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Author: Jackie Cook

Addparts set to make its mark at PPMA

Addparts set to make its mark at PPMA 1Addition Design, an innovative design and additive manufacturing business, is gearing up to introduce a brand-new service at this year’s PPMA Show.

AddParts, delivered exclusively by Addition Design, supplies digital spares for automated production lines on demand through the use of 3D scanning, digital data management and industrial 3D printing. It gives customers across a number of sectors a competitive advantage by reducing downtime on automated production lines.

Based at the Advanced Manufacturing Park Technology Centre in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, Addition Design was one of the first businesses in the country to invest in the exciting new 3D technology and spark the start of the AddParts service.

Addparts set to make its mark at PPMA 2The investment in new equipment, and in subsequent expert personnel, complements AddParts unique methodology of unlocking the benefits of industrial 3D print technology to provide new opportunities and deliver even higher performance components with reduced lead time offering a really focussed solution that manufacturers can truly benefit from.

Tom Fripp, director at Addition Design said: “With over 25 years of 3D design experience, a custom-made design and production facility and a dedicated quality management system our world-class design services deliver the broad range of quality products, devices and components demanded by the world in the 21st century. We provide solutions that require production ranging from a one-off piece to tens of thousands of parts and beyond.

“To build on this work, over the last year we have invested heavily in three key areas of our business to create AddParts. This includes the high-res 3D scanner which quickens downtime for customers as well as a portal system providing a virtual stock room of components and in-production technology to ensure the back-end processes run as smoothly as possible.

“We’re really excited to now be in a position to showcase what our new service can offer and the PPMA Show gives us the perfect opportunity to demonstrate this end-to-end process. Customers will be able to see for themselves how AddParts can supply accurate, durable replacement components in days, not weeks as our team will have the 3D scanner on the stand with them.

“We’re looking forward to showing what we can do at PPMA and meeting as many people as possible.”

AddParts will be on stand F11 throughout the PPMA Show.


Growing Rotherham business expands its team

An innovative design and additive manufacturing business based in Rotherham has added a key appointment to its team.

Dr Clint Bainbridge, from Chesterfield, has joined Addition Design’s AddParts team as a 3D printing technician which sees him take responsibility for the smooth-running of the print process and delivering customer requirements to spec and on time.

The company, based at the Advanced Manufacturing Park Technology Centre, was one of the first businesses in the country to invest in new 3D technology and continues to push the boundaries to give customers a competitive advantage by reducing downtime on automated production lines across a number of sectors through the AddParts service.

Dr Bainbridge, who has degree and PhD in Polymer Science from Manchester Metropolitan University, has worked in product design, materials and engineering for over 12 years including his last position at a R&D spinout company in Oxford looking at treating pyrolysis oil in order to turn plastics back into oil and ‘close the loop’.

Dr Bainbridge said: “As a material scientist, I’m interested in learning all about additive manufacturing and design for additive manufacture. As part of my new role, I’m looking forward to processing the prints for our customers – from parts for customer products to virtual inventory of digital spares which customers have stored on our portal.

“It is my responsibility to load and unload the printers and post-process parts once removed from the printers including breakout, blasting and dyeing. Along with this, I’m looking to make improvements to the materials that the company uses, making them more suited to meeting the customer’s needs. I also get involved in the assembly and dispatch of parts to customers when ready so there has been a lot to learn!

“I’m really happy to be here and joining Addition Design at a time where the business is looking to expand and grow in new areas.”

Tom Fripp, director at Addition Design said: “We are really pleased to welcome Clint to Addition Design. He comes with a wealth of experience in the engineering, materials and design field which is of great benefit to us as we look to build on our innovative use of cutting-edge 3D printing across the UK’s medical, and pharmaceutical industries in particular.

“Our investment in new equipment and personnel complements our unique methodology of unlocking the benefits of industrial 3D print technology and has provided us with new opportunities to be able to deliver even higher performance components with reduced lead times. Our team are a critical part of this and our future success. To have Clint on board is great for us and our customers alike.”


Investment in cutting edge technology at Addition Design

A Sheffield based design and additive manufacturing business has invested £35,000 in cutting edge 3D scanning technology that will reduce downtime on automated production lines across a number of sectors.

Addition Design have bought a handheld HandySCAN 3D Silver Series Scanner, meaning they can visit clients and scan the replacement parts on site further reducing production line downtime.

Tom Fripp, director at Addition Design said: “We are thrilled to introduce this advanced 3D scanning technology to our operations. With this investment, we can help our customers further reduce downtime by eliminating the need for them to send us their components for reverse engineering. Instead, our team can travel to our customers’ automated production lines, scanning parts on-site and significantly reducing the time lost in transit.”

