For many designers and engineers today, the use of 3D printing has gone far beyond exploring and experimenting while creating new objects. It has now become a technology that leading companies such as Keter rely on. Famous for their plastic outdoor storage designs, Keter Plastics is part of Keter Group, which was founded over sixty years ago and is headquartered in Israel.
A recent case study featuring Keter and the BigRep One shows how 3D printing helps them in both the design and production process for the molds necessary to plastics production. The BigRep One has a capacity of one cubic meter and is suitable for both professional and industrial use.
With 3D printing, product designers at Keter are able to enjoy a more streamlined and flexible process in creating products. The design process allows them to refine designs before they are manufactured. When you consider that making a plastic mold can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, being able to create a 3D model and examine it for any problems or issues that need to be fixed ahead of time can be invaluable.
According to Arthur Brutter, 3D Center Manager for Keter, making prototypes with the BigRep One before heading into production not only saves thousands of dollars, but hundreds of hours of work. He is able to make a 3D printed model of a plastics piece overnight, rather than waiting a week or more to receive one back when outsourcing the work to another company.
“This is a big advantage since we have those machines in house,” says Brutter, referring to the Big Rep One 3D printers. “We can shorten our production and development time.”
The team creates 3D printed models of most of the Keter products today. Most of these pieces are made up of complex geometries, and many are large in size too. Because of that, a large-scale 3D printer is required. The BigRep One was created so that large products could be created easily and quickly. One- and two-millimeter nozzles mean that the highest throughputs possible are available to the user, leaving Brutter to agree that the One really delivers in terms of their needs.
“Keter’s case clearly shows how essential 3D printing is when it comes to developing new innovative products,” Gil Lavi, BigRep’s Head of Vertical Marketing, told 3DPrint.com. “The company employs dozens of product designers which their task is always to come up with the next big thing – special designed new line of products that must stands out in the market. Bringing this to life becomes much easier and faster when a large scale 3D printer like the BigRep One is used in-house.”
“The contribution is translated into saving valuable development time, and reducing the cost of error to a minimum when move on to making the final molds of these type of large plastic products.”
Keter’s products, ultimately, are made with the most advanced injection-molding technology possible. While they strive to create the best in plastics, the most important question their team continually asks is how they can design products better. And there is no better way to answer that than with all the benefits and opportunities offered through 3D design and 3D printing.
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