Industry: Automotive and Transportation
Sauber Motorsports AG has built a highly productive in-house factory to support its high demand wind tunnel operations that was enabled by a 3D Systems solutions and long-term partnership. High throughput 3D Systems equipment and solution expertise coupled with best-in-class materials provides the high-quality parts needed for Sauber to test more aerodynamic model iterations.
Factory-Level Throughput Drives Constant Development
The pace of innovation at Sauber is relentless. In order to maximize its ability to drive rapid development on its car, Sauber Engineering has invested in an additive manufacturing machine park that is among the largest of its kind in Europe. Due to the proven throughput, quality, accuracy, and choice of best-in-class materials with 3D Systems 3D printers, this park includes fifteen 3D Systems machines across technologies.
According to Christoph Hansen, Director of Technology and Innovation at Sauber Engineering, additive manufacturing is an integral part of every Formula One team because it provides faster access to parts than conventional manufacturing methods. “Creating something in carbon fiber can take weeks before a single part is ready,” said Hansen. “Conventionally producing the quantity of parts we need for progress would be impossible in the time we have.”
Due to this need for speed, Hansen said lead time was the most important factor when selecting a 3D printing partner. However, it was not the only factor: “You have to produce more options to compete on the development side, but it’s not just banging out as many parts as possible. You also have to test and be sure it’s correct,” Hansen said.
Best-In-Class Materials Ensure High Quality Results
For the highest confidence in test results, best-in-class materials are necessary. At Sauber Group, part stiffness and surface finish are essential. Sauber Engineering produces an average of 100-150 3D printed part sets daily using 3D Systems machines. Of these, eighty- to ninety percent are SLA parts for wind tunnel testing that are printed using a selection of Accura SLA materials, including:
- Accura® HPC material, a high-speed, high-rigidity engineered nanocomposite
- Accura® Bluestone material, a composite material for stable, high stiffness parts
- Accura® Xtreme material, an ultra-tough grey plastic
Combined with Sauber Motorsport’s confidence in the quality of Accura materials, this high level of daily part production is critical to the team’s progress and ultimate success. “On each cycle we normally find an improvement,” said Reto Trachsel, Head of Aero Design at Sauber Motorsport, “and if you can now do 50 cycles it makes a big difference. The quicker we can produce the parts, the quicker our development cycles are, and the more progress we can make in our aerodynamics.”
Proven Quality Machines
Sauber Engineering uses 3D Systems ProX® 800 printers to produce its SLA parts. This large-scale SLA printer features a maximum build envelope capacity of 650 mm x 750 mm x 550 mm (25.6 in x 29.5 in x 21.65 in), and delivers high accuracy and precision. By using two laser spot sizes per layer, the ProX 800 maintains high print speeds without compromising feature details.
Beyond parts for wind tunnel testing, Sauber Engineering uses SLA to produce carbon fiber tooling and SLS for a variety of purposes, from miscellaneous jigs and tooling to low-volume, end-use parts for the car itself. Sauber Engineering uses additive manufacturing for end-use part production based on a combination of the convenience, complexity, and economics offered by this technology for low-volume parts like ducting, electronic boxes, and pit-stop equipment, and uses a proprietary carbon-reinforced SLS material.
According to Hansen, the machine architecture of 3D Systems’ SLS was the deciding factor in choosing this equipment because 3D Systems’ SLS machines use a roller mechanism to lay down subsequent layers of material instead of a wiper. This method delivers a smooth and fully flattened layer of material, whereas a wiper mechanism can agitate the material and sometimes result in system crashes. 3D Systems’ roller method compacts the powder, resulting in uniform layers that deliver stronger parts.
