Challenge and solution

Challenge

Challenge

Before using an Ultimaker 3D printer, the Cranfield University team relied on a full-time technician to make all the unique devices needed for experiments. This required the sourcing of expensive materials like steel, aluminum and PTFE, plus the cost of the technician time. And for each iteration, researchers had to wait days for the improved device to be ready.

Solution

Solution

With an Ultimaker 3D printer, the devices can be designed and fabricated much more efficiently. A rough concept is made using 3D design software and printed to validate the idea. Then they produce iterations to check each property of the device – a new version can be ready in couple of hours. Once they have perfected the design, the final product can also be 3D printed in the lab.

Results

Design, print, repeat

Design, print, repeat

With an Ultimaker 3D printer, time and material costs are reduced compared to other methods. This removes barriers to achieving the absolute perfect design, so the lab is achieving better results than ever while saving budget.

3D printing functional prototypes
Desktop fabrication

Desktop fabrication

It's easy to go from prototype to final product with an Ultimaker 3D printer. At Cranfield University, their Ultimaker even outperforms a specialist 3D printer for microfluidics devices, achieving smaller channels at lower costs.

3D printing end-use parts
Low-cost lab tools

Low-cost lab tools

A 3D printer has become a vital tool for making anything needed at short notice, like a mount to hold part of an experiment in place. Having a 3D printer has also promoted collaboration with other departments.

3D printing in research
Sharing knowledge

Sharing knowledge

3D printing is also a great way to visualize complex ideas in physical form. Use an Ultimaker 3D printer in the lab to create visualization aids for communicating complex concepts clearly and inspire your audience.

3D printing visualization aids

More 3D printing knowledge

Business case
Rapid design iterations for the early project stages
28-06-2017

Rapid design iterations for the early project stages

Honeybee Robotics is a design and engineering solutions firm known for contributions of critical planetary analysis technology to NASA’s past three Mars missions. Their designs are “destined for work on Earth, Mars, and beyond.” Their work extends to other industries as well, leveraging hard-fought expertise in designing mechanisms, robots, and robotics systems for work in challenging environments.

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Business case
Maximizing production efficiency with 3D printed tools, jigs, and fixtures
19-06-2017

Maximizing production efficiency with 3D printed tools, jigs, and fixtures

By using 3D printed tools, jigs, and fixtures, Volkswagen Autoeuropa reduces cycle time operation, labor, and the need for reworking, while improving tool ergonomics. Furthermore, they achieve this at a tenth of the usual cost. The company estimates that they are on track to save €325,000 by the end of 2017.

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Business case
Faster, more accurate dental models
01-05-2017

Faster, more accurate dental models

Using 3D printing technology, OpLab can quickly and easily create physical models of dental arches, reducing time, labor, and expenses in the process. The new approach means the team can achieve greater model accuracy, resulting in less error and a better service for their clients.

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Amplifying business performance with Ultimaker

Elevate your
business with 3D printing

Find out how 3D printing could boost your company’s performance – talk to one of Ultimaker’s expert local partners today.

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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