3D PRINTING EXAMPLES FROM INDUSTRY
Stable and reliable printing processes, industrial control, CE certifications and robust machine construction – it is this and much more that help our industrial 3D printers to stand out. Well-known customers and partners from industry and research have put their faith in professional industrial 3D printers from HAGE3D. Customers include well-known companies in a wide range of industries, including the automotive industry, aeronautical engineering, the service sector, research and education. Uses include prototyping, the production of fixtures and equipment to small series and cyclical production.
3D PRINTING IN THE VEHICLE INTERIOR
Systems engineer 3CON is a global leader in systems and tool construction for the automotive industry. 3CON uses the 140L model 3D printer to create high-performance systems for customers such as BMW, Mercedes and Audi.
If you’ve always been interested in how car interiors come about, 3CON is the place to be. The company, which has its origins in Germany, has had its headquarters in Ebbs bei Kufstein, located between Salzburg and Innsbruck, since 2001. The systems manufacturer produces machinery to laminate car doors, centre consoles and other car interior surfaces. Systems produce up to 2000 parts per day, applying coatings made of plastic, leather and other materials. The company is now the market leader and counts BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Porsche and many others amongst its customers. Alongside its headquarters in Ebbs, 3CON has subsidiaries in Germany, Mexico, China and the USA and supplies to the global market. 3CON uses three HAGE3D 140L models to create high-performance systems for its customers.
The HAGE3D 140L model 3D printer and its output are blazing a trail for future vehicles, their appearance and interiors. It is important that the parts printed by a 3D printer are extremely accurate in order to cleanly bond car doors and other interior parts. Additionally, the parts must correspond exactly to the properties that the real parts will ultimately have. 3CON’s requirements of the 3D printer are:
- Flawless, reliable printing of components/prototypes made using ABS
- Manufacture capability of especially thin-walled components
- Stability and accuracy in everyday use
- Uncomplicated, easy operation
- Expandable material range, if required
- Prompt and competent support
‘We are fully satisfied with the HAGE3D 140L as it meets our every requirement and we have been able to reliably manufacture prototypes with the device for around one and a half years,’ Martin Payr, Head of New Developments at 3CON.
FOUR STEPS TO THE FINISHED CAR INTERIOR
The HAGE3D printer is used at the outset of the system construction process. The car manufacturer sends the design of the component. The CAD data are then used to produce a 3D model. The model is then printed using ABS with the HAGE3D 140L.
These prototypes are used for adjustment and materials testing. The printed prototypes are inserted into the ‘test systems’ and bonded with the respective fabric pattern of the car part. To activate the adhesive, the printed part and the respective fabric are heated and then bonded and pressed.
A series machine is then built based on these test specimens and the results of the tests of correct calibration and setting. Components printed with the HAGE3D 140L are also processed in the systems.
The finished system leaves 3CON and enters into operation with the respective car manufacturer. Once there, the system bonds up to 2000 parts every day, these are then processed into cars.
LARGE-FORMAT, DENSE CANISTERS OF PP
Polypropylene was for a long time regarded as impossible to print, especially in the case of larger components. Washtec uses the HAGE3D 140L to manufacture large-format, leaktight polypropylene canisters, operating equipment and functional components.
As the leading global provider of vehicle washing system, Washtec uses innovative technologies such as additive manufacturing. At the beginning, the company relied on 3D printing service providers, but the lengthy lead times for large-volume components and data confidentiality were of particular concern. Added to this was the size restriction in the SLS process. Dr Andreas Sattler and DI Stefan Mayer of Washtec started looking to purchase their own machines. They finally found what they were looking for at HAGE3D. According to Mayer, the reasons for choosing HAGE3D were as follows: ‘HAGE3D is one of the few manufacturers to manufacture machines with large, temperature-controlled installation spaces. [...] But, the mechanical engineering design too clearly differs from the manufacturer scene. It is not just a small printer that has been scaled up. The solid mechanical engineering is also evident in the surface of the components. It’s genuine mechanical engineering.’
