The best way to understand the benefits of additive manufacturing is to see them for yourself, you’ll find a selection of case studies below that show how companies around the world have integrated 3D printing to improve their processes and gain a competitive advantage.
With over 150 breweries around the world, Heineken is one of the largest global producers of beer. One brewery in Seville, Spain, produces famous brands such as Cruzcampo, Desperados, Heineken, and Amstel. The beer is brewed, packed, and then shipped throughout Spain and beyond. Packaging Manager, Juan Padilla González has implemented 3D printing to increase uptime and efficiency at the Seville brewery.
Arc34 Uses continuous Fiberglass and Chopped Carbon Fiber to manufacturing end use GoPro mounts. Their low volume and high strength requirements make Markforged printers a perfect option.
ProCobots recognised the need for a streamlined solution to integration of robotics in lean manufacturing. A traditional robot cell performs one specialised function, so factories spend months integrating multiple expensive, monolithic cells to serve an entire production line. ProCobots produces a standardised machine tending cell utilising an EasyRobotics Pro Feeder and Universal-Robots UR10 collaborative robot. It can be adapted to serve multiple functions by simply swapping out 3D printed end effectors, and reprogramming on a single graphical user interface within minutes.
Lean Machine CNC
Lean Machine combined over two dozen continuous carbon fibre reinforced parts with off-the-shelf components for their durable vise and soft jaws.
Centor develops custom integrated doors for residential and commercial buildings. Each unique design requires a proof of concept. Three in-house machinists used to spend all their time fabricating components in low volumes, with additional components being outsourced. This approach led to inconsistent quality, lengthy production times, and excess costs. Seeking an alternative, Group Manager of Product and Engineering David Chappell took a chance on Markforged and was immediately impressed: “It’s the first time I’ve ever actually seen a 3D printer do what it promised in a real-life design studio factory like ours. It just runs.”
By using 3D printed tools, jigs, and fixtures, Volkswagen Autoeuropa reduces cycle time operation, labour, scrap, and the need for reworking, while improving tool ergonomics. Furthermore, they achieve this at a tenth of the usual cost.
Dexter manufacturer Haddington Dynamics supplies its 7-axis fully assembled robotic arms and kits to NASA, GoogleX, and Toshiba. After using the arm, a high-profile customer suggested they move away from using weak PLA material and instead utilise Markforged’s Onyx material with continuous carbon fibre reinforcement to achieve the strength they desired. This was enough for Haddington Dynamics to purchase four Markforged printers. Inventor of Dexter, Kent Gilson said “within about three weeks of receiving our printers, we had completely redesigned the robot with the carbon fibre layup and saved all kinds of volume.” Dexter is now almost completely made from Markforged 3D printed parts, which has saved the company 58% in costs.
With 3D printing, ABB Robotics can minimize risk in the development process by proving the viability of a design before investing in an expensive tool. This shrinks the development process from months to a matter of days.