3D printing

Possibilities of 3D printing

The development of 3D printing opened up a multitude of new possibilities for designers. With the help of this process, it is possible to manufacture individual pieces from plastic in a very uncomplicated and cost-effective manner. If plastic parts were previously required, complex molds had to be produced first. This was complex and time-consuming and a subsequent change was accordingly expensive. 3D printing is therefore predestined for single pieces and small series of plastic components. Engineers thus succeed in realizing your ideas in the shortest possible time and implementing changes efficiently.

 

Rapid prototyping in 3D printing

Thanks to the possibilities offered by the 3D printing process, plastic parts can be manufactured at the push of a button. This may be unprofitable for series production, but the sample production of individual pieces is enormously simplified, accelerated and cheaper, and makes corrections very easy. The data from the 3D construction drawing can usually be used directly as a print template and can be produced and reproduced fully automatically by special printers. The production of a single part in the 3-pressure process takes considerably longer than in injection molding, but this is still very useful for short runs. After the printing process is finished, you already hold a finished plastic component in your hands, which can be compared to a mass-produced injection molded part.

Only the surface structure of the product from the printer has a coarser structure than that of the injection molded parts. In order to produce the same effect here as with injection molding, the printed product is reworked, for example, by grinding. Especially for workpieces where the 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

In order to make prototyping as efficient as possible, we rely on different procedures for sample production depending on the requirements. However, 3D printing always plays a significant role in the sample production of plastic parts. We have individual parts produced on the basis of our 3D design data by one of our selected suppliers in a 3D printer and reworked for the quality of an injection molded part. Then we assemble the first sample in our house from these plastic parts and the other mechanical, electronic and connecting components.

In many cases, it makes sense to make several sample copies before you can decide on series production. For small sample series and for easier production of particularly smooth or finely structured surfaces, the 3D printed product provides the basis for a silicone casting mold. With this process, we can cost-effectively produce several identical parts for sample production, without the need for time-consuming reworking of the surfaces.

 

Related Links

3 D printing (Wikipedia explanation)

Rapid prototyping (Wikipedia explanation)

 

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