Additive Manufacturing Strategies

How the Tractus3D printers shook up the channel letter industry

ST Medical Devices

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Shaking up a industry is not something you do easily. Especially in an industry where you are already top notch and want to keep the highest standards, and even elevate them to the next level for your clients. Still our client, Styles Werbetechnik, started the journey to investigate and find an new a futureproof system that would allow them to manufacture profile/channel letters in various thicknesses, shapes and materials, and, if possible, to do so using as single production method. That’s when they contacted Tractus3D and their local reseller. Resulting in a big shake up of another industry and some big advantages.

Channel letters everywhere

Channel letters are everywhere, come in all kinds of sizes, shapes and materials. They are usually made of aluminum or plastics, can be painted or unpainted, and come with or without lighting. In other words, they come in a wide variety of designs, shapes and materials. Just have a look around in any mall, shopping street or company logo, you will see channel letters everywhere. For Styles Werbetechnik it is one of their focus points, and they are the market leader in Germany. To keep ahead of the competition and make sure they would enhance their business, they started searching for a new, futureproof production method for their channel letters.

“3D printing is the future of profile advertising systems”

Researching the future

Implementing a new system into an existing production procedure is not something you do in a heartbeat. It takes a thorough research period to find the perfect production method that is not only futureproof, but also scalable, and will help the end clients.

The 3D printing process emerged as a future proof and modern solution. Unfortunately there was only little information available on the market about devices, materials and actual possibilities for this specific case. Styles decided to tackle the project together with local reseller Gröner and of course Tractus3D. This meant that there where short communication lines, fast and high quality support, and making big steps in a short amount of time. This made sure that not only the desk research but also the practical test where done proper, and that it would be the right choice for the future.

From test phase to production

The first test where done on a Tractus3D T1250, a ‘small’ DESK series 3D printer. With a printing surface of 35cm in diameter, and up to 60cm in height, this would be the perfect size for some smaller channel letters. The results where even so good, that after the first “small” tests, in just a few hours, the channel letters where already so accurate, they could be installed already. The highest possible standards regarding the surface finish and the materials itself where pursued and achieved. This would help in marketing the “arrival of 3D printing” for signage and profile letters, and strengthen the trust in the new product.

3D printing is the future

After the test phase it was time to get the large volume 3D printer, the T3000 with a print bed of 1 meter in diameter would bring the size that was needed. During the stress tests for the channel letters, the endless possibilities of the Tractus3D printers where even more apparent then ever. Difficult shapes, perfect serifs, sharp angels and other design element can easily be created. In comparison with the old conventional production method, whish reached the limits faster. For example the depth of a channel letter would normally start at 60mm, but now they can even go down to 30mm in depth, and get illuminated without having to resort to expensive molded opal glass.

3D printing channel letters reduced the costs by 30%

Cost reduction

The endless possibilities are not the only reason to implement a new production process. As every healthy business, the costs are always something to keep an eye on. A Tractus3D printer can run day and night unattended, which mean the less cost of labor, but also more production time. Also the filaments have a cheaper base price and there is almost zero waste. And of course with the new possibilities in sizes and shapes, there is an bigger advantages of the competition. Depending on shape and form, the custom channel letters and parts can be offered in a faster timeframe and up to 30% cheaper.

Want to see how you can shake up your industry with 3D printing? Get over to Tractus3D.com and get in contact with us.

Article based on Tractus3D case:

https://tractus3d.com/used-by/cases/styles-werbetechnik/

3D Printers:

T1250: https://tractus3d.com/products/t1250/

T3000: https://tractus3d.com/products/t3000/

Other links

Large volume: https://tractus3d.com/series/large-volume-series/

Tractus3D: https://tractus3d.com

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