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We are Malcolm Nicholls Limited.
A family run prototyping and model making business.

Hi-tech rapid prototyping methods and traditional skills, coupled with integrated project management ensure that high quality prototypes are delivered on time, every time. Rapid Prototyping Experts - MNL - "A Passion for Prototypes"

More About Us

Our services.

SLA

The original professional 3D printing format, still the best for accuracy and surface finish.


SLS

3D printing technology with a great combination of surface finish and accuracy.


FDM

The ultimate 3D printing technology for strength and stability.


3D Printing

Colour 3D printing for quick 3D illustrations.

Model Making

Quality model making is the backbone of MNL. We set the standards others aspire to.


Vacuum Casting

Replication of components in PU resins to simulate most thermoplastics and elastomers.


Finishing Touches

Put fantastic finishing touches to your models with graphics, chrome finishes and many others.


Metal Castings

Castings small and intricate to large pieces are available in ferrous and non-ferous metals.

  • Vacuum cast pipework fittings repeatability of the +/- 0.05mm accuracy was paramount
    Controlled Defence
    Precision Vacuum Cast Resin Components
  • Vacuum Cast Medical Unit produced from 3D printed SLA Masters and high quality finishing
    Medical Cholesterol Measuring Device
    Vacuum Cast Assembly of Many Materials
  • Powered Golf Cart produced by 3D printing technologies and Vacuum Casting.
    Powered Golf Cart
    Many Techniques Go to Collectively Make This Prototype
  • The 2 metre diameter by 2 metre high exhibit was installed in the reception of the new Drayton Manor Hotel only weeks before its opening on the 15th August 2011.
    Drayton Manor Hotel Carousel
    MNL Goes Full Circle For 40 Years
  • Semi-Transparent SLA - 3D Printed Mr Cadbury Bust in Cadburys Boardroom.
    SLA Bust of Mr Cadbury
    A Combination of Stereolithography and MNL Finishing Excellence
  • Aerospace Booster Pump 3D Printed Model
    Aerospace Booster Pump Scaled Up Model
    Aerospace Booster Pump ModelA scaled up model to act as a training aid for aerospace technicians…. In briefCommissioned to illustrate the complex mechanical construction of various elements of the fuel delivery system for a specialised aircraft, the following four models (Model 1 of 4 shown here) were produced at twice full size and sectioned to show various internal details.Model requirements….The models were produced via SLS (Selective Laser Sintering). This method of 3D printing was chosen for its combination of durable nylon material and accuracy/surface finish. (MNL use Innov'PA 1550 for even higher levels of surface finish over other more commonly used SLS materials).3D data could not be obtained for this project, however original components could, so MNL used a combination of CAD (SolidWorks) and 3D Scanning to produce the necessary data for the SLS process.Attention to DetailThe client was an aircraft manufacturer whose small planes are known for their agile handling; their modern cockpits, make perfect trainer craft for wannabe jet pilots. Such aerobatic craft rely heavily on the fuel delivery system to provide fuel to the engine under the most demanding high "G" situations. Starving an aircraft of fuel whilst airborne is simply not an option, especially whilst flying upside-down! Attention to DetailThe client was an aircraft manufacturer whose small planes are known for their agile handling; their modern cockpits, make perfect trainer craft for wannabe jet pilots. As such the models of the key elements of the fuel delivery system will be used to train the maintenance staff whose job it will be to maintain a newly commissioned fleet of trainers for a large air force. Attention to DetailThe client was an aircraft manufacturer whose small planes are known for their agile handling; their modern cockpits, make perfect trainer craft for wannabe jet pilots. Such aerobatic craft rely heavily on the fuel delivery system to provide fuel to the engine under the most demanding high "G" situations. Starving an aircraft of fuel whilst airborne is simply not an option, especially whilst flying upside-down! Attention to DetailThe client was an aircraft manufacturer whose small planes are known for their agile handling; their modern cockpits, make perfect trainer craft for wannabe jet pilots. As such the models of the key elements of the fuel delivery system will be used to train the maintenance staff whose job it will be to maintain a newly commissioned fleet of trainers for a large air force. How it was achieved…The models were produced via SLS (Selective Laser Sintering). This method of 3D printing was chosen for its combination of durable nylon material and accuracy/surface finish. (MNL use Innov'PA 1550 for even higher levels of surface finish over other more commonly used SLS materials). 3D data could not be obtained for this project, however original components could, so MNL used a combination of CAD (SolidWorks) and 3D Scanning to produce the necessary data for the SLS process. MNL's team of skilled modelmakers then put their finishing skills into practise to transform the white nylon pieces into the models you see before you.Detailed ViewsA blue double-sided impellor. Areas of the electric motor were colour 3D-printed. A screenshot of the CAD model of the electric motor. For Protection ....To protect the models from the rigours of international transportation, purpose built flight cases were produced.
  • Aerospace Fuel Control Unit 3D Printed Model
    Aerospace FCU Scaled Up Model
