Paragon Rapid Technologies
At Paragon we help you bring your products to the market. Working with your design and development teams, we can offer support throughout the product development process. From providing initial models for design sign off, prototypes to check fit and function or for research, right through to low volume manufacture of the final product, we can help you ensure that you launch the best version possible of your product. Post-launch we can provide accurate scale or cutaway models for Marketing and exhibitions too.
Expertise across industries
We work with a wide range of companies with one thing in common – that they strive to produce the best products in their particular markets.On any given day you might find us working with a Formula One team to produce parts for that week’s race as well as producing fillable bottle prototypes for a shampoo manufacturer and a model of a subsea submersible for an exhibition. And that’s just a small selection of what we do.
At Paragon, our focus is on using rapid prototyping processes to provide both prototype and low volume production solutions to our growing customer base. Our technical expertise is supported by continual investment in new technologies and machinery to ensure Paragon remains an industry leader. The recent opening of a second site dedicated to CNC machining is indicative of the company’s year-on-year growth.
Digital Light Synthesis™ (DLS)
We’re excited to announce that we have become the first UK production partner for US-based additive manufacturing experts, Carbon.
The addition of ground breaking manufacturing technology, Digital Light Synthesis™, compliments our growing 3D printing facility, and enhances our additive manufacturing capabilities to supply end-use parts from a wide range of industrial grade materials.Unlike conventional 3D printing systems, Carbon’s CLIP process manages a liquid gradient using light and oxygen to create robust parts with mechanical properties and surface finish that reflect injection molded plastics. Now our customers can have 100’s or even 1000’s of production parts, very quickly and without the need for tooling.
The type of 3D printing technology chosen for a product development project is determined by its intended purpose, or final application. Process suitability can change along the design and development stages depending on functional requirements. Stereolithography is ideal for concept models, fit, form and functional testing, as well as master models for casting processes.
Laser Sintering (LS / SLS)
Laser Sintering , also known as Selective Laser Sintering is an extremely cost effective 3D printing solution for the production of robust parts using a variety of materials. It is ideal for 3D printed components with complex geometries and parts with internal cavities.
Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
Paragon has extended its Additive Manufacturing offering to include Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology. This Stratasys-patented 3D printing method can deliver complex parts made from high quality, durable, production-grade thermoplastics suitable for high temperature applications.
In this process, parts are formed through the extrusion of thermoplastic material according to 3D CAD data. Many entry-level 3D printers today still rely on FDM, which originally gained a patent in the early 1990’s. Parts made from FDM are often used as Concept models, Rapid Prototypes or as Low Volume Production due to the impressive mechanical and thermal properties of the thermoplastics used.
Rapid Precision CNC Machining
Complex parts can be CNC machined from a wide range of composites, plastics and metals with additional options for wire and spark eroding where necessary. Our growing, dedicated CNC machining facility located near our head office on the outskirts of Darlington produces components for prototyping and low volume batch manufacture, as well as patterns, tools and Jigs and Fixtures.
CNC machines are programmed by our dedicated team using advanced Autodesk, PowerMILL and PowerSHAPE software. Being ISO 9001 approved further ensures that high quality components are machined every time.
CNC Machining for Pattern Making and Tooling
Our CNC machines also produce large master patterns for both Vacuum Casting and RIM moulding processes, which sometimes offers a more cost effective solution than some of the 3D printing laser processes. Alternatively, we can machine the mould tools directly from high density model boards or aluminium. Tool life into low hundreds can be achieved depending on choice of moulded material as well as superior part accuracy.
CNC Machining for Gauges, Jigs & Fixtures
We can design, manufacture and assemble a range of customised jigs and fixtures to enhance your manufacturing process. Our expanding engineering team offers mechanical design support and 3D Scanning capabilities to support your product development process. Working with our CNC experts, all gauges, jigs and fixtures are developed to fit your exact specification, complying with stringent quality standards for complete confidence in achieving durable, stable and repeatable parts.
Paragon's Vacuum Casting service offers you the opportunity to have production intent components using an unrivaled range of rigid and elastomeric polyurethane resins. Vacuum casting produces parts from materials with a variety of mechanical, chemical or aesthetic properties, allowing you to adapt the specification to suit your exact requirements. PU castings through this process can replicate virtually any production material, including polypropylene, polycarbonate, ABS, nylon and silicone rubbers. Parts can be used as rapid prototypes for fit and function testing, one-off marketing and sales aids, or even as low as a volume production alternative.
