Sepura uses 3D printing 

Telecommunications specialist Sepura invested in a Stratasys J35 Pro PolyJet 3D printer last November to speed up its prototyping process from two weeks to one day.

The J35 Pro is a compact device that will fit into office environments.

Sepura, which is based in Cambridge in the UK, designs and makes digital mobile radio products, systems and applications that have been used in various applications, including for police, public transport, fire and ambulance services. The company was founded in 2002 and employs a 150 strong R&D team. 

Sepura has used the J35 Pro to produce a number of prototypes, including test models for the latest generation of radios and functional test pieces for battery development.

Robert Wright, Principal Mechanical Design Engineer at Sepura, explained: “We were already familiar with the benefits of 3D printing having used Stratasys’ PolyJet technology in the past. The J35 Pro adds another important layer to our existing 3D printing capabilities – not only can we now cost-effectively create true-to-life prototype models in-house, but we have also cut our production time by 90%, which is more than we could have ever imagined.”  

The J35 Pro is a compact machine that is virtually silent in use and without any odours so it fits easily into an office environment. It also requires very little maintenance thanks to a rotating build tray that minimizes moving parts. It can be loaded with up to three materials, and these can be printed separately for single material parts or combined on the same model part to create various effects. These can include greyscale colour or transparency as well as texture but could also allow for moving parts, which together help create realistic models. It uses a soluble support material that makes post-processing simple.

Paul Tindall, head of R&D for Sepura, noted: “We have found Elastico material to be particularly beneficial – we are able to produce sealing prototypes that simulate the look, feel and function of rubber and can withstand repeated flexing and bending.”

You can find further details from sepura.com and on the 3D printer from stratasys.com.


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