    Aerospace Fuel Control ModelA scaled up model to act as a training aid for aerospace technicians…. In briefCommissioned to illustrate the complex mechanical construction of various elements of the fuel delivery system for a specialised aircraft, the following four models (Model 3 of 4 shown here) were produced at twice full size and sectioned to show various internal details.Model requirements….The models were produced via SLS (Selective Laser Sintering). This method of 3D printing was chosen for its combination of durable nylon material and accuracy/surface finish. (MNL use Innov'PA 1550 for even higher levels of surface finish over other more commonly used SLS materials).3D data could not be obtained for this project, however original components could, so MNL used a combination of CAD (SolidWorks) and 3D Scanning to produce the necessary data for the SLS process.Attention to DetailThe client was an aircraft manufacturer whose small planes are known for their agile handling and modern cockpits, make perfect trainer craft for wannabe jet pilots. Such aerobatic craft rely heavily on the fuel delivery system to provide fuel to the engine under the most demanding high "G" situations. Starving an aircraft of fuel whilst airborne is simply not an option, especially whilst flying upside-down! Attention to DetailThe client was an aircraft manufacturer whose small planes are known for their agile handling and modern cockpits, make perfect trainer craft for wannabe jet pilots. As such the models of the key elements of the fuel delivery system will be used to train the maintenance staff whose job it will be to maintain a newly commissioned fleet of trainers for a large air force. Attention to DetailThe client was an aircraft manufacturer whose small planes are known for their agile handling and modern cockpits, make perfect trainer craft for wannabe jet pilots. Such aerobatic craft rely heavily on the fuel delivery system to provide fuel to the engine under the most demanding high "G" situations. Starving an aircraft of fuel whilst airborne is simply not an option, especially whilst flying upside-down! Attention to DetailThe client was an aircraft manufacturer whose small planes are known for their agile handling and modern cockpits, make perfect trainer craft for wannabe jet pilots. As such the models of the key elements of the fuel delivery system will be used to train the maintenance staff whose job it will be to maintain a newly commissioned fleet of trainers for a large air force. How it was achieved…The models were produced via SLS (Selective Laser Sintering). This method of 3D printing was chosen for its combination of durable nylon material and accuracy/surface finish. (MNL use Innov'PA 1550 for even higher levels of surface finish over other more commonly used SLS materials). 3D data could not be obtained for this project, however original components could, so MNL used a combination of CAD (SolidWorks) and 3D Scanning to produce the necessary data for the SLS process. MNL's team of skilled modelmakers then put their finishing skills into practise to transform the white nylon pieces into the models you see before you.Detailed ViewsThe cranked inlet was modelled in SolidWorks, including threads. Careful masking ensured crisp edges of paintwork. Even the holes where inspection wires were threaded were not missed out. For Protection ....To protect the models from the rigours of international transportation, purpose built flight cases were produced.
  • Aerospace Delivery Jet Pump 3D-printed Model
    Delivery Jet Pump Scaled Up Model
    Aerospace Delivery Jet Pump ModelA scaled up model to act as a training aid for aerospace technicians…. In briefCommissioned to illustrate the complex mechanical construction of various elements of the fuel delivery system for a specialised aircraft, the following four models (Model 2 of 4 shown here) were produced at twice full size and sectioned to show various internal details.Model 2 of 4Model requirements….The models were produced via SLS (Selective Laser Sintering). This method of 3D printing was chosen for its combination of durable nylon material and accuracy/surface finish. (MNL use Innov'PA 1550 for even higher levels of surface finish over other more commonly used SLS materials).3D data could not be obtained for this project, however original components could, so MNL used a combination of CAD (SolidWorks) and 3D Scanning to produce the necessary data for the SLS process.Attention to DetailThe client was an aircraft manufacturer whose small planes are known for their agile handling and modern cockpits, make perfect trainer craft for wannabe jet pilots. Such aerobatic craft rely heavily on the fuel delivery system to provide fuel to the engine under the most demanding high "G" situations. Starving an aircraft of fuel whilst airborne is simply not an option, especially whilst flying upside-down! Attention to DetailThe client was an aircraft manufacturer whose small planes are known for their agile handling and modern cockpits, make perfect trainer craft for wannabe jet pilots. As such the models of the key elements of the fuel delivery system will be used to train the maintenance staff whose job it will be to maintain a newly commissioned fleet of trainers for a large air force. Attention to DetailThe client was an aircraft manufacturer whose small planes are known for their agile handling and modern cockpits, make perfect trainer craft for wannabe jet pilots. Such aerobatic craft rely heavily on the fuel delivery system to provide fuel to the engine under the most demanding high "G" situations. Starving an aircraft of fuel whilst airborne is simply not an option, especially whilst flying upside-down! Attention to DetailThe client was an aircraft manufacturer whose small planes are known for their agile handling and modern cockpits, make perfect trainer craft for wannabe jet pilots. As such the models of the key elements of the fuel delivery system will be used to train the maintenance staff whose job it will be to maintain a newly commissioned fleet of trainers for a large air force. How it was achieved…The models were produced via SLS (Selective Laser Sintering). This method of 3D printing was chosen for its combination of durable nylon material and accuracy/surface finish. (MNL use Innov'PA 1550 for even higher levels of surface finish over other more commonly used SLS materials). 