The company, based at the Advanced Manufacturing Park Technology Centre, has expanded its scanning capacity and is already working with clients in the Pharmaceutical and Food sectors to deliver this improved service.

“The scanners’ accuracy and versatility allow for the capture of detailed scan data, enabling the production of high-quality components and parts with exceptional precision.

“We chose to invest in a blue light scanner as this particular piece of technology can scan all sorts of different materials at once making it superior to the traditional red-light scanners.

“By visiting our clients on site we can also scan more parts for them and these then go onto their customer portal and a series of digital spares are created that they can access and order with ease.

“We are already reducing the times for replacement parts from the traditional ten weeks to under two weeks and this new scanner means that customers can expect their replacement parts within 5-7 days,” added Tom.

The strategic investment in the 3D scanner marks an important milestone for Addition Design, enabling them to build on their reach in various industries, particularly, sectors such as pharmaceuticals, food production, and medical devices, where precision and quality are of paramount importance, will benefit from the company’s advanced 3D scanning capabilities.

South Yorkshire’s Master Cutler visits innovative design and manufacturing business

Dame Julie Kenny DBE DL, Master Cutler and Mistress of Hallamshire, Rachel Abbott, visited an innovative design and additive manufacturing business at the Advanced Manufacturing Park Technology Centre, in Rotherham, this week.

The visitors met the team at Addition Design and were shown the company’s latest innovative practices.

Tom Fripp, director at Addition Design said: “It was a real honour to welcome Master Cutler, Dame Julie and Hallamshire Mistress Rachel to our facility at the Advanced Manufacturing Park Technology Centre.

“We were able to show them how our innovative use of cutting-edge 3D printing is being used to improve the quality of change parts and format parts that we now produce for medical, and pharma manufacturers throughout the UK.

“They were very interested to see how we use the technology as part of a suite of advanced digital technologies to create like-for-like replacement components in days, rather than weeks, saving our customers the significant costs of expensive downtime.

“The new equipment and our unique methodology of unlocking its benefits have given us new opportunities to be able to deliver even higher performance components with reduced lead times.”

Addition Design was one of the first businesses in the country to invest in this new technology and continues to push the boundaries with it to give customers a competitive advantage.

Master Cutler, Dame Julie Kenny said: “It was great to meet Tom and the team and to see the investment that the business has made in new machinery.

“We were very impressed to see both the Stratasys and Prodways machines and enjoyed seeing these in action and to exploring some of the complex components produced.

“There are so many opportunities for this technology, particularly for automated production lines in pharmaceuticals, packaging and food and drink production lines. We look forward to seeing what Addition Design do next!”

Addition Design set to 3D Scan parts at this year’s Automation UK

Yorkshire based Addition Design are taking their 3D scanning technology to Automation UK to showcase the benefits of their services for companies who use automated production lines.

The innovative design and additive manufacturing business is aiming to show visitors to the inaugural event just how easy and time-saving using 3D scanning, virtual stock holding and industrial 3D printing of machinery parts can be in the bid to reduce downtime.

“We are thrilled to be part of Automation UK 2023,” said Tom Fripp, director of Addition Design.

“This event will serve as a platform for industry leaders to showcase their latest offerings and drive the adoption of robotics and automation in the UK. Addition Design is committed to empowering businesses with advanced solutions that enhance productivity and give a competitive advantage.”

Automation UK will take place on June 20 and 21 in Coventry and Addition Design will be offering to produce 3D scans of parts from their stand at the event.

“We’re really looking forward to showing visitors, and other event exhibitors, the capabilities of our 3D scanning system which is the starting place that enables companies to establish an AddParts virtual inventory which, when also combined with our industrial 3D printing service reduces replacement component supply from weeks to days,” added Tom.

Automation UK is organised in partnership with the British Automation & Robot Association (BARA) and the Processing and Packaging Machinery Association (PPMA). As a member BARA of the Addition Design is excited to showcase its innovative technologies and services at stand A14.

Addition to exhibit at Automation UK 2023

Addition will be exhibiting at the first ever Automation UK event on 20th and 21st June 2023 at CBS Arena in Coventry on stand A14.

On the stand Addition will be offering companies chance to have their components scanned which can then be digitised to create the virtual print ready model for production. Typically, parts can be back on site ready for fitting in under 7 days.

Addition will be offering companies a chance to have a component 3D scanned and added to their own virtual inventory on the stand. Components which have been 3D scanned at Automation UK 2023 will receive a 10% discount when they are ordered.*

Automation UK, the new exhibition highlighting the importance of robotics and systems integration to the future growth of the UK economy, is poised to be a sell-out event as the countdown to the show enters its final weeks. Taking place at the Coventry Building Society Arena, between 20th-21st June 2023, the unique event highlights the latest products, developments and solutions in robotics and automation, with solutions on display for visitors to improve efficiency and productivity in their operation.