Reaction Injection Moulding (RIM)
For higher volume requirements of 50 up to several hundred, we offer RIM (Reaction Injection Moulding) solutions. This process is the moulding of PU components through a low pressure injection system. One of the main benefits is that the tooling can be tailored to suit the project and we have a combination of solutions available which are determined by the complexity and the quantity of parts required.
We produce tools from reinforced silicone, grp, epoxy or machined from composite materials. All of our tooling processes offer good surface finish and part accuracy and also allow the overmoulding of threaded inserts or support substrates etc.
Although the RIM process can often produce up to 1000 mouldings from a tool, we've found through experience that it's really only cost effective up to about 300 units, before considering injection mould tools, but this does vary across projects. It's ideal for high value, niche products or for initial product launch to test the market before committing to full production tooling.
Our versatility lies within our staff and their skill and experience. We regularly call upon their more traditional skills to combine with our state of the art technologies to produce complex, scaled, exhibition, display and architectural models. We have found that processes such as Stereolithography and Selective Laser Sintering can give very quick, accurate and cost effective solutions for producing some of the more complicated and organic geometries, but when brought together by our modelmakers with more traditional machining, fabricating and casting processes it allows a flexible solution for almost any kind of exhibition modelling.
We have created everything from transparent acrylic assemblies to complex cut-away turbine models, blue foam concepts, to fully painted scale replicas, architectural site models to TV props. Models can be scaled up to demonstrate a very small component or alternatively scaled down to illustrate a very large product or architectural site.
Many of the models we produce are simply replicas of the original but at a fraction of the weight allowing for easier handling and transportation. Therefore it is important that we can create specific surface finishes such as cast steel or brushed aluminium to make the models look real or authentic.
Graphics can also be applied to represent screen or tampo printing, creating product branding control legends, etc.
Two Shot Moulding
Using the vacuum casting process we successfully simulate two shot injection moulding. Excellent results have been achieved by moulding elastomer materials onto rigid plastic components for applications such as razor handles, rubber shrouds and robust electronic enclosures.
The process can also be used to produce split colour components such as automotive lenses, where both elements are cast in the same material but in different colours. Components such as metal fixtures and fittings, threaded brass inserts, electrical contacts and metal substrates can all be encapsulated into the vacuum castings to give additional strength and functionality.
These over-moulding techniques can also be applied to our silicone moulding process allowing us to manufacture components with integral silicone seals or produce silicone components with embedded electronics or mechanical substrates. More recently we have supplied silicone aero gaiters with encapsulated carbon fibre substrates to a number of F1 teams for both testing and race use.
Paragon is uniquely placed to offer a high quality prototype silicone service.
Using a combination of Stereolithography, CNC cut ureol, aluminium, epoxy and Polyurethane tools we can mould or vacuum cast silicone rubber components for prototype, pre production samples and low volume production. We have invested in a dedicated department for the manufacture and on-going development of silicone components.
We offer a range of silicones from 10 shoreA to 70 shoreA and pigmentation is also available. Keymats can be produced, incorporating carbon pills for use in electronic assemblies. Silicone parts can be produced in multiple shots to create colour breaks and in addition silicones can be overmoulded over polyurethane, composite or machined substrates for such products as hand grips, baby soothers, medical devices and motorsport components.
Our silicone tooling technologies allow us to perfectly replicate master patterns in Polyurethane, creating multiple reproductions. We can carefully control the split lines in the tooling and accommodate complex geometries through the use of tooling cores and inserts. The high quality silicones used give excellent surface definition of any texture or polished finish.
This is a very quick and efficient tooling process offering yields of approximately 25 parts from a tool (depending upon part geometry and grade of resin used)
The operating temperatures of the tools are carefully controlled to maintain dimensional accuracy and the processing temperature negates any shrinkage of the PU castings, therefore all master patterns are produced at 1:1 scale.
Silicone Tools for vacuum casting can be produced up to 1750mm x 850mm x 450mm.
We also use silicone tooling for our RIM (Reaction Injection Moulding) process. The tools are of similar construction, however they require the reinforcement from an integral plywood casing, in order to withstand the internal pressures of the moulding process and maintain dimensional stability.
Jigs, Fixtures and Gauges
Paragon’s significant manufacturing experience means we are able to offer support throughout the product development process.
We can design, manufacture and assemble a range of customised jigs and fixtures to enhance your manufacturing process. This includes Nesting Jigs, Alignment jigs and Holding or Assembly Fixtures.