Nonstop Productivity Fuels Innovation
In the highly competitive world of Formula One, making constant progress in the face of ever-tightening regulations is a challenge. Sauber Engineering overcomes this challenge by using 3D Systems’ proven technologies to maximize its capabilities. An in-house factory of 3D Systems’ machines gives Sauber Engineering high throughput productivity, high-quality parts, and best-in-class materials selection to keep pushing development faster and farther. Using the expertise it has gained using additive manufacturing in motorsports, Sauber Engineering offers part manufacturing to customers in diverse industries
Industria: Automotriz y Transporte
Sauber Motorsport AG ha construido una fábrica interna de gran productividad para respaldar sus operaciones de túnel de viento de alta demanda facilitada por una asociación para soluciones de 3D Systems a largo plazo. La experiencia en soluciones y equipos de alto rendimiento de 3D Systems, junto con los mejores materiales de su clase, proporcionan las piezas de alta calidad necesarias para que Sauber pruebe más iteraciones de modelos aerodinámicos.
El rendimiento a nivel de fábrica impulsa el desarrollo constante
El ritmo de la innovación en Sauber es implacable. Para maximizar la capacidad de impulsar un desarrollo rápido en su automóvil, Sauber Engineering ha invertido en un parque de máquinas de fabricación aditiva que se encuentra entre los más grandes de su clase en Europa. Debido al rendimiento comprobado, la calidad, la precisión y la selección de los mejores materiales de su clase con las impresoras 3D de 3D Systems, este parque incluye quince máquinas de 3D Systems en diversas tecnologías.
Según Christoph Hansen, director de tecnología e innovación de Sauber Engineering, la fabricación aditiva es una parte integral de todos los equipos de la Fórmula Uno, ya que proporciona un acceso más rápido a las piezas que los métodos de fabricación convencionales. “Crear piezas en fibra de carbono puede llevar semanas”, dijo Hansen. “Producir de manera convencional la cantidad de piezas que necesitamos para progresar sería imposible en el tiempo que tenemos”.
Debido a esta necesidad de velocidad, Hansen dijo que el tiempo de entrega fue el factor más importante al momento de seleccionar un socio de impresión en 3D. Sin embargo, no fue el único factor: “Debemos producir más opciones para competir en el aspecto del desarrollo, pero no se trata solo de crear la mayor cantidad de piezas posible. También debemos probarlas y asegurarnos de que sean correctas”, dijo Hansen.
Los mejores materiales de su clase garantizan resultados de alta calidad
Para tener la máxima confianza en los resultados de las pruebas, se necesitan los mejores materiales de su clase. En Sauber Group, la rigidez y el acabado de la superficie de las piezas son fundamentales. Sauber Engineering produce un promedio de 100 a 150 conjuntos de piezas impresas en 3D a diario con las máquinas de 3D Systems. De estas piezas, del ochenta al noventa por ciento son piezas de SLA para pruebas de túnel de viento que se imprimen con una selección de materiales de SLA Accura, entre los cuales se incluyen:
- Material Accura® HPC: un material nanocompuesto de alta velocidad y rigidez
- Material Accura® Bluestone: un material compuesto para piezas estables de gran rigidez
- Material Accura® Xtreme : un plástico gris ultrarresistente
Junto con la confianza de Sauber Motorsport en la calidad de los materiales Accura, este alto nivel de producción diaria de piezas es fundamental para el progreso del equipo y el éxito definitivo. “Normalmente, encontramos una mejora en cada ciclo”, dice Hansen, “y si ahora se pueden hacer 50 ciclos, esto marca una gran diferencia. Cuanto más rápido podamos producir las piezas, más rápidos serán nuestros ciclos de desarrollo y más progreso podremos hacer en nuestra aerodinámica”.
Máquinas de calidad comprobada
Sauber Engineering usa las impresoras 3D Systems ProX® 800 para producir sus piezas de SLA. Esta impresora SLA a gran escala tiene una capacidad interior de impresión máxima de 650 mm x 750 mm x 550 mm (25,6 pulgadas x 29,5 pulgadas x 21,65 pulgadas), y ofrece alta precisión y exactitud. Al utilizar dos tamaños de puntos láser por capa, la impresora ProX 800 mantiene velocidades de impresión altas sin comprometer los detalles de las características.
