The Camm Engineering Group is a leading Australian manufacturer of high-quality engineering plastics. These plastics are turned into end-use parts like sheets, tubes and rollers for clients in the steel coating, automotive, timber and mining industries in Sydney and other major cities. During its first 25 years of operation, the group has produced more than 2,000 products for its clients using wide range of materials, including but not limited to nylon, polycarbonate, polypropylene and rubber.
In addition to producing end-use parts requested by customers, Camm Engineering Group created a new division, CammPro, to cater to the increasing demand for product design enhancement, CAD drawing and prototyping through 3D printing technology.
Sustainable Business Model
Camm Engineering Group manages the entire production process for customers, from visualizing a client’s idea for a prototype and prototyping to sending the design for mass manufacturing. Camm Engineering Group relies on CammPro to satisfy these increasing demands for 3D printing.
Traditional methods of making prototypes by CNC, tooling and injection molding were far too costly, particularly for small quantity orders. Prices easily topped $10,000 for one prototype. Since those incurred costs would be transferred to customers, CammPro realized that such a business model was not sustainable. The company needed a solution for accurate prototypes, but at a lower cost: both are critical success factors for long-term growth.
CammPro’s management learned about the 3D printing technology and its benefits. Having witnessed the 3D printers in action and recommended by various users, CammPro invested in an Objet Connex 3D Printer from Stratasys to improve production efficiency.
“We wanted to minimize costs and time without compromising quality,” said Zahra Shahbazian, CammPro’s business development manager. “The Connex 3D Printer is an ideal solution for us. We save up to 75 percent in terms of cost and time when compared to traditional prototyping methods.”
Shahbazian said the 3D printer’s wide range of materials and quality prototypes were other benefits. “Our customers are satisfied with both the quality and the price they pay.”
Equipped with the Connex 3D Printer, CammPro’s design team can now simulate different types of materials like ABS, polypropylene and rubber. Even more, they 3D print a wide variety of materials on the same part to best reflect their intended end product. Clients now hold and feel the prototypes before any tooling is finalized. And, it reassures the client and design team that the finished product will meet their aesthetic and functional expectations.
Recently, the team was asked by a mining industry client to create a dual-material custom spray housing unit for design verification. Using the Connex 3D Printer, designers printed a small-scale model of the spray unit in Transparent material and the inner tubes in black rubber-like. The different materials made clear where fluids would travel in the final product. This visualization allowed the customer to quickly verify the design and proceed to full-scale production and casting in polyurethane.
Simulating Final Product Properties with Digital Materials
CammPro also verified a separate customer’s unique hose casing design using Digital Materials.
“We made use of Stratasys’ Digital Materials to tailor the Shore A hardness of the part so that the model realistically mimics the actual properties of our parent company’s engineering plastics polyurethane,” said Shahbazian. “The first prototype proved to be an excellent development tool because we found a number of areas to streamline our assembly process.”
CammPro continues to grow its business into serving universities and research institutes throughout Australia, and 3D printing plays an integral part in the design and prototyping process. Although 3D printing is a relatively new technology in Australia, Shahbazian said that she would not be surprised if 3D printing drives the third industrial revolution. “Stratasys’ 3D printing technology has opened up business opportunities for our company, and I’m glad we made the investment,” Shahbazian concluded.