A case study always brings to life the theory, making it real, and one that demonstrates the impact of 3D printing on the supply chain is always welcome! Boston Engineering has recently been using the capabilities of the Rize One industrial 3D printer to speed up the cycle time of production and to lowering costs. Sarah Saunders of 3dprint.com takes up the story.
Massachusetts-based industrial 3D printing company Rize Inc., known for its augmented polymer deposition technology, introduced its desktop Rize One 3D printer last summer: the printer, with its high-speed support removal, pretty much eliminates the need for post-processing, saving users all kinds of time. We saw first-hand just last month that, as promised, the support structures do snap off quite quickly. The Rize One was the subject of a recent case study at Boston Engineering, also in Massachusetts, which provides engineering consulting and product design services for many industries, including consumer products, robotics, medical devices, and commercial products. The company has an FDM 3D printer in its additive manufacturing lab, but it was taking too long for the engineers, who are not housed in the lab, to get their 3D printed parts.
Boston Engineering works hard to beat its competition and solve client challenges, by quickly getting products to market or designing the products themselves. But, you need speed to be the best, and the company’s current system just wasn’t working. The additive manufacturing lab is located far away from the offices, because the current 3D printer’s post-processing method needs the parts to soak in a chemical bath to remove support materials. The issue was causing a major bottleneck, as engineers were having to wait up to three days to get their 3D printed parts back from the lab. Add this to any possible design iterations that resulted in further 3D prints, and you can see the problem. In addition, the company’s FDM 3D printer was costing Boston Engineering too much money, what with the high operating costs that came with the necessary post-processing (materials, handling, labor, etc.).