Where your customer requires manufactured parts to be measured, inspected or checked against original specification, we can also supply a range of precision gauges; such as sight gauges, gap and flush gauges and Go-No Go Gauges.
Paragon’s team of expert machine operators use the latest CNC machinery and advanced Delcam, PowerMILL and PowerSHAPE software, alongside our growing in house CAD capability. All gauges, jigs and fixtures are developed to fit your exact specification, complying with stringent quality standards for complete confidence in achieving durable, stable and repeatable parts.
3D Scanning for CAD-based Inspection
Our portable, high-precision 3D measurement device from FARO means that we are able to maintain our superior product quality through digital verification.
As part of our quality assurance process, we use the 3D scanning equipment to compare components to their original CAD data and evaluate any deviations in form. This ensures that every part produced is within specified tolerances. We can also perform non-contact 3D part inspections, if the component is particularly fragile or complex. Using the portable ScanArm, we can provide Quality and Validation reports to support every inspection.
HAAS UMC-750 5-Axis, 12,000 rpm. Materials include Hardened Steel, Aluminium, ABS, Ureol, Foam, Nylon. Sizes up to: 762 x 508 x 508.
HAAS SUPER MINIMILL 2 3 Axis, 10,000 rpm. Materials include Hardened Steel, Aluminium, ABS, Ureol, Foam, Nylon. Sizes up to: 508 x 406 x 356.
HURCO VM20i 3 Axis, 10,000 rpm. Materials include Hardened Steel, Aluminium, ABS, Ureol, Foam, Nylon Sizes up to: 1016 x 508 x 508.
HAAS VF 6SS 3 Axis, 12,000 rpm. Materials include Hardened Steel, Aluminium, ABS, Ureol, Foam, Nylon. Sizes up to: 1626 x 813 x 762.
SLA NEO 800 x 2 - Sizes up to: 800mm x 800mm x 600mm
Wide range of materials are available offering a variety of thermal and mechanical properties, suitable for concept models, master patterns and functional testing. Resins include Class VI rated Watershed® XC11220 for optical clarity, water resistance and good dimensional stability.
SLA 5000 x 2 - Sizes up to: 500mm x 500mm x 500mm
SLA 250 x 2 - Sizes up to: 250mm x 250mm x 250mm
SLS Sinterstation 2500 HiQ x 3 (One with digital upgrade). Materials include Nylon PA650 standard (White) and Nylon PA615 (Glass-filled) and sizes up to: 330mm x 280mm x 400mm
Digital Light Synthesis™ M2 Printer x 2 for industrial grade PU components. Materials include RPU: Rigid Polyurethane - Versatile, tough and rigid and EPU: Elastomeric Polyurethane - Highly elastic, tear resistant and resilient.
MTT001 x 4 for pigmentable production parts to RAL, BS, Pantone references. Sizes up to: 1720mm x 800mm x 450mm (1 Pour). Quantities of 1-30 per mould. Over 30 materials are stocked ranging from 42-95 Shore A hardness rubbers to rigids that simulate PP, GFN, VO and ABS type grades. Specialist materials are available upon request.
Parts can be coloured as required and medical grades of silicone are available. Hardness varies from 10 shore A to 60 shore A. Silicones can be overmoulded on to rigid substrates. Gaiters, seals, Hoses, Face masks, Protective boots, Keypads, Grommets, Diaphragms.
Reaction Injection Moulding (RIM)
Tooling & Moulding Metermix PAR50 x2 Materials available include High Impact & High Temp PU to GFN and some Rubbers. Parts can be coloured but there are sometimes limitations to colour range available.
Measurement, Inspection and Reverse Engineering Portable FaroArm CMM Allows 3D part inspections through a comparison of components to their original CAD data, by undertaking exact measurements and wider digital analysis. Full PPAP documentation is also available.
Durham Tees Valley Airport
- Number of employees
- 51 - 100
Darlington-based 3D print specialists Paragon Rapid Technologies believes it is the only service provider in the World to have three industry-leading NEO800 3D printers from UK manufacturer, RP Support.
Using the Stereolithography (SLA) process, all three machines are running WaterShed® 11122 material to produce clear, durable, water-resistant components with high dimensional stability.
As the first UK production partner for US-based additive manufacturing experts Carbon, service provider Paragon is moving from prototype to production with its new 3D printing technology, Digital Light Synthesis™ (DLS)