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Case Study

Transforming Industrial Machinery Production with SAF™ Technology | Stratasys 3D Printing Case Study

October 06, 2022

When it comes to the manufacture of industrial equipment – be it scientific instruments, factory equipment or power tools, to name just a few – a multitude of different intricate parts will be needed to ensure the product will function as intended.

For industrial manufacturers of such equipment, there is a clear and common need for parts, however complex they may be, to deliver the robustness, consistency, accuracy, and repeatability to faithfully uphold the performance expectations and functionality of the product. Failure to ensure this could result in malfunction, which in turn could lead to extra costs and damage to the brand’s image.

But the challenge for industrial machinery manufacturers doesn’t end there; the need for such parts to also be produced both timely and cost-effectively will always be an equally inherent objective.

With traditional manufacturing techniques, there is an immediate and accepted recognition that long lead times and high costs will typically be part and parcel of the process. Therefore, traditional manufacturing options often hinder the industrial equipment manufacturers’ quest to streamline efficiencies across their production operations.

H350 powder bed fusion 3D printer
H350 powder bed fusion 3D printer

Reaching new frontiers in additive manufacturing

Thankfully, there is an alternative in the form of Stratasys’ industrial-grade SAF™ technology, a new form of powder-based additive manufacturing (AM) technology. SAF is the culmination of over a decade of R&D.

Using a single pass print-and-fuse process, industrial equipment manufacturers finally have the ability to produce robust end-use parts with the level of control, accuracy and repeatability expected from injection molding. SAF also enables the 3D printing of tens of thousands of consistent functional production parts; not to mention the cost-per-part is unmatched in comparison to injection molding or CNC. When you add to the mix that those ten thousand parts can all be completely unique and customized, then for manufacturers the business case cannot be ignored.

In a sector that continues to evolve and where adaptability is key, SAF technology provides industrial equipment manufacturers the inherent benefits of a technology that delivers production resiliency and agility.

 

Cometh the hour, cometh the machine

Stratasys has delivered its SAF technology via the H350™ 3D printer, engineered to deliver the accuracy, repeatability and process control industrial equipment manufacturers need.

Just like the manufacturing requirements of Stratasys’ own customers, the development and production of the H350 itself demanded consistent end-use parts with a superior level of accuracy and consistency to ensure the 3D printer was fit-for-purpose.

Since each printer must operate in a uniform manner, it was critical that all of these parts function at the same high level, with a high degree of consistency. If one of these industrial components was out of tolerance, the H350’s wouldn’t perform properly. This would negatively impact the printer’s ability to achieve high production throughput and repeatability build-to-build and reproducibility printer to printer.

In addition to part quality, a short turnaround for these industrial components was a significant factor so pressing deadlines could be met.

Taking this into account, and perfectly underscoring Stratasys’ utmost belief and confidence in the attributes of SAF technology, the H350 proudly incorporates a range of different industrial machine components that are created, and 3D printed by the company using the H350.

In total, every H350 3D printer comprises of thirty production-grade PA11 parts, each of which exhibits repeatability, excellent mechanical properties, and exact consistency. Currently, these internally produced components are added to each new printer. This demonstrates the confidence in the H350’s high-yield end-use parts since they are accurate, repeatable and durable.

 

Customized industrial-grade parts printed on-demand

H350 industrial machinery parts infographic
H350 industrial machinery parts infographic

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3D Printing Resource - Industrial Machinery

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