“The difficulty was finding the right technology to fit into a small office-friendly environment, while also ensuring industrial-grade 3D printing results at fast speeds,” says Patrick Langfeld. “For housing prototypes, we wanted to test the aesthetics as much as the geometric functionality – so dimensional accuracy, repeatability and access to industrial-grade materials was a definite prerequisite for us”.
Based on these requirements and having researched the options available, the company ultimately found the F-Series 3D printer perfectly corresponded to its criteria.”
With its FDM 3D printer, optiMEAS is able to access industrial materials for its functional prototype production, ideal for geometric accuracy and durability. For housing parts, optiMEAS traditionally created metal prototypes to test form and function, before producing final parts in the same material, but this presented irksome challenges.
“The problem we faced with the development of metal prototypes was twofold,“ comments Langfeld. “First, they are not cost effective in small quantities; only for large volume orders – which is not ideal when you mostly work with customized solutions. The other and even more crucial challenge was the lengthy turnaround times. For a customized housing prototype, it could take weeks, if not months, until we had the prototype in our hands – and that’s without potential further design iterations.”
Servicing global customers that expect customized solutions with very short turnaround times, 3D printing technology has enabled Patrick Langfeld and his team to optimize the design workflow.