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Mercury Marine Uses Composite 3D Printing
Case Study

Mercury Marine Innovates with F370®CR Composite Printer & Materials to Create Custom Decal Application Fixture

April 27, 2023

The Stratasys F370®CR composite 3D printer and high-strength carbon-fiber composite thermoplastics created a stronger tool in a fraction of the time.

About Mercury Marine

For over 80 years, Mercury Marine has been a leading producer of consumer and commercial marine propulsion systems. As an innovator, Mercury Marine pushes the boundaries of manufacturing, from developing its own corrosion-resistant aluminum alloy to employing state-of-the-art processes such as additive manufacturing.

Fixture shown in place on the engine cowl.

The Challenge

Typically, it took Mercury Marine six months and $1250 to produce custom-made “hats” – fixtures used to apply decals to engine cowls. In addition to the cost and long lead time, they present several additional challenges:

  • Large hats are cumbersome and usually damaged in the production environment, requiring the manufacture of a replacement each year
  • Matching the engine cowl’s curvature is difficult using conventional construction methods
  • Fixtures need provision for a softer, non-marring surface to avoid scratching the painted cowl
3D printed emblem locating fixture with carbon fiber frame (gray) and TPU backing.

The Solution

F370CR Composite 3D Printer

To solve these challenges, Mercury Marine designers 3D printed the latest hat fixture using an F370®CR composite printer. The F370CR prints with high-strength carbon-fiber composite thermoplastics and other materials such as FDM® TPU-92A, a flexible thermoplastic polyurethane. 

The new fixture employed an outer framework made with FDM® Nylon-CF10 carbon fiber material, providing sufficient rigidity. The frame supported an inner liner printed separately with TPU-92A to provide a non marring surface against the painted cowl.

Combining the two materials resulted in an effective decal template that can withstand daily use on the factory floor.

 

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Mercury Marine - FDM Composite 3D Printing

Mercury Marine - FDM Composite 3D Printing

Read the Complete Use Case!

Download the complete use case to learn how Mercury Marine was able to design and produce the fixture in one week and brought the total cost down by 68%.

Download Use Case

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