Digital Mixing Consoles: SLS for Prototypes & Jigs


From large stadiums to intimate live performance venues, sound engineers require optimal digital mixing consoles for live sound, and many rely on technology produced by DiGiCo, Chessington, UK.

DiGiCo is recognised as a world leader for live audio mixing, and their consoles — which have been used on many musical theatre productions, on tour, on Broadway and on the West-end — and are renowned for their industry leading sound quality and ease-of-use. From compact and affordable solutions all the way up to the pioneering power of systems designed for large stadia, DiGiCo is recognised for the workflow, the feature-set, and the absolute reliability that the world’s biggest tours rely upon.

DiGiCo works with 3DPRINTUK to produce 3D printed prototypes of parts (once prototyped to be injection moulded at volume), and some jigs.

3DPRINTUK prides itself on meeting and exceeding customer expectations, and the company invests in new equipment and technologies as a response to market and specific customer demands. 3DPRINTUK is positioned as a leading expert in the use of polymer powder bed fusion 3D printing technologies in the United Kingdom, predominantly through the use of EOS Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) machines, and also via the HP Multi-Jet Fusion technology. Using these two alternative technologies means that 3DPRINTUK has a broad base and can cater for a wider array of customer applications and specific application demands. In addition to the HP machine, 3DPRINTUK has 12 EOS Formiga machines in-house, capable of running 24/7.

DiGiCo typically uses SLS for its prototyping requirements as Lewis Bannochie, Senior Mechanical Engineer explains. “We use 3D printing as a prototyping technology to test and prove parts before they are manufactured at volume via injection moulding. We find that parts made using the SLS process exhibit the surface finish and high strength that we require most cost-effectively. We have also found SLS to be a reliable technology, and the parts that we receive from 3DPRINTUK are delivered to us as they were originally modelled, with good tolerance attainment and geometries conforming to original design intent, which is of course extremely important.”

3DPRINTUK is continually investing in new 3D printing machines, new post-processing equipment, and the introduction of new materials, all part of an on-going program of expansion stimulated by the demands of its customers. The company continues to be at the vanguard of the use of 3D printing for prototyping and production applications, and it aims to lead the way as more and more companies explore the use of 3D printing for an array of applications. The company also prides itself on its sophisticated on-line quotation system, which was a key reason that DiGiCo decided to work with 3DPRINTUK, as Bannochie explains.

“We selected 3DPRINTUK for a variety of reasons. Obviously, the company has tried and tested expertise in the SLS process which we deem to be the one that gives us the part attributes that we require, and they produce quality parts. But 3DPRINTUK is also the most competitive on price. The real winner, however, is the on-line quotation system, which is simple and easy to use. In fact, the whole experience of using 3DPRINTUK can be summarised as user-friendly and simple.”

One of the core principles of 3DPRINTUK is a pragmatic and honest approach. The company works with customers like DiGiCo to illustrate when and why 3D printing will work for them, and is also not shy to advise when it may not, something that cannot be said of all service providers working in the 3D printing space. Companies need professional guidance and advice, and they need to partner with honest brokers, who they will continue to work with into the future if outcomes match or often exceed their expectations.