3D printing

Possibilities of 3D printing

The use of a 3D printer has become almost indispensable in development and prototyping. With the help of this process, it is possible to produce individual pieces from plastic in a very uncomplicated and cost-effective manner. Previously, when plastic parts were needed, elaborate moulds had to be produced first. This was time-consuming and subsequent modification was correspondingly expensive. 3D printing is therefore predestined for single pieces and small series of plastic components. Our designers are thus able to realise our customers' ideas within a very short time and implement changes efficiently.


Rapid prototyping in 3D printing

Rapid prototyping is the umbrella term for various processes for producing sample components based on design data. This therefore combines techniques that make it possible to produce prototypes of products quickly and cost-effectively. It is often used in product development to test the functionality and durability of prototypes and to make improvements before the final product goes into production.

A major advantage of rapid prototyping is that prototypes can be produced within a few days, which greatly speeds up the development process. This offers the possibility to produce several prototypes in a short time and test them extensively to achieve the best possible result. Although it takes considerably longer to produce a single part using the 3-print process than with injection moulding, it still makes a lot of sense for short runs. After all, once the printing process is complete, you already have a finished plastic component in your hands.

Only the surface structure of the product from the printer has a coarser structure than that of the injection-moulded parts. To create an effect comparable to that of injection moulding, the printed product is finished, for example by grinding. Especially for workpieces where haptics and optics are in the foreground and for light guides from 3D printing, it is also important for sample production that a surface structure is achieved that corresponds to the later series product.


Prototyping in our house

The acquisition of an FDM 3D printer opened up a multitude of new possibilities for our in-house designers. The aim was to become less dependent on external suppliers for prototypes and sample construction. In addition, we are able to respond even faster to our customers' wishes and changes. Our 3D data serve as a basis here, which we import directly into the printer software without conversion and send from there to the printer.

We can produce housings or small plastic parts from ABS ourselves. With the processing of TPU92A (a thermoplastic polyurethane with 92 Shore A, which is flexible and stretchable) we also have new possibilities in the development of soft parts. This means we are flexible enough to provide prototypes for our customers at the touch of a button, in the shortest possible time.


Related Links

3D printing (Wikipedia explanation)

Rapid prototyping (Wikipedia explanation)



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