Challenge and solution

Challenge

Challenge

Farmshelf’s flagship product had significant engineering requirements for mounting brackets, cable and air management, and plant housings; which could not be accomplished with off-the-shelf parts. Given the quantity of customized iterative parts required while validating their solution, traditional fabrication methods would have been too expensive for the company to sustain growth.

Solution

Solution

Ultimaker professional desktop 3D printers allowed Farmshelf to continue evolving custom part designs, while also meeting short-run production needs for early adopter units already installed in full public view. Incorporating Ultimaker into their processes provided a cost-friendly solution that streamlined the testing and prototyping stages of production.

Solutions comparison

Ultimaker 3D printers

External suppliers

Costs Cost of filament only. Costs Initial setup costs for each individual part design. Costs for materials and supplies. Service costs for completing production run. Any additional features multiply set up and service fees per Farmshelf unit.
Time Can produce multiple custom parts per printing platter to keep pace with current beta production needs. Time Weeks, part orders must be planned ahead and stock up to serve evolving needs of active growing systems.
Iterations 1-5 iterations per part Iterations 5-10 iterations per part

“The plant pods we 3D printed in-house are already on view in the Farmshelf units installed in Grand Central Station. These had to look like finished parts from the start.” -- Andrew Shearer

Results

Functional prototypes

Functional prototypes

Producing inexpensive desktop 3D printed custom parts permits immediate testing for entire growth cycles—to validate or invalidate a design pathway based on real-world data.

Read the full Farmshelf story
Customizable design

Customizable design

Having on-site part design and production in the same facility decreases huge amounts of time associated with traditional manufacturing and parts sourcing drastically.

3D printing end-use parts
Freedom in design

Freedom in design

3D printing enables designers to have more freedom in product design compared to traditional manufacturing methods, which makes it easier to tackle real-world problems.

Freedom in design thanks to 3D printing
Product expansion

Product expansion

The ability to produce fully-functional units in-house using desktop 3D printing allowed Farmshelf to install their automated systems at a number of sites in public while still in beta.

3D printing in product design

More 3D printing knowledge

White paper
3D printing: The total cost of ownership
10-01-2019

3D printing: The total cost of ownership

3D printer manufacturers don’t always communicate the full cost of owning their products. Discover 3D printing’s full cost breakdown, so you can avoid any hidden costs.

Read more
Business case
3D printed car components for time and cost savings
23-12-2016

3D printed car components for time and cost savings

3D printing has enabled Tucci Hot Rods to produce customized car components that are used to modify and build custom vehicles for their clients - all to exceptionally high design standards and in much less time than was previously possible.

Read more Download as PDF
Business case
Fast, risk-free product design and prototyping
05-04-2017

Fast, risk-free product design and prototyping

Using 3D printing technology, Julian Hakes can now make as many as five iterations per prototype, creating designs that weren’t possible before. Model scaling is easy, and it’s far simpler to communicate ideas with colleagues and business partners.

Read more Download as PDF
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.

Request a quote
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.

Learn more
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.

Learn more
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.

Learn more
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.

Learn more
Support