Why is diversity such an important factor in successful rapid protototyping?

With the growing need for speed that industries experience today, time-to-market acceleration means radically shortened product development and life cycles. At the same time there is a significant increase in complexity, as possible options are multiplying. To cope with this diversity in Rapid Prototyping, you can’t just rely on ONE manufacturing solution, or ONE technology, or ONE material. Rather will you need a richness of different solutions – and it would be ideal if they can be found from ONE provider. This is why we have diversified our materials and technologies especially in our Rapid Prototyping business, in conventional as well as in additive manufacturing. See for yourself and visit our AM technology center in lovely Lupburg, Germany. It's easy to do so - come and stay with us! We have just recently opened our new Boarding House on the FIT campus.

Sample case: Fast and economic manufacturing of XXL parts

The challenge.
For a press conference to launch a face cream, L'Oréal was looking for a model of the tube that would draw attention and symbolize the innovative image of the „it” brand. Two factors were critical: There was very little time to the press conference which unveiled the new product, and the original tube was only available as a physical object, not as a digital data model ready to be 3D printed.

The solution.
In a first step, our engineers had to create a digital data model which was the basis for 3D printing. The second step was to manufacture a large copy of the small original object which had to be as big and similar as possible to have a maximum impact on the press representatives. And don’t you forget the time pressure every product launch has to face today – the giant tube also had to be available in extremely short time.

The project realization.
Using reverse engineering, a digital copy of the original tube was created within only 24 h. To build the object, we recommended the innovative GDP technology (Gel Dispensing Printing). GDP applies layers of a highly viscous gel from an extruder before it is cured in seconds by UV light. The fast build-up rate allowed for a total manufacturing time of only 2.5 h! A careful post-processing procedure consisting of priming, filling, grinding, and foiling made the big copy a perfect look-alike of the original product. The press conference was a great success and L'Oréal was impressed.

Please find here two pdf documents containing more detailed information on behalf of the GDP technology as well as the Dimengel material. Do you also want to benefit from large format advertising objects? Send us your request to get a tailor-made non-binding quote!

Sample case: Cost reduction by functional metal coating

The challenge.
Heat sinks are an important component of many electronic devices. Instead of relying on usual mass-produced solutions, the design approach of Joris Wegner for a high-end audio amplifier excels by an innovative geometry to increase the cooling surface significantly. To submit the design draft at 3D Pioneers Challenge, a cheaper yet high-end alternative to the intended aluminum part using laser melting was needed.

The solution.
To give a realistic impression of the component, an affordable plastic substrate was to be metal coated. The extraordinary design emphasizes the component’s shape and materiality. The complex 3-dimensional geometry of the housing hides interface elements and ports underneath the 3d-printed structure. Dimensions were 304 x 75 x 205 (W x H x D in mm).

The project realization.
To create this design approach, we manufactured the heat sink quickly and cost-effectively by using Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and polyamide (PA 12). In order to obtain the required metal properties, the object was electroplated using nickel. As the internal geometry was extraordinarily complex and difficult to coat, we employed a special conductive silver lacquer. Inspite of this special service, the costs of the electroplated component amounted to only 10 % of the costs of a laser melted aluminum part. This is what we call radical innovation!

Did you know?

We are the only 3D printing service provider to offer you metal coating as a post-processing technology in-house. Please find more detailed information in our data sheet (PDF) about metal coating. Do you feel you need to know more about electroplating, or do you wish to get a quote? We look forward to getting your inquiry.

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