Más allá de las piezas para las pruebas de túnel de viento, Sauber Engineering utiliza SLA para producir herramientas de fibra de carbono y SLS para diferentes propósitos, desde plantillas y herramientas misceláneas hasta piezas de uso final de bajo volumen para el propio automóvil. Sauber Engineering utiliza la fabricación aditiva para la producción de piezas de uso final en función de una combinación de comodidad, complejidad y economía que ofrece esta tecnología para piezas de bajo volumen, como conductos, cajas electrónicas y equipos de parada en boxes, y utiliza un material de SLS patentado reforzado con carbono.
Según Hansen, la arquitectura de la máquina de SLS de 3D Systems fue el factor decisivo a la hora de elegir este equipo, ya que estas máquinas utilizan un mecanismo de rodillo para colocar las capas posteriores de material en lugar de un limpiador. Este método proporciona una capa de material lisa y totalmente aplanada, mientras que los mecanismos de limpieza pueden agitar el material y, a veces, provocar bloqueos en el sistema. El método de rodillo de 3D Systems compacta el polvo, lo que da como resultado capas uniformes que ofrecen piezas más fuertes.
La productividad ininterrumpida impulsa la innovación
En el mundo altamente competitivo de la Fórmula Uno, es todo un desafío progresar de forma constante frente a las regulaciones cada vez más estrictas. Sauber Engineering supera este desafío con las tecnologías comprobadas de 3D Systems para maximizar sus capacidades. La fábrica interna de máquinas de 3D Systems permite que Sauber Engineering tenga una productividad de alto rendimiento, piezas de alta calidad y la mejor selección de materiales de su clase para seguir impulsando el desarrollo de forma más rápida y prolongada.
Product: SLA Print
Industry: Medical and Forensic
When Mark Weimer emerged from the fog of pain medication after major spinal surgery, he didn’t think about how he was feeling. He thought about what he wasn’t feeling: the pain in his quad muscles, emanating from his lower spine, that had plagued him for a year and a half.
The relief was the result of a 15-hour operation by Dr. George Frey that combined his award winning methodology for pedicle screw navigation with 3D imaging and printing technologies pioneered by 3D Systems.
Partnering for the patient’s benefit
Dr. Frey and his wife, Heidi, head up Mighty Oak Medical in Englewood, Colorado. The company’s patented FIREFLY® technology provides a simpler and faster way to accurately place pedicle screws for spinal repair while navigating around crucial anatomy such as the spinal cord, nerves and blood vessels.
From the beginning, Mighty Oak has teamed with the 3D Systems Healthcare Team in nearby Littleton, Colorado.
“We needed a 3D printing partner that was known for quality, reliability and expertise in the medical device space,” says Heidi Frey. “3D Systems has been an amazing partner at every level—they are supportive, responsive and dedicated to excellence.”
3D Systems offers an end-to-end suite of precision healthcare solutions, including virtual reality simulators, 3D printed anatomical models, and patient-specific surgical guides and instrumentation. The company also manufactures precision 3D printed medical devices.
Since the late 1990s, 3D Systems has partnered with medical device providers representing a wide variety of procedures for nearly every aspect of human anatomy. The company has developed personalized solutions for more than 100,000 surgical procedures.
Path of a champion
Dr. Frey was connected to Mark Weimer through his neuro surgeon who has treated Weimer since his initial operation after a fall from construction scaffolding partially paralyzed him in 1984. Weimer later underwent an additional spinal fusion surgery in 2001 to help correct loss of muscle strength in his right arm.
Following his injury and initial surgery, Weimer took advantage of a computer training grant to become an IT specialist in data warehousing. He also continued to pursue his love of hockey, joining a Colorado sled hockey program in 1996.
