Production tools are one of the applications where additive manufacturing truly shines. By optimizing the design of this suction gripper for 3D printing, Materialise reduced the manufacturing costs per gripper by half.
Engineering and manufacturing company Röchling Automotive was given an ambitious target by one of their automobile OEM customers: to reduce the weight of an engine by 35%. After partnering with Materialise to optimize, design, cast an aluminum inlet and print in plastic around the metal core, they are on their way to meeting this goal.
Until now skiers had to make a choice between ski boots that were either comfortable or high performing. TAILORED FITS founder Reto Rindlisbacher wanted to change this by combining these two features into one pair of boots. And he was able to do so thanks to mass customization made possible through 3D printing.
When it comes to producing an exact replica of a mammoth, one thing is clear. Size matters. Recreating over 300 bones, some of which are over 2 meters in length (bigger than a fully grown adult!), is no small feat. Coupled with the need to avoid any invasive or potentially damaging work on the original bones, this project presented a unique challenge.
Iristick’s smart safety glasses are at the cutting edge of design and electronic engineering. Working with Materialise, Achilles Design was able to get Iristick into small-series manufacturing at least 6 months ahead of schedule, reduce initial investment costs, and go to market with an agile offering tailorable to customer requirements.
Inspired by the design freedom that 3D Printing presents and armed with a creative concept unlike any other, leading designer Fabián Hofmann presented Materialise with a challenge. To partner with him in creating the industry’s first eyewear range with complex moving parts created entirely from additive technologies. With a re-imagined titanium ‘VOID’ hinge, a lightweight open core frame design, and an entirely new surface finish, ‘Cosmos’ was born.
When it comes to retrofitting for aircraft, time is of the essence. During cabin retrofits, the integration of newly designed elements might create a need for adapting or redesigning some panels or spacers, which are typically required in low volumes and short timeframes. With tight retrofit timescales to meet, Airbus was looking for a quick and smart solution to produce these spacer panels, and they found it in Materialise’s Certified Additive Manufacturing.
Employing robots to conduct equipment inspections is a longstanding focus for Shell – one with potentially huge safety and efficiency benefits. To avoid transporting its large and valuable robots to promotional events, Shell asked Materialise to create smaller models to serve as demonstrators. Through a bespoke combination of 3D Printing technologies, materials and finishing techniques, Materialise produced two precise replicas that look exactly like the original machines.
Italian engineering company QualiCal saw an opportunity for innovation in lime production, and asked — could 3D printing help eliminate the single biggest cause of production downtime? It could and it has. Partnering with us, QualiCal developed a shaft level indicator that offers the potential for increased revenue of up to €1,400,000.
Italian drone company Soleon has diverse projects, from aerial photography to thermal mapping drones. For years now, Soleon has been working with Materialise to adapt their products quickly to the needs of their customers, shorten lead times and reduce the weight of the drone parts compared to expensive and time-consuming milled parts.
Solutions: Additive Manufacturing, Metal 3D Printing
Working together Materialise and Philips Lighting explored the benefits 3D Printing could offer for components in a production environment. The first two parts we developed; a lamp holder bracket, previously prone to part failure and a redesigned suction gripper; are together realizing cost savings of around €89,000 a year.
Volvo Car Gent discovered that streamlining your supply of tools and fixtures can unlock savings, production headroom and more. This 3D-printed gluing jig combines all previous components in one fixture, weighs 64% less and can be delivered in only two weeks at nearly half the price of the previous jig.