Over three days towards the end of August at the Science Museum in London, under the title “create and make - print in 3D”, a FORMIGA P 100 plastic laser-sintering machine from EOS gave the general public a glimpse into the future of manufacturing. The museum is celebrating its hundredth birthday this year and the exhibition formed part of its centenary programme.
Laser-sintering is a key technology for e-Manufacturing, ie additive layer manufacturing of 3D components from powder, based on input from a CAD system. The FORMIGA P 100 produced plastic parts in the museum’s Antenna Gallery, driven by software developed by Digital Forming (http://www.digitalforming.com)
The company was set up in November 2008 and awarded Government funding in May 2009 to develop the vision of an online platform for mass design and customisation of lifestyle products.
Digital Forming’s software allows a customer to view in 3D and personalise the core design of a product he or she is about to buy before it is manufactured, vastly extending freedom of choice. It is not just colour and material that can be changed, but also the shape of the product. Almost any item can be customised in this way, such as lamps, clocks, pens, vases, sunglasses and jewellery – even a lemon squeezer.