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How Goodwin PLC and sheet metal fabrication saved Christmas

How we delivered intricately detailed sheet metal Christmas trees on a tight timeline.

The breakdown


Goodwin PLC


Staffordshire, UK


Sheet metal fabrication


Sheet metal SS 304 and brass

Surface finish

Deburred and polished mirror finish with high cosmetic standards


Mechanical & refractory engineering

Why Protolabs Network?

Goodwin PLC needed to manufacture 1,000 highly detailed Christmas trees as gifts for its customers and Hubs was able to ensure the trees were manufactured to spec and on time (and Christmas is saved)

Goodwin PLC is a UK-based umbrella group that encompasses a range of manufacturing organizations specializing in mechanical and refractory engineering. Ryan Burgin acts as Senior Design Engineer at one of those companies – Goodwin International, a mechanical machine shop that creates pumps and valves for engineering applications.

As the holiday season approaches, Burgin has been tasked with something a bit out of the scope of his normal duties: the manufacture of 1,000 sheet metal Christmas trees that will be sent to Goodwin PLC’s customers. To do so, he turned to the network.

Goodwin PLC – and, by proxy, Burgin – became familiar with our service through its collaboration with Duvelco, a newly established Goodwin organization that creates high-performance polymers suited to high-temperature, demanding applications, such as plastic bushes inside jet engines.

“We’d already saved a substantial amount of time through the service, as the network created all the production parts for Duvelco itself, from small, sheet metal tabs, to orifice plates, to parts for robotic vacuums,” Burgin said. “It’s quite a wide range of parts – and these were parts that were new to us and that we’d never manufactured before. That’s why we originally went with the network – because they had expertise in those areas.”

Sheet metal Christmas trees, however, are a different ballgame. They aren’t necessarily more complex than the parts and components created for Duvelco, but the trees that Goodwin PLC requested are highly detailed – with chemically etched surfaces, polished mirror finishes, stainless steel sheet metal tops, brass sheet metal bases, and deburred edges. Perhaps most importantly, the trees – all 1,000 of them – needed to be shipped to Goodwin PLC quickly, so that the company could deliver them to its customers before Christmas.

“We had a test piece done via our local sheet metal manufacturer and the quality was absolutely shocking – in a bad way,” Burgin said. “All the other projects we’ve worked on with the network, however, had been up to scratch and were really good quality, so we ended up going with them in the end. We thought we could guarantee the trees would be high quality and that they would get it right the first time.”

Burgin’s instincts proved correct. The last of the Christmas trees have been shipped to Goodwin PLC, meaning Goodwin PLC’s customers have a high-quality surprise in store this holiday season. 

The project’s success also bodes well for Goodwin PLC’s and our platform's continued partnership, Burgin said.

“With the network, the quality has always been top-notch, and the parts have always been correct. There’s been no faults whatsoever that I can think of. We plan to use their services a lot more with the other companies within Goodwin PLC,” he said.