Corporate culture

The founding of One3D Ltd.

01. June 2015 The founding of One3D Ltd.

We try our hand at additive manufacturing

A small step for humanity, but a giant leap for One3D. On June 1, 2015, a new chapter of our story unfolded: One3D Ltd. was founded. We believe that the connection and cooperation with many of you will lead to many successful projects.

The founding of one3d ltd.

The main specialization of One3D Ltd. is the Selective Laser Sintering technology, which can be used during any stage of the development cycle of a product, from prototyping all the way to manufacturing of complete, functional parts in single units or small-scale volumes. In the Czech Republic, one of the most important industries that utilizes the SLS technology, particularly for rapid prototyping, is the automotive industry. For this reason, One3D works with leading companies in the field of car lighting equipment, enabling design engineers or test engineers to order and receive a complete headlamp in a matter of days. In addition to manufacturing, our company also provides a wide range of final part surface finishes, including those most frequently used for prototype parts and components.

History of additive manufacturing

In 1996, doctors in the Wilford Hall healthcare center in Texas attempted to separate Siamese twins. They assumed that only one of the twins would be able to walk after the operation. “When we created a model of the girls’ bone structure using 3D printing, we discovered that the shared upper limb bone was larger than expected and we successfully bisected it – which meant both of the girls could walk,” explained Chuck Hull—known as the father of 3D printing—about his astonishment over the feat his own idea accomplished.

Hull, who received a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics, was working for a small company in the early 1980s which used UV light to harden thin layers of plastic veneer for tabletops and furniture. Just like others in his field, he was frustrated that the production of small plastic parts for prototyping new products could take up to two months. He began to spend his free nights experimenting in his small laboratory. When he discovered a new application for the UV technology – rapid transformation of digital designs into functional prototypes – he called his wife and dragged her to his lab, still in her pajamas, and she became the first person to see his new invention in action.

Patent No. 4.575.330 saw the light of the day on March 11, 1986.

The founding of one3d ltd.

Image source: European Patent Office

There was an earlier attempt to register this patent in 1981 in Japan. But Japanese doctor Hideo Kodama was not able to finish his work due to lack of finances. Three years later, the same fate struck also the French trio of Jean-Claude André, Olivier de Witte and Alain le Méhauté.

The SLA technology

Stereolithography (SLA) uses materials, which are collectively called “photopolymers” (a resin). Usually, these are materials based on acrylic, which is liquid until it gets exposed to ultraviolet light. Once it does, it immediately hardens. In simple terms, you take a tank full of this liquid, an ultraviolet light source (most often a laser, alternatively a digital projector) and then, layer by layer, you transform the liquid into a solid piece of plastic. This method of additive manufacturing is one of the oldest ones, but it is still quite popular—it can provide both smooth surfaces and sharp details.

SLS technology

The selective laser sintering (SLS) technology uses a high-power laser to fuse grains of powdered material one thin layer after another on the cut surface according to a digital model. This technology is suitable for moving parts, bendable joints and parts with highly complex geometries. Unlike the SLA technology, it does not require any support structures and the parts can be manufactured one above the other. The parts are durable and functional, with a short delivery time and reasonable price.

 

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