It’s been a few months since we’ve heard from Mumbai 3D printer manufacturer MaherSoft, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been busy – quite the contrary, in fact. We first learned about the startup about a year ago when they introduced the Indie, their dual-nozzle industrial 3D printer; a few months later they followed up with the Max, their desktop printer offering. Soon, they’ll be unveiling their third printer: the desktop version of the Indie, appropriately named the Indie Desktop.
The Indie Desktop will soon be launching on Indiegogo (also appropriate), and while an official date has not been released, you can sign up at the MaherSoft website to be one of the first 50 backers and receive an early bird price of $450. In the meantime, MaherSoft has been building more than just 3D printers. In an interesting case study, the company was recently approached by a leading transport services company to build a scale model of some of their heavy transport equipment.
The client, according to MaherSoft, specializes in transporting ultra-heavy equipment for the petroleum and refinery industry. They contacted MaherSoft with a request for a 3D printed scale model of one of their pieces of transport equipment: a 115-meter-long trailer used for heavy lifts. It’s an idea that appeals to many manufacturers and other industrial companies, as a scale model of a product or piece of equipment is, unsurprisingly, more effective than a photograph in terms of drawing the interest of potential clients.
For MaherSoft, it was an opportunity to show off the capabilities of the Indie Desktop before its formal introduction to the public. The project was a challenging one, as the scale model would need to be 1.3 meters (about 4.3 feet) long, meaning that it would have to be printed in multiple pieces – fourteen pieces, to be specific, and that was just for the body of the trailer. The smaller pieces of the model, including the wheels, base and lever, ended up requiring an additional 120 printed parts.
The Indie Desktop handled the job nicely, churning out the parts of varying shapes and sizes over the course of 140 print hours. The challenge didn’t stop there, though; the MaherSoft team worked for an additional week to turn the piles of printed parts into a cohesive model. The pieces had to be painted separately, then glued together without any seam lines or other evidence of the piecemeal nature of the model.
All in all, the project took about three weeks of steady work, from modeling and preparing the files to printing to post-processing. The final result is a sleek, silvery model that appears to have slid off the printer all in one piece, a testament to the meticulous post-processing work of the MaherSoft team. The project ended up being a great advertising opportunity for both parties: the client has an impressive model of their equipment to present to their own clients, and MaherSoft has their first case study demonstrating the capabilities of the Indie Desktop, before it has even been released. That’s something we don’t see very often, and my interest in the new printer has definitely been piqued. I look forward to seeing how it does once it finally hits Indiegogo.
Let’s discuss this case study further over in the 3D Printed Heavy Equipment Trailer forum at 3DPB.com.