3D data could not be obtained for this project, however original components could, so MNL used a combination of CAD (SolidWorks) and 3D Scanning to produce the necessary data for the SLS process. MNL's team of skilled modelmakers then put their finishing skills into practise to transform the white nylon pieces into the models you see before you.Detailed ViewsEven the holes where inspection wires were threaded were not missed out. Vacuum Metallizing was used to give a realistic look to metal components. every last detail was modelled on this assembly in SolidWorks. For Protection ....To protect the models from the rigours of international transportation, purpose built flight cases were produced.
  • Power from Waste 7
    Power from Waste
    Power from WasteArchitectural model for the Environmental Industry…. In briefMNL produced a lightweight scale architectural model for the Environmental Industry, utilising 3D printing, predominantly SLA/Sterolithography and SLS/Selective laser sintering. The model was produced in record time ready for a publicity day the following week. Model requirements….The model needed to be capable of illustrating the new technology to be used at the plant whilst demonstrating how the logistics of waste delivery to the plant is handled. The scale of the model needed to be large enough to show detail, yet small enough to enable the show piece to fit in a car. The perfect size combination chosen was approx 1.5m x 1.2m. The model needed to be lightweight for portability and colour coded to demonstrate the specifics of the processes that make up the recycling plant. The model needed to be produced in just over a weeks’ time and built to a limited budget.Urgent TimelineScaled down simplified data of the engineering plant was broken down into many sections representing the differing areas of the plant. Several SLA printers and SLS printers were utilised simultaneously to speed up the process. Urgent TimelineOnce the pieces were built, supports were carefully removed. As budget was limited, parts were given a light sandblast and a quick coat of paint, the colour depicted the various sectors of the plant.The parts were mounted to a custom built display board. All in all the project was completed in just over a week Urgent TimelineScaled down simplified data of the engineering plant was broken down into many sections representing the differing areas of the plant. Several SLA printers and SLS printers were utilised simultaneously to speed up the process. Urgent TimelineOnce the pieces were built, supports were carefully removed. As budget was limited, parts were given a light sandblast and a quick coat of paint, the colour depicted the various sectors of the plant.The parts were mounted to a custom built display board. All in all the project was completed in just over a week How it was achieved…The model was essentially 3D printed using SLA models in an ABS type material, SLA being one of the most accurate processes and giving the best surface finish, for this project parts came straight off the machine with just support structure removed and spray painted the various colours as seen in the photos. There was little surface finishing done to the SLA models apart from a light sand-blast to key the surface ready for acceptance of paint. You may note that the large domes have no visible stepping at all. These were produced via 3D printed SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) MNL SLS material has an improved surface finish as the particle size of the powered is small thus improving visible surface area. and were the only areas that had some hand finishing by MNLs in house model making team to remove the stair stepping effect from the layering process. Detailed ViewsAreas of the machine, printed, supports removed and no surface finishing. Gantry pieces, no finishing, straight from the SLA machine. After printing this close up shows the layers from the process. Not all projects require detailed surface finishing. The brief here was to produce a visual representation of the processing plant. The various differing processes of the plant were colour coded, indicating which areas did what.Why MNL?....One of the key facts for using MNL expertise was cost and time. Utilising MNLs in house 3D printing systems, both Sla and SLS, parts were produce in a very tight time frame. Five of MNL's in-house 3D printing machines were utilised at the same time to manufacture printed parts thus producing printed parts in only a matter of a few days. Having a full team of model makers at MNLs disposal meant that as parts came off the machine they could be either hand finished or sprayed to the exact colour spec required , the base board was produced traditionally incorporating roadways, trees etc, making this an exact scale model. The entire project was completed from data to desk in just over a week.In conclusion....Almost anyone can 3D print a model it’s what you do with it after is where MNL stands out from the crowd, with a selection of 3D Printing processes and a skilled model making team, make for a perfect project partnership.
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Find us.

Waterloo Industrial Estate, Bidford-on-Avon, Warwickshire B50 4JH


Call us.

01798 490382


Email us.

info@mnl.co.uk