The Graco Inc. Contractor Equipment Division manufactures paint spraying and texturing equipment for professional contractors and tradesmen. Recently Graco designed a spray texture gun based on functional models built with tough ABS plastic parts from a Dimension 3D printer.
The Dimension 3D Printer allowed Graco designers to quickly experiment with various gun and nozzle combinations to create the perfect spray pattern and volume. Graco estimates Dimension helped reduce development time by as much as 75%.
The Dimension Solution
Graco built functional ABS models from parts produced on the Dimension 3D Printer for lab and field testing. Their new spray texture gun was designed to deliver ceiling, wall, and floor coatings from a pressurized hopper or pump. During lab and field tests functional ABS models successfully operated at pressures up to 60 psi.
"With each design change we were able to build new models quickly" says engineering group leader Dave Thompson."Sometimes we built multiple iterations of a component in one day. Trying to create that many models using SLA or SLS parts from service bureaus would have been cost- and time-prohibitive. We ran it nearly 24/7 for the first eleven months, producing enough parts to have paid for the machine a few times over. Much like a paper printer, it has become a regular fixture in our design process: We run everything from scaled-down complete units for show, to functional spray guns, clips, fans, and more."