AM Investment Strategies
AMS Spring 2023

New Option for Engineers Looking for a Reliable 3D Printer for Difficult Times

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The need for a reliable 3D printer increases when the continuity of supply chains becomes uncertain. Engineers and designers must be 100% sure that parts they have developed are production-ready before they order the first delivery of components.

Lots of companies are adopting SLS 3D printing technology, as it is now more available thanks to the growing number of compact SLS 3D printers. One of those companies is REGNER, a well-known OEM provider of motion control solutions, from control boxes to linear actuators, that bases its success on providing world-class support in a market that moves very quickly. Their products are widely used in the healthcare market.

At the company’s headquarters in Girona, in northeastern Spain, many prototyping machines have been used in recent years. The company first used a Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printer and a few years later switched to a photopolymerization machine. With these printers, the company produced thousands of prototypes, but the durability and finish of the printed parts made it impossible to perform reliable testing of the products and were not good enough to be used as pre-production for their products.

“The FFF and SLA parts are a good choice to get a physical impression of the designs and to assemble rough prototypes. But when it comes to producing reliable prototypes to be verified in our fatigue tests or to send functional samples to our customers for validation, SLS is the only acceptable choice,” says Lluís Llenas mechanical development department at REGNER®.

Another company, ECA Medical is the undisputed worldwide leader in single-use torque limiting. With 39 years of experience partnering with world-leading implant companies and shipping more than 35 million torque limiters, there is no better choice for experts in single-use torque limiting.

Leading orthopedic implant companies turns to them to fill gaps in their portfolio. As healthcare shifts from free-for-service to value and as producers are increasingly growing in the outpatient segment, ECA Medical has quickly enabled these companies to make healthcare better by delivering pragmatic turn-key solutions.

But fast prototyping has been a critical factor to reduce the time of product development. They used to have a couple of suppliers for 3D printing, but they needed more efficiency. They design products and molds internally, so the opportunity to have a real piece even in an early stage of the project is beneficial. Showing the customers a design concept transformed in a few hours into a real piece has changed.

Both REGNER and ECA Medical decided to use Lisa PRO, one of Sinterits compact SLS 3D printers line.

ECA Medical made significant leaps in timelines due to being able to rapidly prototype parts and quickly implement changes that need to be done on the next print build. With SLS, they can make most of those design changes on the printer, and once they felt they were ready and comfortable to get the part mold injected, they would proceed to that process. This saved a significant amount of time and money.

Before using Lisa PRO, REGNER® relied on external suppliers to produce SLS and Multi Jet Fusion prototypes for testing and pre-production runs, only using their services when necessary. Now, this has changed and the company can manufacture its SLS prototypes in a matter of hours, speeding up the company’s development processes to the maximum. But the linear actuator company has also taken a step forward in the flexibility of its products. It is now able to build small batches of custom products, no matter how complicated the design, while keeping the costs low and in record time.

“The Lisa PRO 3D printer has updated the services we offer to our customers. In the past, short runs were not an option for us. Now we can be more flexible and agile than ever,” adds Lluís Llenas.

Benefits that convinced decision-makers in REGNER and ECA Medical to turn into SLS 3D are now even more convincing now since Lisa X, the fastest compact SLS 3D printer from Sinterit is on the market. Its printing and cooling time is up to 40% shorter than those of the Lisa PRO.

With a build speed of up to 14 mm/h – most jobs are printed within 24 hours. That means you get the ability to print up to five print beds per week, so you will prototype and iterate faster.

New, faster, and bigger option for engineers

Lisa X is the largest compact SLS printer in Sinterit’s offer. With a bad measuring 130 x 180 x 330 mm you can print more elements or larger objects.

Sinterit is known to be the only company in the compact SLS 3D printers segment that gives access to printers parameters. The open software enables you to change and fine-tune an array of 32 printing parameters, design the shapes you need, and discover unique properties in your prints.

But a printer is just a part of a whole SLS 3D printing solution which starts from a dedicated, in-house-made software – Sinterit Studio, and ends with Powder Handling Station, a comprehensive tool made for seamless and fast post-processing as well as powder recovery. Because of what is unique in SLS technology, you can reuse the unprinted powder in upcoming printing projects which makes it very economical.

The new devices from SInterit become a serious competitive vs FDM and SLA printers.

The benefits of compact SLS 3D printers line can be visibly seen in numbers, while the population of users who upgrades from FDM and SLA 3D printers is growing rapidly. Time will show what will be the final stake of the AM market share overtaken from those technologies, but we can see the movement here.

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