Bennie ShamNovember 14, 2023
Story and video developed by UltiMaker partner Sicnova
IMES 3D has become a factory of the future thanks to the 49 UltiMaker brand 3D printers it has acquired since its inception in 2013. Thanks to this large printer farm, IMES 3D manufactures custom parts for clients from various industrial and professional sectors, from Gavà, Barcelona. As experts in UltiMaker machines, they have made the most of the PC-ABS FR filament from BASF Forward AM and the UltiMaker S7 3D printer by manufacturing applications for the automotive industry.
IMES 3D has extensive experience developing 3D printed solutions for its clients.
Already at its foundation in 2013, they saw the potential of this technology for multiple industries and especially for the automotive industry. For this, they use technologies such as Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) or Multi Jet Fusion (MJF).
Sometimes, IMES 3D caters to the needs of companies like SoloWrangler, a company specializing in these types of Jeep.
Thanks to a technical team composed of nine people and their huge IMES 3D printer farm, they respond to challenges such as achieving customized parts and making them durable enough for these 4x4 cars.
"Printing with PC-ABS FR on the UltiMaker S7 has allowed us to create parking sensors, wheel centering devices, and custom mudguards sturdy enough for all-terrain vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler," said David Mestres, CEO of IMES 3D.
In order to obtain parts that can withstand the impacts of the Jeep Wrangler, IMES 3D used the UltiMaker S7 3D printer, the most reliable in the range, to manufacture parts with the PC-ABS Fire Resistant 3D printing filament from BASF Forward AM. Among the advantages that IMES 3D identified in the S7 are its flexible bed, which makes removing complex parts faster, and better automatic leveling.
Thanks to the advice of Sicnova and its reseller 3dprintfilam, IMES 3D has expanded its printer park to be able to manufacture more than 2 million parts and 2 thousand tools within a period of three years. By combining the S7 with this BASF filament, IMES 3D has manufactured parking sensors, custom mudguards, and impact and fire-resistant wheel centering devices for its client.
Thanks to this technology, IMES 3D can offer durable parts and more competitive prices to its customers. Manufacturing a sensor cover for 4x4 cars in CNC has a cost of 148 €, but in 3D they can be achieved for just 36 €. In addition, the IMES 3D team designs the piece in a few hours, validates it in two days, and is capable of manufacturing hundreds of units within a period of two weeks.
As for the filament chosen for these applications, BASF Forward AM's PC-ABS FR is ideal for vehicle applications due to its hardness and resistance in extreme situations.
This is a filament that is easy to print on a machine like the UltiMaker S7 and offers high printing speeds, which allows it to meet demand.
David Mestres, executive director of IMES 3D, and his team are strong advocates for the potential of additive manufacturing. This is evidenced by their large UltiMaker 3D printer farm. "3D printing is not only useful for prototyping: we develop productive processes with the best qualities and geometries without generating large amounts of waste," explains Mestres, who assures that 3D contributes to the circular economy and will increasingly be present in more spaces.