaker 3-in-1 3D printer is the perfect choice for rapid prototyping.

More about Manchester Metrology Ltd

Manchester Metrology is a market leader in the inspection of engineered components, offering metrology support throughout the UK and worldwide for both indoor and outdoor 3D measurements. Manchester Metrology offers laser scanner equipment hire, stocking a wide range of calibrated measurement equipment including 3D scanners, 3D printers, laser trackers and portable CMM’s. Manchester Metrology has 4 top of the range 3D printers available to hire or use as a service – these include Project 460 Plus, Figure 4, Fabpro 1000 and Markforged 2.

In addition, Manchester Metrology also has a vast range of probes, mounting options and accessories for your metrology equipment and offers both onsite and offsite training on a variety of the latest software such as Faro CAM2, Polyworks, Geomagic, Aberlink and PowerInspect.

For more information on Manchester Metrology, its products and services please call us on 0161 637 8744.

3D Printing: Breaking New Barriers in World Medicine

Posted on: March 16th, 2020 by Steven No Comments

3D printing is revolutionizing so many sectors – here, we take a look at the huge changes being brought globally by 3D technology in the field of medicine, where computer-generated design is resulting in 3D objects that are really changing lives at the front line of medicine, to the extent that healthcare is the field set to drive the huge growth of 3D printing technology going forwards.

In the Netherlands, surgeons have already been able to replace the entire top section of a patient’s skull using a customized printed polymer implant; similar replacement cranium parts have also been employed in other countries, with FDA approval.

3D printing is being used to manufacture expensive or otherwise unavailable essential medical equipment in the developing world – in Haiti, for example, umbilical chord clamps are already being 3D printed for hospitals. In fact, 3D printing’s finest moment could be in significantly reducing health inequalities worldwide.

Did you know that even blood vessels can be 3D printed? Researchers at Harvard University designed a 3D printer that uses dissolving ink to create tissue with skin cells interwoven with structural material that can potentially function as blood vessels.

Making prosthetics is notoriously expensive and time-consuming, with the added difficulty that any required modifications to the prosthetic render the original molds useless. But researchers in Toronto have now used 3D printing technology to produce inexpensive and customizable prosthetic sockets for patients in Uganda and other countries in the developing world. Meanwhile, a California-based R&D company has used 3D printers in Sudan, training local people to operate the equipment then create and fit inexpensive prosthetics.

Researchers at Cornell University have 3D printed intervertebral discs used in the treatment of patients with major spinal complications, having already created ear molds using 3D photos of real ears, which held the shape of the ear while cells grew their extra-cellular matrix. Meanwhile, a team at Princeton have 3D printed a collagen ear with built-in electronic components.

In the field of drug distribution, University of Glasgow researchers are working on a 3D printer that will be able to assemble chemical compounds at the molecular level, allowing patients to buy a blueprint and chemical ink online and then print the drug at home.

In the USA, the epilepsy drug Spritam became the world’s first FDA-approved 3D-printed pill, notable also for its alternate layers of powder and liquid giving it a very fast dissolution rate which was unattainable through conventional manufacturing.

At Nottingham University, meanwhile, researchers have been able to 3D-print one ‘polypill’ containing five different drugs.

Blueprints or apps could now be the future of drug distribution, with pharmacies becoming 3D printing medicine hubs.

Manchester Metrology is a market leader in the inspection of engineered components, offering metrology support throughout the UK and worldwide for both indoor and outdoor 3D measurements. Manchester Metrology offers laser scanner equipment hire, stocking a wide range of calibrated measurement equipment.

In addition, Manchester Metrology also has a vast range of probes, mounting options and accessories for your metrology equipment and offers both onsite and offsite training on a variety of the latest software such as CAM2, Measure 10, Polyworks, Geomagic, Aberlink, Declam and PowerInspect.

Manchester Metrology’s Snapmaker has a 3-in-1 software which allows your stunning creation to be just a few clicks away. Helps entry level users to complete the work quickly. The Snapmaker updates regularly with new features to enable users have great experience on using it. See it in action here.

For more information please call us on 0161 637 8744.

3D Technology at the Cutting Edge of Automotive Manufacturing and Parts

Posted on: February 17th, 2020 by Steven No Comments

Advances in 3D printing have been radically transforming manufacturing – and nowhere more than in the automotive sector, where 3D technology means the hugely faster and more efficient precision manufacturing and supply of vehicle parts.

Some of the keys ways that 3D metrology has impacted on the automotive sector include:

3D metrology has reduced measuring times by up to 50% in some areas of automotive tool-making, assembly and production.

The automotive sector is currently undergoing its biggest ever transformation due to the race to lower emissions, and electric vehicles are naturally where the greatest advances are being made. Lightweight construction is key for electric vehicles, since every extra kilogram reduces range. With significantly fewer parts than their non-electric counterparts (typically 200 as opposed to over 1,000 in petrol or diesel vehicles), there’s also a move towards fewer tools used in their manufacture, further lowering emissions.

