Challenge and solution

Challenge

Challenge

Traditionally, design engineers would be unable to fully test the functionality of their designs without going down the route of investing in tooling for investment casting. This tooling process typically takes 3-4 weeks to complete and Sylatech customers typically incur a cost of between £2,000 to £4,000 per tool. About 30% of the tools would require alteration due to customer design modifications. This could cost the customer anywhere between £500 - £900.

Solution

Solution

With the Ultimaker, Sylatech can offer its customers a cost-effective prototyping solution. Whereas the tooling process would take about 3-4 weeks to complete, a 3D print can be undertaken within a matter of hours. The 3D printing process is popular with Sylatech’s customers due to the flexibility that it affords in the product design lifecycle. Thanks to Ultimaker, engineers can now have their designs transformed into a metal part within a number of days.

Cost comparison

Traditional tooling approach

Ultimaker 3D printing

Project development cost £17,100 Project development cost £660
Project development time 4 weeks Project development time 5 days

Note: 3D printing can typically avoid the need for undertaking tool modifications. Once the customer is ready to produce a production volume, investing in tooling is still necessary.

Results

Accelerated placement of tooling orders

Accelerated placement of tooling orders

The Ultimaker has enabled Sylatech’s customers to become more confident in their designs within a shorter time period, thus resulting in the accelerated placement of tooling orders for production.

3D printing for functional prototyping
Reduced level of tooling modifications

Reduced level of tooling modifications

Traditionally, about 30% of the tools would require alteration due to customer design modifications. This could cost the customer anywhere between £500 - £900. The Ultimaker shrunk this percentage to below 5%.

3D printing in manufacturing
Flexibility in the product design lifecycle

Flexibility in the product design lifecycle

The 3D printing process is popular with Sylatech’s customers due to the flexibility that it affords in the product design lifecycle. The Ultimaker allows for complex geometries and intricate designs to be made.

3D printing for engineers
Time- and cost savings

Time- and cost savings

The accelerated placement of tooling orders and reduced number of tooling modifications result in significant time- and cost savings. Sylatech estimates the payback period for an Ultimaker 3 desktop 3D printer to be less than 3 months.

Learn more about the Ultimaker 3

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