Weimer played on the 2000 national sled hockey team in Lake Placid, home of the famous “Miracle on Ice” victory of the U.S. hockey team over Russia in the 1980 Winter Olympics. In 2010, he captained the team that won the Sled Classic Championship sponsored by the National Hockey League (NHL), and the following year he starred on the Colorado Avalanche team that captured the 2011 National Sled Hockey Championship sponsored by USA Hockey.
Weimer retired after scoring a goal and an assist in the 2011 championship. He turned to coaching young sled hockey players and has stayed in shape by hand cycling. His hockey achievements were recognized by his induction into the Colorado Adaptive Sports Foundation Hall of Fame in 2012.
A complicated case
Since his accident, Weimer had always dealt with some level of nerve and spinal discomfort, but in late 2014 he started experiencing something new: severe pain in his quad muscles, along with bowel and bladder problems. Weimer’s neurosurgeon referred him to Dr. Frey for further examination.
“As the years went by, Mark’s spinal fusion and his neurological condition caused the remaining discs and vertebrae below the fusion to deteriorate,” says Dr. Frey. “This caused further compression of the nerves and spinal cord, resulting in severe neuropathic pain.”
Preparation for surgery started with a CT scan of Weimer’s spine. The results were sent to 3D Systems, which performed data segmentation to extract a 3D representation of Weimer’s spinal anatomy.
Weimer’s case was more complex than most other spinal procedures, according to Dr. Frey and Chris Beaudreau, Director of Medical Services at 3D Systems.
“Mark had bone growth over the rods inserted from his previous surgery,” says Dr. Frey. “Although the rods were being removed, any disruption to the surrounding bone could affect the placement of the FIREFLY guides, so plenty of planning was needed to work around the anatomy.”
“Due to his previous surgical procedures, there were significant imaging artifacts within the CT scan that required extensive medical image processing in order to render the anatomical area of interest into three-dimensional digital models,” says Beaudreau. “It was also going to be an extensive spinal procedure, so instead of modeling two or three vertebrae, we needed to process nine vertebrae, the sacrum bone at the base of the spine, and both hips.”
3D printing from the source
3D Systems sent the 3D models of Weimer’s spinal anatomy to Mighty Oak Medical, which used them to design the trajectory of each pedicle screw and to prepare the 3D printed guides that would determine accurate screw placement on Weimer’s spine.
Using the FIREFLY design, 3D Systems printed pedicle screw guides for each vertebra that required operation. An anatomical bone model was also printed for pre-surgical planning and reference in the operating room.
The surgical guides and bone models were printed on a 3D Systems ProX® 800, a stereolithography (SLA) system known for building parts with outstanding surface smoothness, feature resolution, edge definition and tolerances.
SLA technology was invented by 3D Systems co-founder Chuck Hull in 1983. The company continues to innovate with the technology, lowering costs while delivering ever-greater speed, capacity, accuracy and ease-of-use.
The ProX 800 offers a wide range of materials for the broadest applications and use cases. For Weimer’s reference model and screw guides, 3D Systems used a plastic material and validated process that allows parts to be sterilized for use directly in the operating room.
Surgical success and recovery
Dr. Frey operated on Mark Weimer at Swedish Medical Center in Englewood on July 22, 2016. When Weimer resumed consciousness, his most recent pains were gone and previous pains had lessened considerably.
“Mark is currently undergoing a rigorous rehabilitative process and is recovering nicely from his fusion surgery,” says Dr. Frey, who expects the recovery period to last about a year.
At 63, Weimer continues to work in the IT field and pursue hand cycling in his free time. He also enjoys watching his grandsons, ages 9 and 13, take his place on the ice as the next generation of champions.
Product: SLA Printing
Industry: Consumer Products and Retail
Anyone who has opened a box of crackers to find the contents reduced to broken bits and pieces knows firsthand the consequences of poor packaging. Carman’s, an Australian food company passionate about only using the best ingredients, is mindful of how it delivers its products to consumers to ensure a high quality experience before the first bite is ever taken. Therefore, when Carman’s launched its new Super Seed & Grain Crackers, the food company kept presentation and preservation top of mind, and enlisted Birdstone, an Australian packaging design agency, to design an engaging tray insert. Due to the various requirements they needed to balance, multiple prototypes were required to demonstrate the proposed designs both aesthetically and functionally.
