Culligan knows the science of water. Since 1936, Culligan has continually developed new technologies to treat hard water and rid water of contaminants. Culligan's high-quality water treatment products have been perfected through research and development, and are used by homes and businesses worldwide.
The Culligan team traditionally had outsourced its design files to several service providers to develop parts, allowing them to verify engineering design. But this process proved slow and costly.
The team also frequently received requests from the Culligan marketing group to generate prototypes that could be used to show the company's franchisees and dealer network potential product ideas. Due to the time and cost involved in outsourcing, Culligan lost a measure of flexibility in communicating with its sales channels.
"Our experience with outside service providers was mixed," said Steve Reif, director of research and development engineering for Culligan. "It sometimes took several days or weeks to receive apart, slowing down our product development and design verification processes. We needed more immediate results than these companies could provide, and at a much lower cost."
The Dimension Solution
Culligan selected a Dimension BST 3D Printer, which is a networked desktop modeling system that builds functional 3D models with durable ABS plastic from the bottom up, one layer at a time.
Reif and his team have realized tremendous cost savings with the printer. In one instance, the team was able to quickly identify potential interference issues with several product parts, a task not always accomplished simply by examining the 3D CAD file.