Quality control is crucial in lightweight construction materials, especially when it comes to vehicle bodies. While traditional tactile measuring systems can result in frustrating bottlenecks, automated 3D metrology means that entire vehicle bodies can be scanned very rapidly and without blind spots. Faster scanning means that any necessary interventions can also be performed much more quickly, resulting in significantly fewer delays from design right through to assembly.

Manchester Metrology is a market leader in the inspection of engineered components, offering metrology support throughout the UK and worldwide for both indoor and outdoor 3D measurements. Manchester Metrology offers laser scanner equipment hire, stocking a wide range of calibrated measurement equipment including laser trackers, laser scanners and the Einscan Pro.

Manchester Metrology also has a vast range of probes, mounting options and accessories for your metrology equipment and offers both onsite and offsite training on a variety of the latest software such as CAM2, Measure 10, Polyworks, Geomagic, Aberlink, Declam and PowerInspect.

In addition, Manchester Metrology Ltd is also a leading supplier of metrology equipment including 3D scanners, 3D trackers and 3D printers. Manchester Metrology has 4 top of the range 3D printers available to hire or use as a service – these include Project 460 Plus, Figure 4, Fabpro 1000 and Markforged 2.

For more information please call us on 0161 637 8744.

What impact is 3D printing having on our lives?

Posted on: January 8th, 2020 by Steven No Comments

How do 3D printers work?

Digital printers can turn a digital file into a real-life three-dimensional object. They do this by printing layer by layer, until the object is finished.

So, what impact is 3D printing having on our lives?

3D printing technology can be used in almost every industry in the world. Because it is so resourceful, a lot of investment has gone into researching this technology. This technology has advanced and grown massively over the last decade, from designing and developing prototypes from scratch, to creating parts and products very quickly.

This has proven to be a huge step forward, as this technology as made things so much easier for all kinds of industries.

It is fair to say 3D printing is quite literally changing our whole lives. It is changing the way things are designed, produced and replaced.

Customisation – 3D technology will make it easier to customise a product, even before buying it. We can design it, customise it to our exact specifications and then have it 3D printed and delivered right to our door. Products can be tailored to suit the preferences of whoever is buying it. It is also a possibility to have your own 3D printing machine, where you can design and print things yourself.

Better lives – When used in the medical field, 3D printing will increase the quality of life. Things like bone implants, prosthetics, organs and even devices used by dentists can be customised to fit the exact needs of an individual. It can also reduce costs and time during research so this can allow new discoveries in this field to happen quicker.

Innovation – With 3D printing, things will become more accessible and everything will be designed at a faster pace. Because this technology reduces the time of production, designers will be able to focus more on the functionality of the product. There will be no need for so much testing and trialling, as changes can be made on the spot.

Manchester Metrology Ltd is a leading supplier of metrology equipment including 3D scanners, 3D trackers and 3D printers. Manchester Metrology has 4 top of the range 3D printers available to hire or use as a service – these include Project 460 Plus, Figure 4, Fabpro 1000 and Markforged 2.

The Mark 2 is a 3D printer for serious engineering and manufacturing applications. This is the first 3D printer in the world capable of printing composite materials with a heat deflection temperature of 140°C. So, in addition to being able to reinforce nylon parts with continuous strands of carbon fibre, Kevlar and regular fibreglass, you can now reinforce parts with high-temperature materials like polycarbonate.

Manchester Metrology Ltd also supplies a new generation of scanners. The HandySCAN BLACK™ | Elite hand-held scanners continue to be the reference stand in professional, metrology grade portable 3D scanning. Now in its 3rd generation, the new HandySCAN BLACK™ | Elite has been optimized to meet the needs of design, manufacturing and metrology professionals looking for the most effective and reliable way to acquire 3D measurements of physical objects anywhere.

You can read more about all our products and services here, or please call us on 0161 637 8744.

How can 3D scanning and printing help the automotive industry?

Posted on: December 17th, 2019 by Steven No Comments

The relationship between 3D printing and the automotive industry seems to be becoming a long-lasting one. Because it allows companies to print a digital model into a real life one, it is much more effective than other previously used methods.

Most of these companies, especially the most successful ones, have learnt over the years that experimenting with 3D technologies can have a lot of benefits and considerable influence over the product development and it is believed that this influence will continue to grow even more. The use of prototyping applications is now very outdated because 3D scanning/printing is a lot more flexible, can save you money and time and offers you a lot more freedom.

So what benefits can 3D scanning and printing offer the automotive industry?

1 – More freedom

This process can not only offer more design freedom, as drawings are easier to build and amend, but also improve the design overall. For example, 3D printing helps with creating components that are more light weight than before. This makes it an easier process for the manufacturers, as they will be able to reduce the weight of a vehicle which makes the performance a lot better.

