VEKA Group has produced what is believed to be the UK’s very first fully operational 3D-printed window.
The industry-leading PVC-U systems company invested in a BlackBelt 3D printer, which recently saw VEKA Group print a full-sized M70 casement window.
Head of Technical Paul Kennington explains: “We invested in this top-of-the-range 3D printing technology because it offers significant benefits for our customers, particularly for prototyping. It means we can create and test the viability of potential new products immediately, for a fraction of the cost associated with traditional prototyping. We can anticipate where efficiencies can be made and solve any potential problems long before we get to the more involved tooling design stage.
“The unique thing about VEKA Group’s printer, compared to others we’ve used in the past, is that it can print to any size. So rather than creating a ‘scale model’ of something, we can actually produce a ‘like for like’ physical product that customers can get to grips with. For example, the fully functioning M70 side-opening casement we’ve 3D printed is life sized and we’ve been able to fit it with all the relevant hardware. It’s already been used for demonstration purposes on a number of occasions.