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ESTec

ESTec amplifies innovation, tunes down costs with Objet 3D Printer

"Since purchasing the Objet Eden 3D Printer, we have dramatically cut down our processing time from one day to between eight and ten hours. Now, we can use a single 3D printer in-house to print all 3D shapes without the need for any post-process work."

-Shin Jin-Sik,
ESTec

Audio Speaker 1

The Objet printer reduced mock-up time from 24 hours to fewer than 10 hours.

Inside Speaker

ESTec appreciated the variety of material options such as rubber-like, which it relied on for prototyping.

TV

ESTec reduced prototyping costs by $150,000 per year.

Music to Our Ears

At ESTec, a leading Korean manufacturer of high-quality audio systems, total commitment to providing an extraordinary sound experience has been a driving theme behind the company’s evolution since its establishment in 1971. Its wide spectrum of innovative products includes automotive audio systems, home audio systems, display audio systems, micro acoustic transducers(used in mobile appliances), multimedia and PA speakers, amplifiers and more. With production facilities in Vietnam, Malaysia, China and Korea, and a distribution channel in the United States, ESTec is now a dominant player in the audio systems market.

The development and perfection of such a diverse product range means that ESTec needs to address multiple market segments during the design-to-manufacture cycle. In addition to creating audio systems that are both functional and pleasing to the eye, each segment has its own set of requirements.

For example, the trend in the area of home audio systems is moving toward HDTV and high-quality slim speakers to support home theater with multi-channel speaker systems. For the automotive speaker industry, speakers need to be designed according to stringent safety considerations and must be resistant to environmental factors such as high and low temperatures, humidity and dust.

Creating equipment that comprehensively answers the needs of each separate market requires real-life testing with prototype materials. This ensures that the testing process is accurate, and the end product fully answers both customer and environmental needs.

Optimized Quality and Major Cost Savings

ESTec installed an Objet Eden350™ 3D Printer in December 2006 and since then it has proven to be a real work horse. “The machine has been running for nine hours every day for the past three years,” says Shin Jin-Sik, senior research engineer at ESTec. “That’s 10,000 hours of operation since it was installed, proving to us that the Objet Eden 3D Printer is very durable.”

Before purchasing the Eden350 3D Printer, ESTec’s prototypes were produced using outsourced CNC machining, which involved annual costs of more than $200,000. In addition, the quality of the CNC output depended on the operator’s skill, and there were often delays and inconsistencies in the design and manufacturing process.

Before purchasing the Eden350 3D Printer, ESTec’s prototypes were produced using outsourced CNC machining, which involved annual costs of more than $200,000. In addition, the quality of the CNC output depended on the operator’s skill, and there were often delays and inconsistencies in the design and manufacturing process.

Before purchasing the Eden350 3D Printer, ESTec’s prototypes were produced using outsourced CNC machining, which involved annual costs of more than $200,000. In addition, the quality of the CNC output depended on the operator’s skill, and there were often delays and inconsistencies in the design and manufacturing process.

“Now, the models come out right the first time, so we are no longer wasting time correcting and redoing them,” he says. “Add the wide variety of material options, including several different colors, to this combination, and we’ve got the perfect solution for creating in-house product prototypes for testing.”

The 3D printer’s full line of materials, including rigid opaque and flexible rubber-like, is also a major advantage for ESTec, as material flexibility is required to support model and part creation with varying properties.

The 3D printer is small enough to fit into a room at ESTec’s production facility, so that all prototypes can be produced in-house, and the room can be easily cleaned.

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