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Rapid Prototyping (RapidformRCA)

Rapid Prototyping at the RCA is the central knowledge hub and go to facility for all 3D printing and scanning requirements within the College.

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 enterprise, Rapid Prototyping at the RCA 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, medical and engineering.

In addition to the technologies outlined below, we also offer haptic devices for digital sculpting, specialist high definition laser scanning and user friendly colour scanning, as well as a host of specialist 3D software.

Available Technologies

SLA (Stereolithography Apparatus)

  • 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 240 mm

Objet™ 'Polymerjet' Resin Models

  • 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 ABS like parts. Default material is a matte white resin but alternative options include flexible, opaque or translucent resins for an additional fee.
Largest model size: 490 x 390 x 200 mm

3D Systems ProJet® 660Pro Full Colour Power printer

  • A binder is printed onto sccessive layers of plaster powder. Once the part has been built it can then be infiltrated with either Cyanoacrylate (like Superglue) or an epoxy resin to give strength.
  • Positives: Full colour parts. Very quick and easy to use.
  • Largest model size: 381 x 254 x 203 mm (15 x 10 x 8 inches)

FDM Stratasys Dimension Elite (Fused Deposition Modeling)

  • ABS 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 to that of a resin print.
  • Build volume: 203 x 203 x 305 mm

SolidScape Wax Printer

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 150 mm

MCor Paper Printer

  • Will mechanically cut and glue successive layers of A4 paper, forming a solid 3D part.
  • Positives: low cost and comparatively a more environmentally friendly process.
Max part size: 256 x 169 x 150 mm

Contact Rapid Prototyping RCA

+44 (0)20 7590 4337
[email protected]


+44 (0)20 7590 4337
[email protected]