Balancing client requirements in packaging design
The packaging considerations in play for Carman’s were multifaceted: it needed to be easy to open, functional as a serving vessel, and enable Carman’s customers to reclose the container for storage. For ease of access, it was determined that the crackers should be stacked in three columns with room to encase the top crackers without crushing them, but also be easy to fill to not disrupt the production line. Lastly, the packaging needed to meet the retailer requirement for vertical packaging to maximize differentiation on the shelves. There was also a question of on-shelf instability due to the light weight of the product and the properties of the tray material.
Birdstone knew that arriving at the correct design would require accurate prototypes, and therefore reached out to 3D Systems On Demand Manufacturing due to previous successful collaborations.
Collaborating to deliver functionality and build brand equity
Birdstone worked closely with Carman’s marketing and product development teams as well as its packaging supplier to review and narrow the packaging design concepts to two. From the outset, the top priority was to maintain supply chain efficiency throughout packaging manufacturing and product filling, followed closely by building brand equity into the tray with an effective and hassle-free customer experience. Relaying this information to 3D Systems On Demand Manufacturing, Birdstone and the 3D printing service bureau talked about the requirements for the prototypes.
Due to the complexity of the casing designs and unique functional requirements involved, 3D Systems’ On Demand Manufacturing experts helped Birdstone select the most suitable prototyping process, materials, and finishing process to meet its outlined requirements. Using Stereolithography (SLA) 3D printing on 3D Systems ProX® 800 machine, 3D Systems built both a one- and two-piece prototype in Accura® ClearVue™, a rigid and tough clear 3D plastic material offering the highest clarity and transparency on the market.
Prototyping functional and aesthetic packaging
In just four days, the SLA prototypes were printed and finished to meet Birdstone’s quality and realism requirements. 3D Systems’ On Demand Manufacturing experts followed the premium finishing protocol for Accura ClearVue to deliver water-clear prototypes through a process of wet and dry sanding followed by clear coating. These prototypes were then submitted for manufacturing tests and consumer research to validate and rate the success of each concept, and to assess the performance and limitations of each packaging option at all critical touch points.
At this stage, Birdstone ordered four copies of the leading packaging design from 3D Systems On Demand Manufacturing, which were created using 3D Systems’ cast urethane process. The preferred SLA prototype was used to make a mold which was then used to cast additional water-clear copies using polyurethane, a material very close to what would be used for the final product.
Arriving at the final design
Following full evaluation of the clear prototypes, the final design was officially selected: an attractive one-piece clamshell case, uniquely contoured to the shape of the stacked biscuits. According to Grant Davies, Director, Design & Strategy at Birdstone, “The final design plays to the strengths of the packaging material and provides a secure, re-useable home for the crackers throughout the supply chain and into the customers’ hands. It is functional enough to be filled, stylish enough to serve from, and securely re-closeable for on-the-go snacking.” Birdstone says that by adding another level of consumer engagement through functional and aesthetic packaging, Carman’s is able to offer a deeper brand experience beyond consumption.
Carman’s exciting range of crackers has forged a new place in the market for the company, and the tray has earned it many fans through the cleverness and convenience of its design. Birdstone says it is delighted to have contributed to a successful final product for its client, and to answer the unique challenges of the project within a tight deadline. “As usual,” says Davies, “3D Systems On Demand Manufacturing was a wonderful partner and worked with us to provide the most effective and appealing concept prototypes within the project budget.”
Birdstone’s packaging insert for Carman’s Super Seed & Grain Crackers was a 2018 finalist in the Packaging & Processing Innovation & Design Awards.
