Aran designed this new mobile phone with its Objet 3D printer.
Components needed for prototype built on Objet Eden 3D printer.
The prototype was assembled and painted and evaluated by focus groups.
The Right Call
Aran Research & Development serves local and international clients that produce medical and security products, printing equipment, electronic packaging and agricultural and other products. Aran is the largest product design and development house in Israel with more than 70 people involved in design, engineering, prototyping, mold-making and other fields. Aran offers its customers complete product design through pre-production services
Aran wanted to reduce development time and costs associated with helping customers meet tight time-to-market constraints. To do so, it implemented an Objet Eden350V 3D Printer into its process.
Creating well-designed head and face protectors and communication devices requires testing with prototype materials that mimic the materials used in the final design. This ensures that functional testing returns accurate results.
Aran also chose the Objet 3D Printer for its ease of use, high reliability and costeffectiveness. The new 3D printer enabled Aran to build even large models quickly, create smooth curved edges invisible to the naked eye, and easily finish and paint models to emulate the look and feel of the final product.
“The Objet Eden350V 3D Printer allows us to evaluate the physical shape, assembly procedure, ergonomics and industrial design of the product as soon as we finish designing it,” said Kobi Jakobi, engineering manager of the plastic and electronic packaging department at Aran. This means the team can detect engineering errors in a very short time – virtually as soon as a design milestone is completed and long before the tooling stage when changes can be more costly.
Boaz Drori, design studio manager, added, “The quality of models we get from the Objet 3D Printer is amazing. The fine details, high accuracy and smooth surfaces all come together to create incredibly realistic models.”
New Mobile Phone Design
The Objet 3D Printer prototyped the phone model using a transparent material for immediate evaluation of fit, form and function. Several additional identical models of the phone shells were then built on a single build tray for feasibility testing. The transparent models were painted in glossy colors to give a realistic look and feel, after which Aran inserted electronic components and the models were presented to focus groups that provided early-stage market feedback on the new phones.
The 3D printer provides benefits to Aran as well as its customers. Aran can now evaluate design and detect errors before molds are manufactured; avoid the need to make adjustments for CNC; and reduce costs associated with mold quotations.
All of the Objet 3D Printer’s advantages add up to significant time savings. “Overall, we’ve seen a 50 percent reduction in our design time,” Drori said. Time to market is now 20 percent less than before Aran installed the Objet 3D Printer.
The 3D printer has also helped Aran improve communications with its customers: The 3D printed prototypes make it easy to understand what Aran is proposing. This dramatically reduces misunderstandings and enables the customer and the Aran team to agree more quickly on design changes. Furthermore, Aran’s customers are able to insert electronics and other parts into the 3D printed models for user testing and premarketing activities.