Well we didn't win the TCT Award but Materialise NV have done a nice feature on the project
When a nuclear facility is shut down, a painstaking process is initiated to dismantle the facility and clean up any remaining nuclear material so it no longer poses a threat to safety. This process requires a lot of sampling to determine the radiation levels contained within various materials at a site and traditional methods are very labour- and time-intensive. Viridian Consultants – experts in instrumentation solutions for the nuclear sector – saw an opportunity to improve this process. In collaboration with Quigley Design – a product design and development company out of Shrewsbury, UK – they created the game-changing ViridiScope System.
As Quigley emphasizes, “this particular project was actually ideal for [using 3D printing] because it was a low volume, high value product and it had to be nylon because of the nuclear disposal route.” And because of the use of 3D printing, as each iteration of the scope was tested, pieces could be tweaked and improved quickly, with no stop point in development. “It’s been a good project to demonstrate the application of end-use additive manufacturing and it’s a very diverse project — it’s not one or two parts, the whole system was done using AM and we really couldn’t have done the project if we hadn’t have used it.”
When performing proof of concept work, it can be very difficult to make changes to your design as you go, and the cost is often prohibitive to not getting it right the first time. That’s why Quigley chose to use Materialise OnSite for this project. Dedicated fast-lane machines ensure short lead times for a wide range of technologies and materials.
By choosing to use Additive Manufacturing for the development of the ViridiScope, Viridian saved approximately £200,000 in total production costs and reduced their time to market by almost three years.