A customisable, solvent-resistant and liquid-tight canister made of PP (polypropylene) was produced as part of a feasibility study. ‘Components made of PP are difficult to break; the high elongation at break should not be underestimated. In terms of cost and chemical resistance, PP is the ideal material for us,’ explains Dr Andreas Sattler. In addition to the impermeability and chemical resistance of the plastic, the print bed adhesion, uniform temperature control of the installation space and suitable process parameters were essential. As an example, the issue of support structures was very complex – and despite the divergent and high demands, these were solved with the HAGE3D machine after only a few print tests. Only minimal design changes to the tightness and warpage needed to be made for optimisation. Users at Washtec were able to operate the machine themselves and print the first parts as soon as the two-day commissioning, including training by a HAGE3D expert, was completed.
In addition to the production of canisters, the HAGE3D 140L is also used for a range of other in-house applications, as Mayer explains: ‘Apart from PP, the HAGE3D machine is also used for a number of components such as vacuum grippers with integrated channels, supports for the joining process, auxiliary fixtures, covers and covering parts, i.e. in the production technology and production aids areas.’
3D-PRINTED AIR TRANSFER TUBES OF ABS
Paschinger Prototypen & Maschinenbau uses the HAGE3D 84L for the production of air transfer tubes. The tube, which is made of two parts and bonded, has been ordered as a run of eleven units for the moment, with another 30 to follow by the end of the year.
Gerald Paschinger Prototypen & Maschinenbau e.U. has been using HAGE3D machines for contract manufacturing for several years now. The family business, based in Haag in the state of Lower Austria, is a specialist in the manufacture of tools, components, fixtures and prototypes. The company uses a divergent range of technologies including CAD design, CNC milling and turning, 3D measurement, laser engraving and 3D printing.
The company was founded during the economic crisis in 2009. Due to its ongoing development and openness to technology, the company has been able to adapt quickly to market demands and to grow and expand sustainably. The company currently operates eight CNC machines and six 3D printers, including the HAGE3D 84L model. The 84L has been in use for around a year and has become the obvious frontrunner in terms of reliable manufacturing.
Why did you opt for a HAGE3D machine?
The decision to opt for a HAGE3D machine was largely because of the size of the component. The high degree of customer orientation as well as ‘Made in Austria’ were also important reasons for opting for the HAGE3D 84L. The industrial 3D printer is used to produce design prototypes, functional prototypes, fixtures, pre-series components and end-use parts. When it comes to materials, Paschinger typically uses ASA, PET-G, PC, PA6 and PC-ABS. 3D printing offers a clear cost benefit over injection moulding, with the latter overly expensive and uneconomical for small series in particular.
(Small) series production of air transfer tubes
One of these small series is also the air transfer tube. The tube, which is made of two parts and bonded, has been ordered as a run of eleven units for the moment, with another 30 to follow by the end of the year. A finished tube comprises two parts. Each part takes up a print area of approx. 271 x 492 x 280 mm (X, Y, Z).
Completion of the tube took around 19 hours. Both parts are made of black ABS and require no support material, thus there is no material wear. The fully bonded tube weighs 728 g and has a length of 440 mm.
CYCLICAL AND SERIES PRODUCTION
3D PRINTING REPLACES INJECTION MOULDING
This year, rather than using injection moulding, Breco Antriebstechnik Breher GmbH & Co. KG has been using 3D printing for polyurethane toothed belts. The HAGE3D PROLine enables individual, application-optimised manufacture of toothed belts both economically and in smaller quantities.
Until recently, the profiles (with nubs, tappets or other requirements) for the toothed belts were produced by injection moulding and then subsequently welded onto a TPU belt. There was scope to simplify the process and enhance economic efficiency with additive manufacturing in the form of the HAGE3D PROLine.
‘On the one hand, the machines allow us to realise special customer requirements in a way that is economically efficient, even in small batch sizes, and on the other, to cover additional areas of use. This includes, for example, the manufacture of assembly tools and production aids. We are already eager to see what other options this will open up, and we are sure that there will be many more usage options!’ – Alexander Uljanov, user at Breco.
