The easiest way to start appreciating the advantages of Additive Manufacturing is to use technology to make production aid tools. Support brackets, drilling jigs, spacer elements are examples of useful everyday industrial parts that can simplify mass production.
The production chain remains unchanged while the boundary activities are streamlined
Industrial 3d printing technologies can significantly impact on a wide range of production criticalities. A wide range of possibilities and with such important effects can raise barriers to adoption because of the certain change in mentality necessary to benefit from all the advantages of the additive.
Rapid Tooling can be considered a soft approach precisely because it makes more efficient in terms of time and costs a series of activities and contour equipment that, by their very nature, do not change the complex production chain for the construction of an industrial product produced in series. Less value in strategic and innovation terms, more elements to touch the benefits of additive industrial manufacturing.
The 4 immediate benefits you will go to using Additive Manufacturing for Rapid Tooling
There are 4 types of benefits that you can benefit from using industrial additive manufacturing for production aid tools:
- reduction of the production time of the tool
- cost reduction
- functional improvements
- possibility ofpersonalization
The production through traditional technologies of an aid tool provides dilated dead times necessary to coordinate phase by stage the different actors or suppliers who, starting from the design, can realize the component. Producing in additive focuses more on the processes in machine time and the use of industrial-class plants makes it possible to maximize the benefit.
Costs are often considered a weak point in industrial additive manufacturing. However, there are several factors that must be taken into consideration when comparing additive manufacturing and traditional approaches; as, for example, the reduction in the amount of waste and material used or the absence of the need to make molds when it comes to small production batches.
The Industrial Additive Manufacturing finds however maximum expression in the functional improvements and in the possibilities of extreme personalization. The opportunity to create lightened structures that retain the same mechanical and resistance properties can bring advantages on the production lines. The benefits derived from the greater simplicity of movement of the tool are important both in the case of work carried out by robots and in case of human intervention. Extreme customization can also solve tolerance problems on the supply of raw materials as you can read in the example below, which tells of the experience of a line for the printing and drying of perfume bottles.
The Fortus 900 is the perfect system for Rapid Tooling, let's find out why
The Stratasys Fortus 900 is, at the moment, the system on the market that allows the realization of the larger FDM monolithic components (up to 914.4 x 609.6 x 914.4 mm). Our FDM department is equipped with 3 systems that can work simultaneously on different elements of the same definitive piece which, subsequently, can be assembled in the modeling and finishing department. Fortus 900 allows the use of high performance materials with excellent resistance and thermal stability such as ULTEM® 1010 and ULTEM® 9085 ideal when the environment of use is at high temperature or when the instrument produced must be subjected to continuous mechanical stress.
Simplify screen printing thanks to Industrial Additive Manufacturing
Some time ago a customer approached us with a specific problem: the raw material he uses is usually supplied with very large tolerances as regards thermal expansion. This custom makes the size of the perfume bottles that produces slightly different depending on the batch of raw material used. From the point of view of the finished product there are no problems: a few millimeters of difference is not sufficient to create differences in perception of the container of the essence.
The problem arises in the painting and drying phase for which a tool is needed which places the object in a particular orientation.
Using traditional technologies the customer was obliged to build or adapt a mold and start a substantial production so as to reduce the costs of the single tool for support. This method made it necessary to store unused supports and to carefully select the raw material in order to guarantee the highest possible homogeneity.
- Costs for creating the mold
- Costs of the warehouse for the conversation of production surpluses
- Less choice between raw materials
Rapid Tooling through Industrial Additive Manufacturing has made it possible to resolve or mitigate the above problems by counting on the extreme personalization of the support and on the economic advantage of producing only the parts strictly necessary for production. In this way the cost has become directly attributable to the production lot without risky calculations related to the depreciation of the mold or to the spaces necessary for the storage of the tools in case of waiting for use.