Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section of A2O Manufacturing.

Here, we aim to address some of the most common inquiries and concerns you might have about our 3D printing services. Whether you’re new to 3D printing or an experienced user, these answers will help you understand our processes better, ensuring a smooth and satisfying experience with us. If you have any questions that aren’t covered here, please feel free to contact us for more information.

What other areas (outside of 3D printing) of Advanced Manufacturing do you cover?

Apart from 3D printing, our advanced manufacturing capabilities encompass a range of technologies and processes. These include:

The accuracy of 3D printing depends on the printer technology and material used. Generally, technologies like SLA and SLS can achieve very high precision, often within 10’s of microns. FDM printers have slightly lower accuracy but are still suitable for various applications. We’ll help you choose the best technology based on the accuracy required for your project.

Yes, you can. We offer a variety of 3D printing materials, each with different properties such as strength, flexibility, thermal performance, and more. Depending on your project’s requirements, we can guide you in selecting the most suitable material.

Certainly, while the range of colours depends on the chosen printing technology and material, we offer various colour options. For some technologies, like FDM, you can choose from various coloured filaments. For others, like resin-based printing, we can paint the models in your desired colour post-printing.

Yes, most 3D-printed parts can be painted or glued. Depending on the material of your print, we recommend specific types of paints and adhesives. If you need assistance with post-processing, our team is here to help.

The build volume of our printers determines the maximum size of a 3D-printed part. We can provide you with the specific dimensions for each type of printer we use. For larger parts, we can print in sections and then assemble them.

3D printing and prototyping are excellent for quickly turning designs into physical models, testing the form and fit of components, developing prototypes for presentations, or making functional parts for testing purposes. Compared to traditional manufacturing methods, they significantly reduce development time and cost.

The surface finish of a 3D printed part varies based on the printing technology and material. Technologies like SLA and SLS typically produce parts with a smoother finish than FDM. However, post-processing techniques such as sanding and polishing can be used to achieve a smoother surface on parts printed with any technology.

Yes, size limitations exist due to the dimensions of our 3D printers. The build volume of our printers constrains the maximum size, while the resolution and precision of the printing process determine the minimum size. Please contact us with specific dimensions, and we’ll advise on feasibility.

Support material is used in some 3D printing processes to uphold overhanging structures during the printing process. It’s later removed post-printing. This material is essential for maintaining the integrity and accuracy of complex designs.

We accept various 3D file formats, including STL, and STEP. If your file is in a different format, please let us know, and we can guide you on how to proceed.

Absolutely. If your 3D file has issues or is not optimised for printing, our team can work on repairing and preparing it for a successful print.

Yes, we can assist in creating a 3D model based on your descriptions, sketches, or existing physical parts. Once the model is developed, we can provide a pricing estimate.

Certainly. We respect the confidentiality of your designs. An NDA can be arranged to ensure that your proprietary designs are handled with the utmost security and discretion.

Cancellation policies depend on the stage of the order. If production has not yet begun, cancellation is more feasible. Please contact us as soon as possible to discuss cancellation terms.

Our team can evaluate your design for printability, considering factors like material choice, geometrical complexity, and structural integrity. Feel free to send us your design for a professional assessment.

We aim to accommodate a wide range of projects, but there may be a minimum charge based on the complexity and size of the printing task. Please contact us with your project details for more specific information.

Yes, advanced manufacturing allows for the use of a combination of materials. This multi-material approach enables the creation of complex components with varied properties in different sections. For instance, a part can be designed with both rigid and flexible sections or with different thermal or electrical properties, enhancing its functionality. Techniques such as multi-material 3D printing and composite material fabrication are common in achieving this.

Absolutely, 3D printing can be performed using metals. Metal 3D printing, also known as metal additive manufacturing, involves processes like Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS), Electron Beam Melting (EBM), and Metal Binder Jetting. These technologies enable the creation of high-strength, complex geometries in metals such as titanium, stainless steel, aluminium, and even precious metals like gold and silver. Metal 3D printing is widely used in aerospace, automotive, and medical industries.