Woodbridge engineering firm showcases room-filling 3D printer

Woodbridge engineering firm showcases room-filling 3D printer

A Woodbridge engineering firm has installed a new sand-printing 3D printer – which is so huge it fills an entire room.
Brafe Engineering, in Grundisburgh Road, will use the high-tech gadget to create specialist moulds made out of sand to pinpoint accuracy.
Molten metal is then poured into the moulds, with the unique components produced then used in some of the most sophisticated machinery in the world – from nuclear power stations to submarines.

Chris Pritchard, head of machining at Brafe, said: “All the components are designed by the customer and printed with fine silica sand with a very high melting point.

“The 3D printer is very much like an inkjet printer – it applies layers of sand until the mould is created.
“The printer will reduce the time it takes to create a mould, cutting down the time our customers have to wait to get their vital parts.
“In the competitive markets we supply parts to, time is of the essence.”

The huge, high-tech machine was delivered several weeks ago but the company had to clear and repurpose a room at its headquarters near Woodbridge to accommodate it.
Engineers at Brafe have been putting the new kit through its paces, creating a host of intricate models and sculptures.
Brafe is currently running training sessions for employees across the business, to give them an understanding of what the machine is capable of.

Not only does this help staff get to grips with how to operate the machine, but the feedback received will help guide how to make the most out of it.
Adam Dalby, Managing Director at Brafe said: “At Brafe, we are always looking to see what the next leap in technology will be.
“Innovation is key to a company like Brafe, and we are committed to pushing the industry forwards.
“The new 3D printer will dramatically reduce the time it takes to make even the most complex of moulds, meaning we can deliver products to our clients even quicker.
“It has been great to see the 3D printer in action and it will be fascinating seeing what this piece of technology can do.”
For more information on Brafe visit https://brafe.engineering

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