Shaping and forming

shaping and forming 2 hero

The performance of materials depends on the processing technique used for their fabrication. Designing with this in mind can provide major business benefits.

Materials selection, shaping and properties are key parameters that need to be considered when selecting a process for making a product. A wrong choice here could have significant consequences for the product’s viability.

We can help identify and evaluate potential shaping and forming processes for you to de-risk your product development decisions.

We are also building capability in a number of product development processes that are new or poorly used in New Zealand, with the goal of helping businesses use these processes to give them a competitive edge in the global marketplace.

Case studies

SEKI- Earplug formulation

Business Challenge
Creating a water resistant, biodegradable earplug for SEKI to prevent surfer’s ear.

What we did
We formulated the product for them based on their desired performance specification, then scaled this up to pilot scale production.

Business outcome
SEKI is now generating early sales of the earplug still at pilot scale stage, with a potential $100 million market ahead in the USA, South Africa, NZ and Australia.

Fused filament fabrication

Fused filament fabricationBusiness opportunity
Many NZ companies have polymer 3D printers but cannot afford complex metal 3D printers. Fused filament fabrication (FFF) technology allows the use of inexpensive FFF printers with a specially designed metal binder composite filament to produce dense metal or ceramic parts.

What we did
Working with overseas partners we have made near-net-shape complex metal parts with properties comparable to parts formed using existing additive manufacturing technologies.

This new and emerging additive manufacturing technique allows design possibilities that cannot be achieved by traditional manufacturing.

Powder injection moulding

Powder injection mouldingBusiness opportunity
Shape complex parts from a range of advanced metal and ceramic materials using powder injection moulding methods.

What we did
Produced fully-dense metal and ceramic injection-moulded parts exceeding industry standard properties.

A precision-shaping technology is now available that can be applied to titanium alloys, stainless steel, low alloy and tool steels, inconel, carbides, copper, alumina, zirconia and many other materials. This allows us to provide prototyping capabilities to enable demonstrations of new product designs, materials and performance.

Simulation and design

Simulation and designBusiness opportunity
Reduce cost and time by trialling designs in a virtual environment.

What we did
Modelled the compressive properties of a porous metal structure, then validated the model by fabricating and testing a 3D-printed part.

There was a very close alignment found between the compressive behaviour of the model and the fabricated part. This allows the structure’s behaviour to be predicted and therefore components made with exactly the desired properties.

Ceramic Injection Moulding NZ

Business Challenge
A startup company specialising in metal injection moulding wanted to see if it could provide high performance ceramic parts to customers.

What we did
We optimised thermal processes to give properties exceeding those of conventional ceramic parts.

Business outcome
This young company is now able to offer ceramic injection moulded parts to clients.

Understanding chemical processes

Business Challenge
A staff member was hospitalised after being exposed when an electrode baking process went wrong in the factory.

What we did
We replicated the process in an experiment, then analysed the chemical changes and gases emitted.

Business outcome
The client has implemented more controls around the baking process now that it has a greater understanding of the gases produced at the time, ensuring the safety of their workers.

More case studies

To read more case studies, click here.