A Short History of 3T RPD
Since its establishment in 1999 3T RPD has been at the forefront of Additive Manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing. The company began as a Service Bureau, making Plastic Rapid Prototypes and Metal Rapid Tooling.
Since then we have gone from strength to strength and now is probably a good moment to look back at our development since then.
- 1999 – As an innovation company, 3T RPD aptly started life in an “incubator unit” on the Greenham Business Park, part of the former Greenham Common Airbase which had closed as a military base in 1993. We started with one plastic AM machine.
- The company name was derived from three T’s (Training, Technology & Techniques) and RPD to describe Rapid Product Development.
- 2001 – 3T RPD celebrates the tripling of its capacity with the installation of a 2nd EOS P360 and a DTM Sinterstation.
- 2002 – We print the panels of a SMART car which is used as a proof of concept for the possibilities of Additive Manufacturing in the Automotive industry.
- 2003 – The company opens its in-house spray shop which is the forerunner of our extensive metals and plastics finishing capabilities today.
- 2004 – 3T installs its first EOS P700, then the world’s largest dual laser sintering machine.
- 2005 – Dr Ian Halliday becomes CEO.
- 2006 – 3T moves their plastic production and offices into part of a new purpose built facility.
- 2007 – We fully occupy our new facility when we launch our new metals production capability (the building later grew by a further 35% in 2013).
- 2007 – We receive ISO 9001:2000 Certification.
- 2009 – We gain ISO 13485 accreditation for medical products.
- 2009 – We begin to look at the opportunities for AM in the Formula 1 industry. This begins a relationship that continues with the company becoming a major supplier to many Formula 1 teams.
- 2011 – The world’s first ever AM printed UAV is manufactured for Southampton University. The UAV known as SULSA is still in service and in 2016 was found working with the Royal Navy in the Antarctic.
- 2012 – 3T emphasises its commitment to the Aerospace market by gaining AS9100 accreditation.
- 2013 – The company is honoured to make the head of the Queen’s Baton for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The Baton was taken around the world through every Commonwealth country and was even featured in the 2014 Queen’s broadcast.
We appear at 5.00
- 2013 – 3T was a major contributor to a 9 month exhibition at The Science Museum in London. Entitled 3D: Printing the future, we built over 150 parts in various colours.
- 2014 – As part of our commitment to the Aerospace industry, we launch a Flame Retardant Nylon material to our range of plastics.
- 2014 – 3T become the first company to be able to manufacture pure copper items using Additive Manufacturing. This gives us a significant technical advantage in AM and opens up a number of key markets to the company.
- 2015 – The company shows that there is no limit to where AM production can go as we produce our space approved part for use in satellite manufacture.
- 2016 – Expansion continues as 3T occupies a new 10,000 sq. ft. building allowing the company to ramp up its metals manufacturing capacity.
- 2017 – We begin to serve our European and Japanese customers with Japanese, German and French language brochures, and we launch new websites in Japanese, German and French.
- 2017 – 3T RPD becomes a ‘one stop shop’. The opening of a full metal finishing and heat treatment facility complements our manufacturing and front end capabilities.
- 2017 – We launch our online plastic product ordering system, allowing our customers to buy directly online and pay by credit card.