MODEL RAILWAY ACCESSORIES
FROM THE 3D PRINTER
Hermann3D, a service provider based in southern Germany, has been able to tap a new business area thanks to the expansion of its fleet of machinery with the addition of a HAGE3D 3D printer. The 3D printing machine is used in the (series) manufacture of large, thin-walled model components.
Hermann3D GbR has been able to tap a new business area in the model railway sector with the aid of the HAGE3D 72L 3D printer. It was a supply bottleneck at a major manufacturer in the model railway field in 2016 that brought Hermann3D GbR to the point of expanding its fleet of machinery. The original idea of constructing the chassis of the part on top of the remainder of the model was abandoned due to the considerable amount of time that it required. The company needed a reliable and practical solution, and the decision to opt for HAGE3D was a quick one.
‘Following a detailed clarification of the requisite boundary conditions, we recommended our HAGE3D 72L to Hermann3D. With a component size of 340 x 115 x 135 mm, the chassis, which is made using white ASA, has a component weight of approximately 500 g,’ explains Thomas Janics of HAGE3D. After only two test runs, it proved possible to manufacture the chassis with no support structures and in just one piece.
„The HAGE3D 72L allowed us to manufacture the complete chassis with no support structures and in just one piece following a short run-in time.“
Sascha Hermann, Managing Director of Hermann 3D GbR
Walter Mauser GmbH used the HAGE3D FDM machine to manufacture prototypes for its CAB 2020 project. The Austrian manufacturer produces cabs for a range of different vehicles. It sets great store by ‘delivering the best quality in the shortest time possible,’ explains Wolfgang Szedenik, Head of Research and Development.
The CAB 2020 project seeks to create the ultimate cab for agricultural and construction vehicles. Walter Mauser GmbH used a 3D printer from HAGE3D to manufacture the prototypes.
A large installation space, rapid system availability and short response times for support were the crucial parameters when deciding to purchase a 3D printer. With those in place, HAGE3D was selected. ‘The HAGE3D features a construction platform in DIN A2 format with a height of 290 mm, which roughly corresponds to a 70 l construction volume. As an Austrian manufacturer from Styria, we were thus able to assert our position – not just in respect of suitable dimensioning – but also in terms of proximity and response time,’ explains Thomas Janics, Managing Director of HAGE3D.
In addition to a modern design, the functionality of the cab was also important to Walter Mauser GmbH. Before manufacture of the driver’s cab, certain components, including door handles, were additively manufactured, although by external service providers. The company had increasingly come to rely on additive manufacturing and had grown unwilling to hand over its own developments to external companies, so it decided that the time had come to invest in its own 3D printer. In selecting the machine, a large installation space and rapid system availability were key criteria.
‘Our decision to invest in our own additive manufacturing machine and to have HAGE3D as a partner is undoubtedly a step in the right direction when looked at from today’s perspective. It does of course require introductory training and a certain basic technical understanding to familiarise yourself with the technology and a competent partner is vital. Still, the possibilities that we have seen have already impressed us,’ explains Martin Horvath, Project Engineer.
FROM THE 3D PRINTER
‘Scorpion’ is the name of the electric vehicle created by students of HTL Salzburg with the support of HAGE3D. The vehicle has since received road approval and can be considered a resounding success.
The aim of a technical school in Salzburg: development of an energy-efficient electric vehicle. The current vehicle, ‘Scorpion’, also impresses with its exceptional design, and is a truly unique specimen. It is intended to provide inspiration for future and sustainable projects and to raise awareness of modes of transport that are powered by electricity.
Flow simulation was used to create the shells, which can be additively manufactured almost 1:1, with scarcely any restriction on freedom of design. The HAGE3D 72L 3D printer was used – the optimal and reliable solution for technical plastics.
3D technology has given the chassis new aspects that the previous chassis did not benefit from. Plus, thanks to rapid and straightforward disassembly, the shell is also extremely functional and requires no additional support structure. 3D printing also enabled a weight reduction, giving a significant improvement in performance.