Owned and organised in conjunction with BARA (British Automation & Robot Association), the event is designed to promote the use of, and assist in the development of, industrial robots and automation in British industry. Being owned by the industry, for the benefit of the industry, means there are many BARA members exhibiting – each showcasing their latest products and services, with experts on hand to offer advice and support.

Big names exhibiting include ABB, CKF, FANUC, Festo, KUKA Robotics, Mills CNC, Piab, Pilz Automation, RM Group, Schubert and Yaskawa. Joining them will be nearly 40 other companies all active in the sector and looking to raise their profiles and generate new business.

To find out more and book your free place to attend please visit

Addition are members of PPMA (Processing and Packaging Machinery Association) and BARA (British Automation and Robot Association)


*One component only per company. The 10% discount is against the price when the component is ordered for the first time only which will include our standard reverse engineering fee. New customers only.

Addition Design to exhibit at Making Pharmaceuticals

Addition Design will be exhibiting at Making Pharmaceuticals at Coventry Building Society Arena on 25th and 26th April 2023 on stand 761, alongside Chester Medical Solutions.

Director, Tom Fripp will be presenting on ‘Using the three pillars of 3D printing to support pharma manufacturing’ at 9.50am on Tuesday 25th April and at 2.00pm on Wednesday 26th April in the Manufacturing and Packing Theatre as part of the show.

Regardless of technology, there are always considerations for any manufacturing process to get the best from it. This unique presentation, delivered by an internationally recognised 3D print expert with 20 years of experience in 3D printing describes how transformative the power of 3D printing can be when applied correctly and how these same principles are already being adopted by the pharmaceutical industry to drive profitability, productivity, and business risk reduction.

Making Pharmaceuticals is a free-to-attend exhibition and multi-stream conference that will bring together the key decision makers and innovators from across the pharmaceuticals sector to discuss key topics including pharmaceutical research, testing, production and distribution. Key areas on the exhibition floor include, cleanrooms and hygiene, laboratory, processing and machinery, ingredients and raw materials and pharmaceutical manufacturing. The exhibition and conference is co-located with Distributing Pharmaceuticals.

To find out more and book your free place to attend visit the website


Sheffield 3D printers flying high after bird tracking project

The creator of the world’s smallest and lightest low power GPS tracking technology has commissioned a Sheffield-based 3D printing firm to produce the lightweight plastic housings required to protect its pioneering bird tracking devices from diving pressure and beak damage.

PathTrack, based in Otley, has partnered with Addition Design – a 3D printing company based at South Yorkshire’s Advanced Manufacturing Park – to produce housings for the company’s avian tracking GPS devices to sit in.

Made using a fully traceable industrial grade of nylon, each housing is designed chiefly to protect the GPS components from damage caused by the pressure of oceanic depths in some cases and potential damage from birds with strong beaks in others, enabling researchers to monitor and track a greater number of migrating species across the globe.

Tom Fripp, director at Addition Design, said: “We’re really proud to be working with PathTrack – a fellow Yorkshire company doing some really groundbreaking, important work in the field of avian science.

“The brief was to create plastic housings for the GPS devices to sit in when they’re attached to birds, so we needed to produce something extremely lightweight, waterproof and very hard-wearing.

“The result has been fantastic and it’s wonderful to think our work is playing a part in helping researchers learn more about bird migration around the world.”

PathTrack is renowned for producing the world’s smallest GPS tracking technology, revolutionising avian tracking science by enabling a greater range of bird species to be monitored, thanks to its unique lightweight devices.

Al Matthews, production technician and 3D designer at PathTrack, said: “Partnering with Addition Design on the production of our GPS device housings has already resulted in further innovations and we are enthusiastic about working on many more projects together.

“We’re proud to provide researchers with the world’s smallest GPS tracking technology and we’ve made a real impact in the field of avian tracking science by producing technology that can be applied to a very diverse range of bird species, both on land and in water, from large raptors to penguins, as well as tiny swifts and swallows.

“Because of this, we tasked Addition Design with meeting our very specific range of requirements, both in terms of materials used and, importantly, the weight of the housing.

“We’ve been impressed with their flexibility, communication and, importantly, the product created, which will continue to assist us in helping researchers around the globe track migrating birds, capturing vital data and science for our planet.”

Addition Design offers innovative design solutions to solve complex engineering problems or to help develop customers’ concepts into a prototype and on to manufactured components, all supplied under an ISO9001 quality management system.

Picture: Copyright Richard Phillips, BAS, 2023.