Product: SLA Printing
Industry: Electronics y Semiconductors
VAULT is a leading manufacturer of enclosures for tablets, offering highly configurable and customizable solutions. With over twenty years of experience in the point-of-sale (POS) industry, VAULT combines its industry knowledge with an agile design-to-production workflow to answer the growing need for quality-made, uniquely branded POS stands and enclosures.
A key technology within VAULT’s process is 3D Systems’ stereolithography (SLA): specifically, the ProJet® 7000 HD 3D printer. As project timelines at the company continue to shrink, the applications for this machine have expanded. VAULT is using its ProJet 7000 throughout pre-production for everything from proof of concept, to final concept, to mold and tooling set up, to packaging. One major reason for this is speed. “We absolutely love how fast it is,” says Quentin Forbes, VP Engineering at VAULT.
But speed isn’t the only thing. The transparency of Accura® ClearVue™ material improves communication, both between departments at VAULT, as well as with the end-customer. Additionally, the surface finish and accuracy of 3D Systems’ SLA prints enable them to inform tooling, increasing confidence in investment and accelerating timelines.
VAULT was given the opportunity to test its ProJet 7000 when approached by a multibillion-dollar customer with a big request and small timeline. With less than two months on the clock, VAULT needed to design, approve, mold, and produce a final, custom product. When sharing this recap out loud, Forbes said, “It doesn’t even sound possible.” And yet, VAULT delivered.
Fast and functional 3D prints accelerate customer buy-in
In mid-December, VAULT was charged with devising a fresh concept that needed to be finalized and delivered for a trade show in early February. The company got straight to work on design and 3D printed prototypes along the way. “The speed the ProJet 7000 allows us to work at is what made it possible to achieve what we did on this project,” says Forbes.
Right before the holiday break, VAULT’s team met with its customer with a fully functional 3D printed concept in hand. “They were blown away by the surface finish, the quality, and the overall level of work that we were able to show them based on a conversation we had had just 2 weeks earlier,” says Forbes. “And we didn’t do any post-op finishing on the prints either. They won over our client straight from the printer.”
Clear material facilitates design conversations
Another advantage of 3D Systems’ SLA is the available material selection. In particular, Forbes says VAULT has found AccuraClearVue, a clear resin, to be a major help in optimizing design. When customers want to add new features, VAULT will frequently print new components in clear, allowing everyone to have visibility into what is working and what is not. Prototypes in Accura ClearVue help deliver a full understanding of various mechanisms and space-claims to problem-solve for better outcomes.
“Customers don’t always understand how things will ultimately integrate and fit, so there’s a real utility and cool factor to being able to print in clear,” says Forbes. “When you can see through a part, there’s really no discussion, there’s just solutions and resolved questions.”
SLA prototypes accelerate mold manufacturing and packaging
Following a successful client presentation, VAULT secured approval to move forward. The company was able to have molds cut in time, to which Forbes was quick to add: “Don’t ask me how!” However, he did say that having 3D printed prototypes available was highly valuable at this stage as well. For final production, VAULT relied on two-ton molds for plastic injection molding as well as aluminum die casting. The 3D printed prototypes were sent to the mold manufacturers to facilitate communication and ensure everyone was on the same page for the desired outcome.
The 3D printed prototypes provided the mold manufacturers with a reference that assisted them in creating the molds faster, as well as accelerating the post-operation set ups, including a foil stamp. Forbes explained that the extreme thinness of the foil stamp and the accuracy required to place it correctly usually forces this step to be delayed until a production part can be used to assist with placement. In this case, the high accuracy of the SLA prototype made it possible to prepare this step ahead of time and not lose momentum.
“The speed and resolution we can achieve with the ProJet 7000 made it possible to get customer approval quickly, start development quickly, and reduce mold manufacturing time,” says Forbes. “We were also able to use the prototype as the basis of all our packaging design, and when the production parts were ready, they fit perfectly.”
