Product-matching 3D printed prototype keypad for an automotive emergency response system produced on the Stratasys J750 3D Printer, featuring soft-touch buttons, backlighting and color textures
Watch how the new Stratasys J750 3D Printer transforms Synergy’s product design and development process with product-matching realistic prototypes
Lead times at Synergy cut by 90% and costs by 70%; post processing of CNC machining and water printing, casting, sanding and silicone engraving as well as printing of additional parts has been eliminated
Synergy, a product development company in Israel, lives and breathes design innovation. Clients rely on Synergy to transform bright ideas into viable manufacturable, marketable products. Industrial designers and engineers often work around the clock to perfect the grip on a medical device or the appearance of a phone charger.
“The first time the entrepreneur sees his idea and feels it in his hands, is a crucial moment. We need to give him the most realistic prototype possible,” said Michael Librus, CEO of Synergy. “Dream designs can be rendered onscreen quickly, but functional prototypes can take weeks of investment in labor and outsourcing – especially when products have complex designs and diverse materials. Design ideas are embraced, refined or abandoned based on the look and feel of a prototype. That’s why we decided to bring the Stratasys J750 in-house, enabling us to have product-matching prototypes in just a few hours.”
Synergy's CEO, Michael Librus, and Tamar Fleisher, art director, planning new product design
So when Synergy redesigned a keypad for an emergency-response system, used in the after-market automotive industry, the Stratasys J750 played a key role. The project meant producing multiple designs for the panel, which mounts above the rear-view mirror, to test which would best fit the car’s interior and pass ergonomic and mechanical testing. Each iteration included soft-touch buttons, backlighting, graphics, housing and internal connections to the electronic panel.
Before the Stratasys J750, Prototyping Manager Omer Gassner would have tapped several vendors to create a single keypad panel prototype: CNC machining and water printing for the body, casting for the light pipes, sanding for smoothness and then silicone engraving and additional printing for the buttons. It would have taken 10-14 days to create, at a cost of $700 per unit.
With the Stratasys J750, it took just a few hours and only cost $200 per unit.
Tamar Fleisher, Synergy art director, said clients appreciate the realism and responsiveness that the J750 technology adds to product development. “Now our customers can make instant decisions about the ergonomics of a product – about the touch and feel – as well as test how it fits into its environment,” Fleisher said. “The ability to simulate light transfer on the panel meant my client could decide about every detail of the design. And if a design change was needed, I could go to my computer, make the design change and print it in a matter of hours.”
Functional product-matching prototypes for mobile charger sleeve with different color textures 3D printed on the Stratasys J750 3D Printer
For CEO Librus, photorealistic product-matching prototypes empower him to better fulfill the dreams of innovation that bring customers to Synergy. “I’m just glad that we have the Stratasys J750 3D Printer in-house,” Librus said. “We wouldn’t do it any other way.”
Is it 3D printed or not? With realism this good, it’s tough to tell! Test your skill to see the difference with this fun, online game.