Design firm 3D prints to refine ideas with speed

Written by: Stratasys GmbH | Published:

"3D printing prototypes gives us the ability to fail fast. We can produce multiple design iterations quickly and we can change a product design overnight to meet a customer's deadline. The parts are accurate and the process is dependable." Jesse Hahne / Center for Advanced Design

At the Center for Advanced Design (CAD), a team of design engineers specialises in creating complex surface geometry for the plastics industry. They handle everything from industrial design concepts and digital sketching to assisting clients with implementation by building production tooling. Their ability to advance projects quickly keeps their specialised team very busy.

Developing a customer need into a product requires an ability to verify concepts, validate designs and test function fast, a process made more efficient with CAD’s in-house Stratasys F370™ 3D Printer.

“Time is our only product, so it’s all about saving time to get to the next project,” said Hahne. “3D printing prototypes gives us the ability to fail fast. We can produce multiple design iterations quickly or change a product design overnight to meet a customer’s deadline. The parts are accurate and the process is dependable.”

The team not only benefits from the speed and ease of use, but the ability to use materials that create high-quality parts. “Now we can run ASA and we absolutely love it,” Hahne said. “With ASA we can run 5-slice and print higher-resolution parts, which gives that ‘wow’ factor with our customers. 3D printing intricate housings in 5-slice was almost like an injection molded part when we were done.”

Not only does 3D printing enable quick product development, the team at CAD 3D prints assembly fixtures for clients that are specific to the new products they design.

“Building fixtures out of wood or aluminum using CNC machining was a timeconsuming process,” Hahne said. “With the new Stratasys F370, we can 3D print huge fixtures that we weren’t able to print before, or we’d have to glue together. Now we can print 70-90% of what we do without dovetailing.”

Features of the Stratasys F370 like its minimal setup, fast-draft mode and autocalibration ensure less time troubleshooting and more time for the team to tackle the next complex design.

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