Quick and effective training
Looking back on VAULT’s first solo experience operating its ProJet 7000 HD, it didn’t take long for the company to get up and running. In fact, Forbes says VAULT went straight from training on sample prints to a big project without hesitation. “We went from 0 to 100 miles per hour with the ProJet right away,” says Forbes. “To me it’s a testament to how well 3D Systems does training, and how reliable your printers are in building. We came out of our training session and printer installation and didn’t lose any time getting into very large and long prints, without any issues.”
Success that earns new business
At the end of VAULT’s two-month project window, the customer was able to launch its product as intended. “They are 110% behind this thing,” says Forbes. “It’s a great success story.” In fact, the project ran so successfully, VAULT is gearing up to do it again.
After witnessing the impact of high-quality SLA prints in sales meetings, VAULT’s business development manager Andrew Cagle says 3D Systems’ technology helps the company win new clients. According to Cagle, the work they do with the ProJet 7000 demonstrates that: “We’re industry experts, we’re leaders in this, and the technology we use is cutting edge.”
Product: SLA Printing
Industry: Consumer products and retail
Packaging redesigns are a serious undertaking. On the marketing side, changes are visual and emotional; on the manufacturing side, changes cost money. Before making the investment to overhaul its glass bottle tooling systems, the maker of Australia’s James Boag’s Premium Lager needed to know an update to its bottle would not be change for change’s sake. It needed to be sure the new bottle would look good and be well received by customers. Ideally, this confidence would come before spending major time and capital on the project.
As the supplier of Boag’s bottles, Orora had skin in the game to validate the design quickly and accurately. Orora’s Innovation & Design team put wheels into motion by contacting 3D Systems On Demand Manufacturing, a long-time partner, to develop a state-of-the-art 3D printed prototype. Keeping Boag’s existing supply chain processes top of mind, a new-look bottle was designed to comply with the manufacturing infrastructure already in place to help avoid expensive and time-consuming changes.
3D printing a lookalike for glass
To get Boag’s buy-in on the new design, a credible appearance model was needed for evaluation. To be convincing, the 3D printed models needed to have the same clarity and hue as glass as well as the same in-hand heft. 3D Systems’ On Demand Manufacturing experts accounted for weight disparities by adjusting the interior wall thickness of the design file based on the density of the selected stereolithography (SLA) resin, and then got to work on color-matching to achieve the iconic green of the classic Boag bottle.
Using 3D Systems’ leading SLA 3D printing technology and VisiJet® SL Clear resin, 3D Systems’ On Demand Manufacturing experts printed four SLA prototypes. “Successful lab testing of 3D Systems’ clear materials verify they are the best solution for transparent 3D prints,” said Dr. Don Titterington, Vice President of Materials R&D, 3D Systems. “Used in a variety of demanding applications, clear materials deliver high-performing, cost-effective choices for functional, transparent prototypes.”
Once printed, the bottles were put through an in-house finishing protocol to bring them to final product quality. This included wet and dry sanding, applying a surface tint, and a final clear coat to deliver a glass-like sheen. With just a few simple steps, clear SLA prints can be transformed with incredible results. According to 3D Systems’ Tracy Beard, general manager for On Demand Manufacturing’s facility in Lawrenceburg, TN, thousands of clear parts are produced each week in the Lawrenceburg facility alone. “The materials are versatile enough to be quickly finished and tinted for perfect prototypes,” Beard says.
Fast feedback for fast progress
The appearance models were ready within a week, allowing Orora and Boag to quickly transition the new design to customer trials and gauge the public’s reaction. They filled the 3D printed bottles with liquid, outfitted them with a label and cap, and put them in a shop for monitoring. Feedback from these in-store trials indicated that the new design was a hit, clearing the new design for production.
“The new James Boag’s Lager bottle has set a standard within Orora for the way packaging design and 3D prototyping can come together seamlessly with short notice,” said Orora’s Innovation & Design team. “It’s the sort of technology innovation that’s giving us a critical edge when it comes to developing best-practice bottling design and manufacturing solutions for our customers.”