Stratasys

3D printing slashes manufacturing costs of prototype moulds

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The future will see Schneider 3D print final tools

Using 3D printing to design and engineer assembly-line tools for validation enables the company to save time in the production of the final tools. Harnessing Stratasys’ Connex multi-material 3D printing technology, department manager Yann Sittarame and his team can produce new manufacturing tool prototypes in just one week. In the past, it would have taken at least three weeks to produce the same tools using conventional CNC machining, which amounts to a massive time-saving of around 70%.

“This technology has changed the way we work and changes the way we think about doing things in the future,” explains Yann. “Looking ahead, we plan to 3D-print the final tools, which is perfectly achievable given the accuracy and durability of our 3D printing process."

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For now, the company will, according to Sylvain Gire, continue to leverage Stratasys solutions for the ongoing development of its tooling process, predominantly for the production of small quantities of new products. Beyond that, and in order to realise its ultimate goal of creating the Factory of the Future, Schneider Electric plans to explore the opportunity of using Stratasys’ 3D printing solutions for final production, such as for spare parts or for low-volume requirements.

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