Why industrial 3D printing is the medicine the UK pharma industry needs

Opinion piece published in the March 2023 edition of Process & Control Today magazine

In the post-pandemic world, where the shockwaves of Brexit continue to ripple through the supply chain, fast-paced innovation within the 3D printing sector is helping the UK’s pharmaceutical industry to keep moving, as Tom Fripp, director at Sheffield-based 3D printing firm – Addition Design, explains:

Why industrial 3D printing is the medicine the UK pharma industry needs 3

It’s no secret that supply chains around the globe are feeling the strain. Turbulent trading conditions caused by a whole host of unprecedented challenges facing society at present mean most industries are needing to adapt fast and seek out new ways to overcome the hurdles of doing business in today’s markets.

The UK’s pharmaceutical industry is no exception.

On the back of a perfect storm which saw both the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit, manufacturers within the sector are reporting lead times for format and change parts of up to 15 weeks, making production line downtime an incredibly expensive and often unaffordable occurrence.

However, innovation within the 3D printing sector is meaning that increasingly, machine lines don’t have to grind to a halt.

With the capability to design and reverse engineer like-for-like components here in the UK, using raw materials sourced from within the country, we’ve been able to cut machine line downtime from 15 weeks to just five to seven days in some cases.

It’s a huge impact, considering the cost of downtime in a high value sector such as pharmaceutical can be as much as £15,000 a day, and it makes the business case for industrial 3D printing a very promising one indeed.


Material gains

Advances in 3D print systems are opening up a whole world of opportunity and enabling companies such as ours to produce the often large and robust change and format parts required by pharma, as well as to utilise higher performing materials capable of replacing metal parts and the Polyoxymethylene (POM) typically used by OEMs.

Why industrial 3D printing is the medicine the UK pharma industry needs 4Nylon is very good at replacing POM-based components like for like, and we’ve just invested more than £100,000 in a new Stratasys F370®CR FDM® Composite Printer, which enables us to print carbon fibre reinforced components.

Both of these materials are much more lightweight than their more traditionally manufactured counterparts, meaning reduced machine wear and a longer lifespan for production equipment, saving maintenance and replacement costs in the future.

Utilising these materials also means organisation’s engineering teams can input into the design process. After all, the highly-skilled engineers who set up pharmaceutical production lines know their machines inside out and are often able to make design suggestions that not only replicate but further enhance the finished component, sometimes incorporating multiple functions in one.


Navigating regulation and IP

Why industrial 3D printing is the medicine the UK pharma industry needs 5Of course, when it comes to replicating parts and manufacturing components for existing equipment, questions are often asked around how 3D printing can comply with necessary pharmaceutical regulation and navigate the issue of intellectual property (IP).

On the latter, it is rarely an issue. This is because more often than not, companies are seeking replacement parts to fulfil functions that are not core to the OEM’s design and therefore exempt from IP ownership. For example, star wheels or guide parts.

Equally, the machine for which the replacement part is being made for is usually out of warranty, too, with 3D printing increasingly turned to as a way of extending the usability of older production line equipment.

With regards to regulatory requirements, we also find that compliance issues are few and far between as the accuracy of 3D printing means components are often like-for-like in their size and shape and all the materials we use have full traceability, thanks to our own quality management procedures.

However, whether it’s determining IP restrictions or ensuring compliance requirements are met, working closely with a clients’ quality management team remains a vital part of the industrial 3D printing process.

Any duplication project should start with a site visit and a data capture exercise to review the machine and the components that are needed before the CAD process to replicate them even begins. From this, certificates of conformity can be produced after production and quality assurance clarity and detail provided where necessary.


Future thinking

Why industrial 3D printing is the medicine the UK pharma industry needs 6While it’s been around for a while now industrial 3D printing is evolving fast and, on the back of the pandemic and Brexit, more and more industries are awakening to the commercial benefits it has to offer.

From the rapid turnaround time for replicating critical components, to the exciting advances being made in printing technology that mean materials such as carbon fibre can be used to produce high performance parts, 3D printing is truly asserting its place at the industrial engineering table.

And, for an industry as heavily regulated and as high-worth as the pharmaceutical sector, it’s proving to be a lifeline.

Machine downtime can cost pharma companies hundreds of thousands of pounds, thanks to ever increasing supply chain delays on the continent.

Reverse engineering using pioneering 3D printing techniques eliminates this, cutting lead times, improving lifespan and reducing costs.

And, at such a challenging time for industry, that’s exactly what the doctor ordered.

You can view the online edition of Process & Control Today here 

Click on the image below to download the PDF of the article.

Why industrial 3D printing is the medicine the UK pharma industry needs 7

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