The proliferation of 3D printing in the manufacturing sector looks set to continue as more and more companies worldwide realise the scope of its capabilities.


3D printing is of enormous strategic relevance – the technology cycle has reached a level of maturity in terms of adoption and companies can ill afford not to consider how and when 3D printing will impact their industry and business. The time to start considering this question is now.

Rapid 3D are well placed to give strategic input through their consulting services and position as thought leaders in the South African market. Rapid 3D and partner-company Kemtek Imagining Systems, are providing cutting edge 3D solutions and valuable in-depth industry expertise to offer forward-thinking to businesses and the right solutions to give them a head start.

Eleven years ago, family team David, Pauline and Bryan Bullock established Rapid 3D with just one 3D printer, a ZPrintr 310 from US-Based ZCorporation (now part of 3D systems), providing a bureau service in the Pietermaritzburg region. So successful was the fledgling venture that by the end of 2005, they had entered into an agreement with 3D Systems, and later Envisiontec, to become their South African agents, supplying systems into education, medical, industrial, automotive, footwear, and jewellery sectors, to name just a few.

In 2004, the team joined forces with Kemtek Imagining Systems, a leading distributor of printing and print-for-packaging equipment and consumables to South African Market. This joint venture has established state-of-the-art demonstration centres at Kemtek’s head office in City Deep, Johannesburg, and in Howick, Kwazulu-Natal, and most significantly, an international footprint for the company.

Fast forward to the present and Rapid 3D’s repertoire has expanded to include advanced 3D printers from the world’s leading personal and professional printer manufacturers, with a strong emphasis on applying the correct 3D Printing technology to individual customer’s requirements.

Leading-Edge Solutions And Services

Offering-solutions-release2The team’s ongoing success has been achieved by focusing on service excellence and technical expertise, providing African industries with up-to-the-minutes advice and information on the merits of adopting 3D printing.

“3D printing really shines in its capacity to customise a product to users’ requirements, and offers a range of leading-edge technologies to meet the needs of multiple markets,” comments Rapid 3D co-owner, David Bullock.

“Our broad spectrum of 3D printing and Additive manufacturing machines and associated technologies includes software solutions to leverage the power of 3D printing, including topology optimization technology from solidThinking.”

In the multi-billion-dollar jewellery industry manufacturing trade, for instance, exponential development for 3D technology and software solutions are providing artists with easier alternatives to traditional design methods, creating limitless possibilities. And designers now bringing their skills and understanding of three-dimensional forms to new tools and technology, particularly exploiting the design freedoms provided by 3D printing, and state-of-the-art software tools.

“whether customers are looking for an entry-level 3D  printer or a top-of-the-range production, our expert team can assist in finding the most advanced and effective systems for their individual needs, and areas of application,” adds David

“we have numerous 3D printers available nationally, ranging from R30 000 units to R10-million machines, depending on specific individual requirements. For those businesses wanting a bureau service, we apply our technical expertise and comprehensive industry knowledge to take a project from the design concept right through to the prototype. furthermore, we offer associated technologies and software tools to assist operators in getting the very best out of their chosen systems.”

The Rapid 3D and Kemtek team invites designers, engineers, business owners, and executives alike to visit the dedicated demonstration centres in Howick, Kwazulu-Natal, and City Deep, Johannesburg, to see why 3D printing is making a lasting impression in numerous industries.

Capabilities include the following: various plastics, including production-grade nylon; carbon fibre; glass fibre and Kelvar composites; direct metals; titanium; aluminium; maraging steels; tool steels; stainless steel; high-resolution plastics suitable for mould patterns; castable resins and waxes for high-resolution investment casting.


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