A 3D printed fixture that was used in conjunction with an Instron test frame to translate linear force into rotational force to press (and measure) button actuation on a medical device
3D printing is revolutionising manufacturing by allowing for unprecedented production flexibility, which benefits both manufacturers and sellers. Traditional manufacturing service providers frequently face the problem of declining orders because quantities fall below their minimum order threshold, rendering them unprofitable. This limitation, however, has been effectively overcome with the advent of 3D printing.
Because 3D printing eliminates the need for costly tooling stages, manufacturers can now fulfil lower-quantity orders. This newfound agility allows them to deliver products in previously unthinkable quantities. Simultaneously, sellers are no longer limited by their traditional equipment capabilities. They can provide a diverse range of parts to customers from prototypes to end-use applications thereby increasing their revenue streams.
Pipeline Design & Engineering, a US-based developer of custom manufacturing equipment, test fixtures, and automation for businesses, for example, had a few SLA printers for printing parts. While they did an excellent job, the maintenance took a long time. They purchased Markforged’s Mark Two 3D printer in order to improve efficiency and reduce maintenance. This investment was a huge success, with the printer demonstrating exceptional reliability and a low failure rate.
Aaron Moncur, founder of Pipeline Design & Engineering, expressed his satisfaction, stating, “I was amazed at how reliable it was — essentially zero failures. We printed over 100 parts before encountering our first issue. It required very low maintenance, a significant departure from the other 3D printers I had dealt with.”
The use of 3D printing not only facilitated the quick and low-cost production of prototypes and custom solutions for customers, but it also created a new revenue stream through the sale of 3D printed parts. Aside from cost savings, Pipeline Design & Engineering significantly increased their production flexibility, allowing them to accept a wider range of orders, fulfil them more efficiently, and save significant sums of money.