Sonic Communications Cuts Product Development Time by 75% with Mark3D UK and Markforged

Sonic Communications Logo

The Company in Focus: Sonic Communications

Based in Birmingham in the UK, Sonic Communications designs products for specialist audio and surveillance equipment made directly to technical specifications. Established in 1977 and with more than 100 employees, Sonic has hundreds of customers including the UK Ministry of Defence, the Royal Navy, and police forces around the world. By reliably providing technical equipment and customising to meet customer requirements, Sonic have established themselves as a capable and trusted supplier in their field.

The office of Sonic Communications, a customer of Mark3D UK who purchased Markforged 3D Printers

Specialist Designs for Specialist Requirements

Sonic Communications (Int) Ltd is a market leader and global supplier of specialist equipment, solutions and services, for the Police, Military, Government and Industrial sectors, with over 40 years’ experience. A key part of Sonic Communication’s success is their attention to detail and the requirements of their customers.

Sonic training events are bespoke to each client’s requirements, and so are their products. With the purchase of 11 Markforged 3D printers, installed and facilitated by Mark3D UK Limited, Sonic Communications have been able to impress customers with rapidly produced prototypes. “The curves and texture make it easier to handle and more ergonomic. The customers love them,” said McDonald. “Once they see and feel a 3D printed part, they want a second one.”

A sonic communications product that was printed using a Markforged 3D printer, supplied by Mark3D UK Limited
Sonic Communications product, 3D printed on a Markforged printer, supplied by Mark3D UK

At a glance

  • 75% Time Saving Developing New Products

  • Rapid Prototyping to Secure Prospects

  • Dependence on Machine Shop Reduced

  • 3D Printers Running 24/7

  • Employees Trained in Markforged Technology

  • Installation, Training and Support by Mark3D UK Limited

Plug inputs on a Sonic Communications device, 3D printed by a Markforged 3D printer, supplied by Mark3D UK Limited

Complementing Conventional Manufacturing Methods

Many of Sonic’s employees have been working for the company for over 30 years, and while they were willing to listen to new ideas, there was a need to prove 3D printing would be fit for purpose before more of their workforce would adopt the technology.

To help win them over, Sean and Kevin worked with Darren, a new manager in the vehicle bay. As a big user of the machine shop, Darren was looking for newer ways of doing things, hoping to speed up some of their processes. Together they developed products using Markforged printers that the team could immediately use in specialised police and military vehicles.

Darren is now using Markforged as his go-to technology for product development, increasing his team’s productivity by relying less on the machine shop. He is now adapting a box so the holes are where he needs them, rather than having to start from scratch each time to CNC machine it. And, most importantly, he is empowering his team to do the same – saving time and increasing their productivity.

Unlocking New Possibilities with Flexibility of Design

In just six months, Markforged has already helped Sonic create products— like the EHIU3 application box and their new In Line Nexis push-to-talk button, which connects a single or dual radio to a headset. They can now go from design to final product in a quarter of the time it would have taken to create the same product using their machine shop.

Thanks to the speed and agility of 3D printing, Sonic now creates new product families – small variations to existing products that allow customers to tailor their products for the perfect fit.

To keep on top of their increased customer orders and ensure they can fulfil them as they come, Sonic is running their fleet of Mark3D UK installed Markforged printers 24/7.

Download Full Case Study PDF

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