Challenge and solution

Challenge

Challenge

Previously, production of the nozzles was outsourced to SLS service bureaus. The turnaround time for this outsourcing solution was anything up to 7 days and it was £125 minimum order. Casting was not possible since the nozzle's inner geometries are too complicated for anything but 3D printing. Paul started looking for a solution that matched the project requirements and that he could use himself on-site.

Solution

Solution

Paul got the Ultimaker for prototyping and producing new nozzles for the snow machines. In stark contrast with the outsourcing solution, he can now print new nozzles in a matter of hours and at almost no cost. While he could still use the SLS service, the in-house solution turned out to be more cost-effective in the long run. Paul estimates the first printer the company bought paid for itself within just 2 weeks.

Cost comparison

SLS service

Ultimaker 3D printers

Cost per iteration £125 Cost per iteration £2.50
Lead time 7 days Lead time 7 hours

Save for a few £s in filament cost, the nozzles can be printed at almost no cost in just a few hours. Note: these numbers relate to the iterative R&D process. When going into production, the cost per iteration of £125 for SLS service bureaus can be spread across multiple nozzles, likely shrinking the per-nozzle cost of SLS service bureaus to £25.

Results

Accelerated R&D

Accelerated R&D

No longer having to wait for parts to arrive means the iterative R&D cycle can be sped up significantly, allowing for more ideas to be tested in a shorter timeframe.

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Cost savings

Cost savings

Instead of having to pay £125 for every design cycle, new nozzles can now be printed for a couple of pounds worth of plastic, giving rise to significant cost savings.

3D printing in engineering
Accessible solution

Accessible solution

The Ultimaker can be operated without the need for specialized equipment or training, which makes it an accessible alternative to outsourcing.

3D printing end-use parts
Design freedom

Design freedom

With the Ultimaker 3, it is possible to print with water-soluble PVA support. This allows you to print complex geometries in one piece, saving post-printing assembly time.

Learn more about the Ultimaker 3

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More 3D printing knowledge

Ultimaker ecosystem

Ultimaker 3D printers

3D printers

Ultimaker’s range of reliable desktop 3D printers offers greater design freedom, with more efficiency and lower costs.

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Ultimaker 3D printing materials

3D printing materials

Ultimaker materials have been developed to deliver high-quality, consistent results, and include Nylon, ABS, CPE, PVA and more.

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Ultimaker Cura 3D printing software

Ultimaker Cura software

With a range of carefully tested pre-configured profiles, Ultimaker Cura ensures a smooth, straightforward 3D printing experience.

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Ultimaker service and support

Support

We select our dedicated service partners carefully, to ensure the highest possible standards of service and support. Whenever you need it.

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Support