This week at the Italian manufacturing conference MECSPE 2016, 3D printing industry leader Stratasys announced that the largest 3D printing service bureau in Italy was purchasing its fourth Fortus 900mc industrial 3D printer. By adding another Fortus to its business, Spring s.r.l. will be capable of increasing their available production output hours, and dramatically expand the company’s additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping offerings, which currently account for a significant portion of their business. The purchase was made using Italian 3D printer reseller Technimold, which offers the full range of Stratasys industrial 3D printers, as well as industrial quality 3D printing materials and accessories.
The purchase was driven by the Spring’s ongoing growth in their direct manufacturing and 3D printing services, which has been one of their primary services since 1998 when the company launched, originally offering prototyping services. The company purchased their first Stratasys 3D printer back in 1999, and they have continued to add more of the company’s 3D printers regularly ever since. This latest purchase is their tenth Stratasys FDM 3D printer in service to Spring, and the fourth large-scale Fortus FDM machine in their workshop. The fourth 3D printer was added because a growing number of their clients are demanding affordable, customizable, fully-functional 3D printed parts in addition to their rapid prototyping services.
“FDM 3D printing technology has been indispensable to our production process for the last 14 years as it enables us to quickly manufacture complex, customer-specific products on-demand. We purchased our fourth Fortus 900mc to increase our production hours. This essentially allows us to strengthen our offering in a range of industries, including medical and automotive,” explained Roberto Toniello, Spring s.r.l. co-founder and head of the company’s engineering department.
The need to expand Spring’s ability to produce more end-use additive manufactured parts was crucial to improving the company’s growing manufacturing operations. At this point, 75% of the company’s business is related to additive manufacturing and 3D printing. The new 3D printer has increased Spring’s production output hours by more than 11%. That includes the production of high-quality prototypes for stress and practical testing, and the manufacture of fully-functional parts. Both 3D printing services are faster than any other traditional manufacturing method, and cost their clients considerably less.
A full 80% of their 3D printed parts are made for the automotive and aerospace industries. The jobs are primarily for the production of customized tools, jigs and fixtures used in their customers manufacturing lines. These assembly tools are used throughout both industries, as wind tunnel components or as quality-control tools used to verify the accuracy of assemblies and fabrication processes.
“When asked to produce these component parts, we instantly knew that the outstanding strength and thermal stability of Stratasys’ ULTEM 9085 & ULTEM 1010 materials would make it the ideal choice to withstand the harsh demands of the manufacturing line. Similarly, the high fatigue resistance of the FDM Nylon 12 material allows us to quickly and cost-effectively produce assembly aids and quality control tools. With the volume of orders from our customers fluctuating, we are not restricted by the bottleneck of batch manufacturing. Using Stratasys additive manufacturing, we can design and manufacture complex geometries, tailored to our customer requirements, on-demand. This is crucial in ensuring our customers can bring their products to market faster than previous methods allowed,” Toniello continues.
The Fortus 900mc is widely considered one of the most powerful FDM additive manufacturing systems on the market, and is capable of using a wide range of industrial quality and exotic 3D printing materials. There are twelve different material options available, including ABS materials, Nylon materials, super strong machine-grade materials and a full selection of colors. The 900mc has two material bays and a huge build envelope of 914 x 610 x 914 mm (36 x 24 x 36 in.) that can manufacture anything from prototypes, production parts, jigs, fixtures and factory tools with ease. You can find out more about the services offered by Spring s.r.l. over on their website, and more about the Stratasys product offered by Technimold here. Are you surprised to hear Stratasys has sold four of these systems already? Discuss in the Stratasys 900mc 3D Printer forum over at 3DPB.com.