New use of 3-D additive manufacturing technology saves thousands of dollars
Minneapolis, MINN — September 10, 2014 — Diversified Plastics, Inc. saved 88% in prototype part development costs and 80% development time for medical device maker Coloplast by using a new, 3-D additive manufacturing process to create injection mold components.
Coloplast needed to produce prototype medical device parts from injection-molded thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) material to accurately evaluate geometry, design, and performance. Most important, they wanted to evaluate the “feel” of their new device and to allow them the opportunity to analyze the durometer before proceeding to production. Typically, tools for forming injection molded plastic into prototype parts are built using soft steel — a process that is time consuming and expensive.
Looking to save time and money for Coloplast, Diversified Plastics recommended making the preproduction mold utilizing a new, cost-effective 3D additive manufacturing process. Using their Stratasys Objet Polyjet™ printer, Diversified Plastics produced a highly accurate injection mold for creating prototype parts.
Once Coloplast’s tool design file was prepared and loaded into the printer, it took approximately 11 hours to build both halves of the mold and center core. Diversified Plastics’ tooling department inserted the printed mold components into a mold base and the prototype thermoplastic parts were injection molded. The entire process, from initial discussions, through mold production, to final prototype, took just five business days. Using additive manufacturing technology to produce a prototype mold of their part helped Coloplast quickly determine if the design was going to meet their product requirements. The process saved Coloplast thousands of dollars and weeks of time.
About Diversified Plastics, Inc.
Employee-owned Diversified Plastics is a custom injection molder of high-precision, close tolerance, small-to medium-sized injection molded components for medical device, filtration, aerospace and a variety of other industrial markets. The 37-year-old company is a full-service contract manufacturer, from design assistance and mold construction, to intricate molding and clean room assembly. Diversified Plastics is ISO 9001:2008 and 13485:2003 certified, ITAR certified, and UL registered.
Tags: 3D Additive Manufacturing, Polyjet Printer, Prototype