Taking prototyping to the next level with 3D printing.
Annette Lund, vice president at Diversified Plastics.
Getting to market faster.
Joni Davis, sales engineer at Diversified Plastics.
Serving the medical industry.
The medical industry is one of the mainstays of Diversified Plastics’ customer base. Recently the company has been working with a long-time customer, Coloplast, a medical OEM that makes products for the urology market. Joni Davis, sales engineer for Diversified Plastics recalls, “Coloplast came to us with a situation where their marketing department wanted to launch a new product, but needed to test out the design before it actually went into a production tool build.” Davis says that speed to market was very important to Coloplast. Prior to installing the Objet260 Connex, the process to make a mold from aluminum or soft steel would have taken about 5 weeks.
But by using 3D printing, the prototype mold took only five days. Diversified Plastics then injection molded prototypes for testing that were made from the same material planned for use in the finished products. This allowed Coloplast’s R&D and marketing personnel to quickly evaluate shape, texture, look and feel of a finished part before a production mold was made. Finally, Davis noted the substantial difference in cost between creating an injection mold with P20 tool steel and 3D printing one. She estimates that the metal mold cost the company around $13,000, whereas the equivalent 3D printed mold was created for about $1,500 — a cost savings of 88% and time savings of 80%. “By making the Objet260 Connex part of our equipment lineup, we now have the ability to help our customers bring products to market very quickly and cost effectively,” concludes Lund.