For over a decade we have led the way as an ‘equal access for all facility’ offering not only one of the broadest selections of production quality 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing processes within any academic institution but also bespoke drop-in and one-to-one support and consultancy for academic projects across the entirety of the RCA.
With a history of working with external partners on academic collaborations, museum projects and projects for local enterprises, RapidformRCA actively supports emerging talent and business through its bureau service, available to all alumni, academic staff and research projects.
We welcome proposals for consultation with our technical specialists from all creative fields, including fine art, design, architecture, conservation, medicine and engineering.
Technologies currently in use include high-end prototyping equipment from Stratasys, 3D Systems and Solidscape, as well as high-definition and colour 3D Scanning from Artec.
Available 3D printing technologies
- SLA Resin
- Polyjet Resin
- SCP Wax Printing
- CJP Plaster Powder (Colour)
- FDM Plastics
Alumni access to RapidFormRCA
Alumni are eligible to access RapidFormRCA bureau service at a discounted rate. RapidFormRCA offers high-end 3D printing, 3D scanning and software processes for digital, and physical rapid prototyping and making.
Available 3D printing Technologies
- SLA works by selectively curing a photosensitive epoxy resin (either clear or white) with an ultra-violet laser – wherever the laser touches the surface of the resin, it turns from liquid to solid.
- Positives: high levels of definition and accuracy, excellent durability – parts are ideally suited to downstream applications such as silicone moulding
- Largest model size: 250 x 250 x 235mm
- Over 90 nozzle jets selectively lay down layers of photosensitive Acrylic resin which are immediately cured by two high-intensity UV lightbulbs.
- Positives: very quick build cycle resulting in high-definition parts. The default material is a matte white resin. Often used to create functional end-use parts.
- Largest model size: 490 x 390 x 200mm
CJP Plaster Powder
- A binder is printed onto successive layers of white plaster powder. Once the part has been built it can then be infiltrated with either Cyanoacrylate or an epoxy resin to give strength.
- Positives: Full-colour parts. Very quick and easy to use.
- Largest model size: 380 x 250 x 200mm
- ABS/PLA of TPU plastic filament is pushed through a heated nozzle and extruded in a molten state, layer by layer, cooling to form a solid plastic part.
- Positives: Durable, accurate and cost-effective. Expect a slightly rougher surface finish than that of a resin print.
- Build volume: 350 x 250 x 350 mm
- Builds very high-resolution wax parts, which are used as masters for investment casting processes.
- Positives: very fine resolution in 12 micron layers, direct metal casting from the part with no intermediate steps needed.
- Build volume: 150 x 150 x 150mm (not advised to print parts larger than 50mm3)