3D Prototype Printing at Optima

At Optima we have always embraced the most recent innovations in digital technology and rapid prototyping. Over the years have utilised a wide range of ‘RP’ techniques from Stereolithography, Laser Sintering and Silicone tooling to Machining and Casting, to ensure the products we develop are fully realised both aesthetically and functionally.

As part our ongoing commitment to new technology we recently purchased a desk-based 3D printing machine to fill the gap between full functional prototypes and presentation models, and experimental housings and mechanisms. After some initial trials with the machine settings and build characteristics we feel we have a setup capable of  ‘proof of concept’ models, from enclosure covers and components, to snap fits and mechanisms.


We have found it particularly useful to build oversize components to analyse mechanical characteristics and to assess viability, not least in solving an existing problem with an electronic enclosure clip features. The machine has a build size of approx 170mm x 300mm x 120mm and can build in a variety of PLA resin materials of varying colours and characteristics. This includes a transparent resin, flexible resin and even a glow-in-the-dark luminescent variety!


The machined looks like it will be an excellent addition to our design capabilities and will allow for prototyping timescales to be significantly reduced, especially on parts which require a variety of development and test phases, prior to pre-production prototyping.

For more information on our inhouse engineering capabilities and prototyping partners please contact us at sales@optima-design.co.uk.

January 23, 2014 by Steve Walker