2 – Better parts

3D printing processes can also allow manufacturers to redesign and amend their components as needed. As mentioned before, this is helpful to make components lightweight and help improve their performance.

3 – Easier to customise

Because this industry relies on mass production, it can be hard to customize components.  3D printing can make this easier for manufacturers as it is relatively cheaper than other methods. This is very important, especially in situations where the volume of component manufacturing is not as high, or for speciality cars. Manufacturers can use 3D printing for simulating and testing a design before it goes for production.

4 – Quicker and time saving

This is where we can more easily see the benefits of this technology. Designing and testing can take a long time and be very time consuming. 3D printing allows for a quicker design and it is faster and a lot more efficient than other methods. Because a model can be designed so quickly it is also easier for it to be remodelled if needed.

5 – Money saver

Because 3D printing can reduce wastage, this can make controlling costs easier. The prices of vehicles are affected by the use of expensive materials in production. By allowing manufacturers the chance to test and easily redesign (if needed) the components, it massively reduces wastage.

Manchester Metrology is a market leader in the inspection of engineered components.  It offers metrology support throughout the UK and worldwide, in the measurement of engineered components for both indoor and outdoor 3D measurements. Manchester Metrology offers laser scanner equipment hire; they stock a wide range of calibrated measurement equipment for hire including Faro arms, laser trackers, laser scanners, Faro Focus X330 and the Einscan Pro.

In addition to equipment hire, Manchester Metrology also has a vast range of probes, mounting options and accessories for your metrology equipment and offers both onsite and offsite training on a variety of the latest software such as CAM2, Measure 10, Polyworks, Geomagic, Aberlink, Declam and PowerInspect. For more information please call us on 0161 637 8744.

How 3D technology can benefit the construction industry

Posted on: October 15th, 2019 by Steven No Comments

The construction industry is often seen as a slow adopter of new technology, so firms that do adopt and invest in this are often doing better in the industry compared to their competition. Because of this, engineering firms and construction professionals are recognizing the benefits of advanced technologies like 3D laser scanning which can help them build faster and cheaper projects.

Projects in the construction industry usually involve surveying very large sites and this can be a difficult process using traditional surveying methods. They can be very time consuming and cost ineffective which causes challenges to the projects.

So, in what ways can 3D technology help the construction industry:

-It is faster, more accurate and consistent – by being able to collect data at one million points per second (which are invisible to the human eye), 3D laser scanning is the quickest and most accurate way to collect data. It makes possible to provide real life-like imagines of a piece of land, a location or an existing building to make well-informed calculations and designs.

-Easier to share information – because the data is now being scanned this makes it easier for it to be shared between companies. Architects, engineers and construction firms will all have access to the data allowing them to work together. Projects always have multiple teams collaborating and working on it at once, and so some of the tasks assigned to each team are interlinked with the other teams. Because of this, it is very important that everyone is aware of any changes or updates made.

-Improved planning and design – Because data is now so much more accurate, measurable and shareable, it becomes valuable for design. 3D scanning can document existing features inside facilities that have already been built to help reduce conflict between new and existing elements during facility upgrade projects, or to test alternative designs before constructing. It can also help improve planning by providing exact measurements for demolition and removal of components. It allows the team to remotely view and evaluate facilities, reducing the number of people exposed to potentially hazardous working conditions.

-Improvement on safety – because it is a remote process, 3D laser scanning can be used to reduce a team’s exposure to harmful environments making this process much safer than traditional methods (manual data capture methods). This is extra important if the site the team is working is a nuclear site, for example.

-Value for money – 3D scanning is usually pricier than traditional surveying methods, but in most cases it is worth it. 3D scanning can provide a better level of detail, safety and save the team time. The scanning can take as little as a few hours (depending on the scale of the project it can take up to a few days), as compared to using traditional survey methods which can take up to several weeks.

Manchester Metrology Ltd is a leading supplier of metrology equipment including 3D scanners and 3D trackers. Stocking the latest innovations in the industry, Manchester Metrology supplies a wide range of 3D trackers and 3D laser scanners, including FARO technologies: FARO Arm, FARO Edge, FARO Focus and Focus Gage, a new generation of handheld scanners that have been optimised to meet the needs of product development and engineering professionals on the outlook for the most effective and reliable way to acquire 3D measurements of physical objects.

Manchester Metrology Ltd also supplies a new generation of scanners. The HandySCAN BLACK™ | Elite hand-held scanners continue to be the reference stand in professional, metrology grade portable 3D scanning. Now in its 3rd generation, the new HandySCAN BLACK™ | Elite has been optimized to meet the needs of design, manufacturing and metrology professionals looking for the most effective and reliable way to acquire 3D measurements of physical objects anywhere.

You can read more about all our products and services here, or please call us on 0161 637 8744.